The King County Council this evening approved a $20 congestion reduction charge to preserve Metro service near current levels over the next two years, and directed Metro to take these additional actions:
- Move ahead with strategies for introducing more cost-effective transit services on some lower-ridership routes currently served by buses, consistent with Metro’s strategic plan. Examples of potential “right sized” services are Dial-a-Ride Transit (flexible, demand-responsive small-bus service), community access transportation, and vanpool programs. This approach would benefit low-density communities in east and south King County.
- Phase out the downtown Seattle Ride Free Area by October 2012.
- Increase the pool of funds that provides deeply discounted bus tickets to human service and homeless programs.
- Develop a Transit Incentive Program that will offer bus tickets to people when they register their vehicles, either to use themselves or donate to the human service agencies in Metro’s ticket program.
- Consider routes as candidates for added service if they are carrying more riders due to the effects of highway tolling.
King County Executive Dow Constantine hailed the decision. “I thank all seven Councilmembers who voted tonight to preserve 600,000 hours of bus service for their commitment to principle, and for their courageous leadership,” he said.
The Executive also lauded members of the Transit Rescue Coalition and the thousands of King County residents who turned out in support of transit funding. Read the Executive’s news release »