What bus routes are at risk for elimination or reductions in Seattle? Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond and Service Development Manager Victor Obeso will discuss potential bus cuts at a Seattle City Council meeting on Monday, April 29.
The meeting starts at 9 a.m., with the Metro presentation scheduled to start around 10 a.m. in the Seattle City Council Chambers (second floor, 600 Fourth Ave., Seattle).
If sustainable Metro funding does not become available through efforts by the Legislature, a projected $75 million annual revenue shortfall could force Metro to reduce bus service by as much as 17 percent beginning in fall 2014. Metro has identified 65 routes at risk for elimination and 86 routes at risk for service reductions.
Seattle is the largest job center in the state, and an estimated two-thirds of Seattle’s 200,000 daily commuters don’t drive. Transit, including buses, is how 43 percent commute to downtown Seattle. A recent Metro report identified 32 peak commuter routes to downtown Seattle that are at risk of being eliminated, which would force 13,000 daily riders to use slower local service or find other ways to commute. Reductions or revisions are possible on another 13 peak commuter routes to downtown Seattle. Those routes as a group had an average of 11,200 boardings per day in fall 2012.
The potential cuts would create a transit system with fewer travel options and longer travel times, with buses that are more crowded and less reliable. These effects could cascade through the system as bus routes are eliminated and riders compete for space on other already-crowded routes.
So far, Metro has been able to avoid these cuts by saving or generating revenue totaling $798 million by operating more efficiently, cutting staff, increasing fares, and spending reserve funds, as well as the implementation of the congestion reduction charge (CRC), a temporary $20 charge on vehicle licenses for two years. The CRC ends in 2014 and Metro will no longer have reserve funds to spend on operations. Without a new source of revenue, Metro will be forced to reduce service.
To learn more or participate, please visit our Metro Future website.