Concerns expressed about routes 2, 27, and more

Union Station Meeting

On December 10, about 65 people joined us at Union Station in downtown Seattle to learn more about the proposed bus cuts and share how the changes would affect them.

Several people came prepared to share their concerns about changes to particular routes. Changes to Route 2 and the deletion of Route 27 were hot topics, particularly because of their likely effects on seniors.

One participant said the loss of Route 27 for residents of the Washington Terrace senior housing apartments would be “a major problem due to hills and high crime in the area, dimly lit area and the inability to get to the alternative.” Others said the loss of Route 2 would pose similar difficulties, with one commenter predicting a “huge impact (on) Horizon House and other mobility-challenged residents.”

Regarding the proposed cuts in general, one person exclaimed, “seventeen percent cuts to system—does this mean a loss of 17 percent of riders?”

We sincerely hope not, but the truth is that the majority of our riders would be affected in one way or another by these service cuts. Some would see their routes changed or deleted, while those on unchanged routes would most likely see more-crowded buses.

Many participants told us they didn’t understand why the Seattle streetcar is expanding while bus service is facing steep cuts. “That really baffles me,” said one. “They’re extending the streetcar but they’re going to cut bus routes.” In fact, the Seattle Streetcar is a city service that is operated by Metro on a contract basis. It’s funded by the city, Metro’s funding gap and service cuts will not affect it.

Question of the day

Q: This feedback that we give—is any of it going to change anything, or are the changes a “done deal?”

A: The proposed service cuts are based on Metro’s service guidelines, and we don’t anticipate many changes to the proposal. However, we will consider making minor tweaks based on community feedback. Most importantly, we want to understand how these cuts will affect you. We will present a public engagement report to the King County Council in February 2014, including your comments about the proposed service reductions. The Council will then consider whether to adopt the proposal, so now is a good time to let your voice be heard.

We want to keep hearing your comments, concerns, and questions about the proposed service reductions. For information on upcoming public meetings, visit the calendar on our website. If you can’t attend a public meeting, give us your feedback via our online survey.