The King County Council on Tuesday adopted the 2021-22 budget, including funding for King County Metro. Building on the budget transmitted by Executive Dow Constantine, the spending plan outlines Metro’s ongoing commitment to providing safe, equitable, and sustainable service now and in the future – especially where needs are greatest.
The $12.4 billion countywide budget focuses funding on where our values are and adopts Constantine’s key strategies in homelessness, anti-racism, transit, and the environment.
“This budget also enhances Metro service where needs are greatest, and continues King County down the path of a carbon-free transit system,” said Constantine in a statement.
Metro currently delivers safe and essential service to more than 130,000 daily riders who rely on the region’s largest transit network. Metro remains prepared for when ridership demand and revenues recover to allow for the continued growth of this network.
Highlights of Metro’s 2020-21 funding include:
- Providing reliable Metro bus, Access paratransit, Water Taxi, and vanpool services.
- Purchasing battery electric buses and advancing Metro’s journey toward a zero-emissions fleet.
- Continuing progress on RapidRide G, H, and I lines (serving Seattle, Burien, and south King County, respectively).
- Updating and improving service as three Link light rail stations (University District, Roosevelt, and Northgate) open in fall 2021.
- Working with community to reimagine our transit police, fare enforcement and security
Information about the earlier version of the Executive’s budget that was proposed to King County Council is available in our “King County Metro proposed budget maintains region’s network, looks ahead to future growth” blog post from September.
An all-day, frequent network connecting our region is at the heart of our region’s recovery and its future. The pandemic and budget challenges do not change the fundamentals that high-capacity, frequent service is the backbone of meeting ridership needs amid a growing population and congested roadways. An approach that is all-day and regional also reflects shifting travel patterns where rush hour commuting and trips to downtown Seattle have become less dominant.
In the coming weeks and months, Metro is also working with the City of Seattle on next steps required to provide bus service funded by the voter-approved Seattle Transportation Benefit District.
Metro is investing in its core commitments to safety, equity, and sustainability as the region responds and works to recover.