The Metropolitan King County Council has unanimously approved the 2023-24 King County Budget proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine.
The adopted budget supports King County Metro cornerstones including fleet electrification, ridership recovery, safety, and organizational health. It prioritizes investments where needs are greatest, aligns with the agency’s and King County’s policies, and balances Metro’s short-term progress with longer-term positioning to advance healthy communities, a sustainable environment, and a thriving economy.
Fight climate change, lower our region’s carbon footprint, and support healthy air and water
- The conversion of Metro’s 1,400 coach bus fleet to zero-emissions by 2035, including building charging infrastructure at bases and at layover sites.
- Conversion of Metro’s non-bus fleets, such as Access paratransit, Rideshare, and non-service fleet to zero-emissions.
- Converting Metro’s bus bases to support electrified operations, as well as deploying charging infrastructure for battery‐electric buses in the field at layover (on-route) locations.
- Prioritizing deployment of electric buses and construction of supporting infrastructure in areas of south King County, where residents are disproportionately impacted by poor air quality.
- Preparing Metro’s workforce to implement, operate and maintain a zero-emissions fleet and the supporting infrastructure.
Deliver reliable service riders can count on
- For the 2023-2024 biennium, continuing to grow service back towards pre-pandemic levels as workforce allows, adding service in support of the RapidRide G Line (Madison) and the RapidRide H Line (Burien), and planning for service growth funded by the Seattle Transit Measure (STM).
- Planning for future service growth to support where needs are greatest, including increased service with RapidRide I Line (Renton/Kent/Auburn), the RapidRide J Line
(U-District /Downtown), the RapidRide R Line (Rainier Valley/Downtown), and the RapidRide K Line (Kirkland/Bellevue).
- Moving forward with planning, design and implementation of RapidRide R Line and K Line.
- Investing in DART and other on-demand, flexible service programs that complement the fixed-route network of buses, Link light rail, and Seattle Streetcar.
- Implementing operational improvements for the management of bus service to deliver more reliable service for riders and to improve the quality of breaks for operators.
- Making Metro more accessible to people with lower incomes and to youth through free and reduced-fare programs and engagement to address barriers to ORCA and transit use.
- Expanding the income-based approach to fares, making fare payment more efficient and accessible, and implementing more equitable fare enforcement.
- Partnering with Health through Housing and the King County Department of Community and Health Services to deliver mobility services to people experiencing homelessness who are in emergency and supportive housing.
- Enhancing passenger infrastructure and transit hubs for integration with regional transit expansions.
- Making speed and reliability improvements along existing and future planned bus routes.
- Investing in Information Technology including customer information management; data analytics and reporting; network, tools, and communications; safety and security; and service delivery.
Safety and security
Provide a safe and secure environment for riders and employees
- Implementing Safety Security and Fare Enforcement (SaFE) Reform by continuing community engagement and testing new pilots and practices.
- Investing in SaFE strategies with a particular focus on reimagining the duties of safety and security personnel, working more closely with regional social services programs and providing customer service resources at transit centers.
- Adding resources to expand safety and security staffing on Metro coaches and at facilities.
- Improving employee safety at all of Metro’s bases with investments to better control access and monitor facilities.
- Investing in staff to maintain frequent cleaning of Metro’s bus interiors implemented during the pandemic.
Be an employer of choice and enable employee growth to facilitate world-class transit service
- Growing Metro’s staff to support the expansion of Link light rail service, which Metro operates through a contract with Sound Transit.
- Recruiting a diverse workforce through investments in administrative and operational resources, employee wellness, Equal Employment Opportunity and Equity Inclusion and Belonging programs, and hiring and training—with the intention of more quickly filling vacant positions and addressing existing gaps in administrative functions.
- Developing new processes, techniques, and tools to support changes to agency business practices to help Metro achieve its long-term goals.
The largest transit agency in the Puget Sound region, Metro delivers roughly 230,000 average weekday trips across Access paratransit, bus, on-demand services, rideshare, Seattle Streetcar, vanpool, water taxi, and more. The agency was named the nation’s most equitable agency in combatting climate change by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) earlier this year.