The Seattle Transportation Benefit District, a 6-year levy to fund additional bus service in the city, is approaching middle age. According to the city’s latest annual report, the district is coming to terms with its advancing years in the way most of us do: making incremental improvements, adapting to a changing economic realities, and trying to leave a legacy for the next generation.
Passed in 2014 at the nadir of Metro’s finances as a last-ditch effort to avoid service cuts, the levy is now being used to improve service and fulfill the city’s goal of having 75% of households living within 10-minute or better transit service (which the city defines as an average of 10 minutes between 6am and 7pm). This year, with a labor shortage limiting Metro’s ability to get more vehicles on the road, the Seattle City Council amended the levy to include capital expenditures and subsidized ORCA cards for students. [Read more…]