Westlake station in the evening
Buses to disappear? Photo by Oran

This is the last time this legislative session that we’ll ask for help – but ask we must.

Metro is $100 million in the hole because sales tax revenue is dropping like a rock. This will mean service cuts to the tune of 20% – and I’m hearing maybe even more than that – as soon as next year.

We have some tools to help out. SB 5433 is the biggest one, and we pretty much just have today to help it pass. This would enable a county council vote to use ferry district revenue for Metro, with which we could cut some $30 million from this shortfall. The other provision in Rep. Simpson’s amendment, the ability to go to voters for a tab fee, could cut the shortfall even further.

This is an easy way to make next year much, much less painful. Buses will simply go away as a result of this shortfall. Please help us out and give your legislator a ring to ask that the transit funding portions of SB 5433 are kept intact!

22 Replies to “Let’s Not Cut Metro Service 20%, Please?”

    1. The 242 should be safe. I’m pretty sure it is one of the buses that is part of the Microsoft partnership.

    1. Agreed, although I doubt many of them will have teeth.

      We should start talking about initiatives of our own!

      1. My initiative is simple, it’s the One Washington Initiative, it would require a 66% passing vote on any initiative or referendum in the interest of protecting the Puget Sound from the State and the State from the Puget Sound in hopes of unifying the State under largely shared principles.

        Basically speaking, the balkanization of the state has essentially made it possible for the Puget Sound to screw the rest of the state or the rest of the state to screw the Puget Sound.

        It would also reduce fringe politics (initiatives based on issues with a 50/50 swing rate) and diminish the headbutting between the Sound and rest of the State.

      2. It’d make a point, at least, especially given Eyman’s repeat attempts to block anything that would change the process. “An initiative relating to protecting initiatives from other initiatives that would unprotect initiatives” and all that.

      3. That sounds like a book out of the Eyman playbook; make sure every initiative fails to pass a court challenge so that you can bring it back next time with the refrain “government doesn’t listen to the will of the people.”

      4. I agree. Seems like we have the worst of all worlds. On teh one hand, electeds who can’t seem to govern and can point to Tim Eyeman initiatives as the reason they feel their hands are tied. On the other hand, stupid emotional responses being engendered. I know it’s more democratic to have an initiative process, but I will say I felt like my state reps were more accountable for OUTCOMES in other state I lived in that did not have initiatives.

      5. Transportation-wise, I’d propose an initiative that would allow exceeding the transit benefit district sales tax cap to up to 1.5% for a period to not exceed 5 non-consecutive years out of 7.

    1. Replaced by Link (though the 194 is faster for people going straight to the airport), not because of the budget cut

      1. Not faster–identical trip length. But Link will be far more frequent and convenient–easier with bags, no line to get off at the airport, etc

      2. Yeah, I’m sure actual end to end time will be lower on average, because of reduced wait and boarding time.

  1. Too bad North/East Link can’t open sooner, KCM could get rid of a lot of redundant bus routes like the 41, 66, 71-79, and 550 and save a lot of money.

    It seems that KCM has pushed back the opening of RapidRide A (Pacific Hwy. South) to June 2010, as it is not mentioned in the new changes for S King County, and the March-April issue of InTransit mentions opening in June 2010.

    1. The only routes that are absolutely replaced by Link are the 41 and 550, the others not so much. Even after University and North Link completion, 71-73, 79 are only redundant with it on part of their route (admittedly the busiest part) before they go off elsewhere. The 74 may go through the U District but it has a completely different routing and is a commuter bus anyhow (it might be cut for that reason, though). The 75 runs U District to Ballard via Sandpoint/Lake City/Northgate, so once again not replicated by light rail. The 76 and 77 might have their routes shortened so they would be a direct feeder to light rail, yes.

      Also, the 550 is an ST route so while it’s operated by Metro drivers, it’s paid for by ST.

      1. Actually I suspect most of 71-79 will simply feed the Husky Stadium or Roosevelt Link stations once they’re open because at NE 65th or 50th they all converge on one of two routings to get downtown. The 70 should see service increase, though, because it will become the only access for Eastlake unless funding for a streetcar comes through by then.

        It will also be interesting to see what routes riders choose after Husky Stadium Station opens. The 43, 48, 65, 67, 68, 372, etc. may see increases in ridership from people transferring to Link at UW. I doubt routes coming from the west like the 30 or 44 would, though, since in those cases it would be quicker to get to a 16, 17 or 26.

      2. The bulk of the 30 (both in terms of population and route length) is east of the light rail line. Additionally, the frequency and speed of the 71-73 beats the 16, 17 and 26 except during reverse commute trips and light rail will be faster for ALL trips. I’d bet that the 44 sees increased ridership as even more people take the ultra frequent 44 to the ultra frequent light rail.

        Logically (and in the absence of a budget crisis), there should be a huge revamp of the routes to improve LOCAL connectivity. In my world, the 71-73 would ideally be turned into local buses which terminate “away” from light rail (e.g. they turn toward the Seattle Center or Belltown instead of Westlake much like the 30 does now) so that they interface with light rail but aren’t just feeders for it. The 76, 77 and 79 would be added buses to the 71-73 during commuter hours. The 74 would be added to the 30 in the form of increased service during commuter hours as well. The 75 is a weirdass crosstown route – we need more crosstown routes but I don’t know how to “fix” it or even what light rail will do to change it (as it seems to exist mostly to get people to the 41/71-73 before their express portions oh and connect Ballard to Northgate).

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