After a dramatic delay of many hours, the King County Council approved a $20 Congestion Reduction Charge and the rest of a compromise deal that announced was last Friday.
The 7-2 vote delays a deep bus service cut for two years, gives ride free bus tickets to residents in exchange for the $20 vehicle license fee, and ends the Downtown Seattle’s Ride Free Area in October of next year (more on the RFA).
The fee required a 6-vote supermajority to pass and will not go before voters. Republicans Reagan Dunn and Pete von Reichbauer voted against the proposal. Before the vote, rumors were swirling that Republicans Kathy Lambert and Jane Hague had turned their back on the deal, and the council was in recess for more than four hours and it seemed at times like other the Republican members had convinced Lambert and Hague to walk away.
The transit community pushed hard for the CRC, and seemed to be heard. “Your public testimony made a difference,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson, who was on the fence earlier in the year.
For more on the deal, read Friday’s summary.