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Metro Bus Service Reductions Loom As State Drags Its Feet On Funding

The inability of the Washington Legislature to pass a transportation package this session means King County Metro Transit needs to prepare for service cuts. Metro general manager Kevin Desmond said the agency has time-sensitive funding needs; in part because an expiring $20.00 car tab fee for transit wasn’t renewed.

“We needed to get it done this year, we haven’t, we have to now start the process of developing and bringing forth to the public the proposals,” said Desmond.

Those proposals include the possible elimination of 65 bus routes, with maybe 85 more routes facing reductions.

The Legislature is being asked to find some sort of emergency funding resolution. Among those leading the charge for supplemental Metro funding is Katie Wilson, an activist with the Seattle Transit Riders Union.

She said commuters will suffer if the service cuts take place, “Congestion is going to get much, much worse. Everyone who currently takes the bus but has a car is going to take that car. It’s not just about one section of the population.This is really an issue that affects everyone.”

Wilson’s group is organizing a rally this Saturday at City Hall Park at 3rd and Yesler to call for state support for Metro.

Both Wilson and Desmond spoke with Ross Reynolds on The Conversation July 24.

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