Facing an ongoing funding shortage, King County Metro announced Monday that it has identified 65 bus routes for possible elimination and an additional 86 for service reductions.
Being in Snohomish County, Edmonds is served primarily by Community Transit, although many residents use Metro routes, or both. Three of the Metro routes at risk of elimination serve Shoreline and Lake Forest Park: Routes 77, 308 and 118. Seven that serve Shoreline and Lake Forest Park are at risk of reductions: 5, 309, 312, 330, 331, 355 and 373.
The transit agency held a news conference Monday morning, asking the state legislature to step in and help it find a permanent solution to a $75-million annual budget gap when a $20 temporary congestion reduction car-tab fee expires next year.
The cuts would affect 151—about two-thirds—of the system's 217 routes and take place as transit ridership continues to increase, Metro said in a Tweet on Monday: "Demand for transit is growing. 2/3 of Seattle’s 200K daily commuters don’t drive."
How do you think Metro ought to tackle its funding shortage? Would you be affected by the potential cuts? Tell us in the comments section.
Metro says the cuts and reductions would have a direct impact on the region's traffic congestion, putting up to an additional 30,000 vehicles on the road each day.
"The result would be even more crowded buses, riders left at the curb, or people climbing back into their cars—something that would worsen the region's traffic congestion and hurt the economic engine of the state," Kevin Desmond, Metro's general manager, said in a news release.
The transit agency has identified the following steps as potential solutions:
- The Washington legislature is considering legislation for funding transportation needs statewide.
- King County, the Sound Cities Association and the City of Seattle have joined together to ask the legislature for a new set of local transportation funding tools. Learn more
- The Washington State Transit Association is advocating for a statewide transportation funding package. Learn more
More information and a list of all routes slated for elimination or service reductions is available here.