“King County Metro is experiencing its second highest ridership year and is closing in on a new record as demand for transit continues to strengthen along with the local economy and job market,” Metro announced this week.
Delivering more than 400,000 daily weekday passengers since the year started, Metro officials say it is on pace to break ridership records not seen since before the economic slowdown.
KCM ridership hit a weekday average of 408,000 passengers in May making this the 2nd highest average ever recorded by Metro, the release states.
“This preliminary ridership data shows we’re poised to achieve a third straight year of ridership growth as our economy continues to strengthen,” Metro general manager Kevin Desmond said in a statement. Metro said the data suggest more people are relying on Metro as they re-enter the local job market and comes amid “a 5 percent drop in gas prices and elimination of the downtown Seattle Ride Free Area.” Down the road, Metro is preparing for a $60 million shortfall coming in 2015.
“Instead of gearing up to meet this growing demand as it should be, Metro is preparing to dramatically cut service if a transportation funding package is not approved by the state legislature,” Desmond said in the release.