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Metro lines up more cuts as Seattle prepares to vote on transit funding plan

King County has readied a proposed set of cuts and Metro service reductions — but the hope is that the elimination of 16 more lines and further belt tightening on routes like the 12 won’t be necessary.

“If the Seattle transit initiative is approved by voters in November, the February service cuts would be postponed until June 2015 to provide time for Seattle and any other party to submit Community Service Contracts to preserve service,” the statement on the proposal from King County Executive Dow Constantine says.

Proposed February 2015 service changes

  • 16 routes deleted: 4, 22, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, 158, 159, 178, 179, 187, 190, 192, 242, and DART 930.
  • 32 routes revised or reduced: 1, 2, 3, 8, 9X, 12, 13, 14, 16, 21, 24, 26X, 27, 28X, 29, 32, 33, 60, 65, 106, 107, 116X, 121, 125, 157, 168, 177, 181, 193X, 197, 271 and DART 901.
  • Details of the cuts, revisions and reductions are here.

In November, Seattle voters will consider a plan to raise sales taxes by .1% and add a $60 vehicle licensing fee to allow the city to pay for some of the threatened Metro service.

With its ongoing budget shortfalls, Metro already faces yet another round of 151,000 hours of service reductions including the elimination of Route 47 that go into effect starting September 27th.

Wednesday, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce endorsed the boost in sales tax and vehicle fees:

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce today announced its official support for Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1, which would stave off cuts to King County Metro service in Seattle next year. If approved, the measure would raise about $45 million each year through an increase in the vehicle license fee and a small increase in the sales tax.

“It is critical to sustain the bus service we have now in the fastest growing city in America and I am pleased that Metro and Sound Transit are working on system integration—this will stretch our investment even further,” said Maud Daudon, the Chamber’s president and CEO.

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18 thoughts on “Metro lines up more cuts as Seattle prepares to vote on transit funding plan

  1. I notice they say that even IF the initiative passes and we start paying the $60 extra on car tabs and the .1% sale tax, they are still NOT going to cancel the proposed February cuts, merely delay them until June.

    So what’s the point of approving this initiative? If the proposed cuts will enable them to operate within budget, they really don’t need the extra money generated by this!

      • Like it says, Seattle would then be able to “buy back” service. Try reading a little bit more closely *or* finding an outlet that makes it simpler for you to understand :)

  2. I will be voting a big NO on this one. Out of the blue I found myself having to pay close to $35.00 a week in tolls across 520 because they believe those that use it, should pay for it. I like so many had to figure out a way to make it work. Metro should raise the fare accordingly to cover the cost to operate. If what you are charging your customers to ride a bus isn’t covering your expenses, then you have a problem and need to raise your rates. Those that ride the bus should pay for it!!!

    • Those that take the bus pay for your ability to not take the bus and drive your car.

      As an adult, I am not sure why you haven’t figured that out yet.

      • no, dumbass YOU don’t get it. People who pay GAS TAX and LICENSE PLATES are paying for YOU to take the bus.

        Metro is a complete disaster. It’s mismanaged and blatantly sloppy in how they run.

        Only somebody with no car or no common sense would vote yes on this funding plan a SECOND time after we killed it on the county level.

      • Before you sprain your arm patting yourself on the back, be aware that Metro is also funded by sales taxes–which everybody pays.

      • I thing we all know better, but for those who don’t, Metro is primarily funded by sales tax (which we ALL pay) and fares. Tabs constitute a relatively small portion of their overall revenue. Likewise, less than 10 percent of their revenues is “grants,” presumably FTA grants funded through the Highway Trust Fund. The HTF is funded by the federal gas tax, as well as other sources.

        You’ve really missed the boat if you think we aren’t all benefitting from and contributing to transit service.

        Lest we need to be reminded, Metro has raised fares four times in the last six years.

      • Monster,

        As an adult (seems like that might be debatable) you really don’t understand.

        General taxes which we all pay regardless of whether we own a car cover a significant portion of the roads you use.

        I am happy to subsidize your ability to drive. In return I just want you to not be stupid.

        Who is the dumbass now?

      • What “general taxes” are you talking about? Sales tax? Yes, part of that does go to roads, but I believe roads are funded mainly by the gas tax, which only motorists pay. I doubt much of the sales taxes you pay goes to roads, so you’re really not subsidizing motorists much.

      • Calhoun,

        I can’t argue with what you believe.

        In 2011 in Washington State, 29.8% of State and Local road spending was covered by gas taxes.

        Tolls and user fees covered 6.7%.

        Most funding comes from state and local revenues which we all contribute to regardless of whether we own a car or use the road.

        That’s what I believe.

    • “Out of the blue”? The tolling was announced well in advance, discussed literally for years before they decided on the specific rates. And of course, if these Metro funding options all fail and Metro goes to hell, you’ll still be paying the tolls on that bridge. And probably I-90 too. You’ll just have way more cars doing it with you.

  3. This is ridiculous. A growing city needs more transit, not less. We need fewer single-occupancy vehicles on the road.

    A bus pass costs about $1,000 a year. Let’s halve that to $500 and charge half a bus pass per car on the road. Toll the bridges, toll the roads, tax the bejesus out of parking. To keep our city moving requires real leadership, not “Yes on ##” ad campaigns every November.

  4. I don’t buy the argument that busses take cars off the road and therefore decrease commute times for motorists, so that the latter should contribute more to transit funding (via the car tab tax). It seems to me that busses often increase congestion, by lumbering slowly down a street and especially by their often-long stops to load/unload.

    Now light rail….that’s another story.

    • Each day (M-F) 1.1 million people ride Metro transit. If they didn’t ride the bus, some portion of those people would be in a car (probably).

      Let’s assume more cars would mean more congestion. I have nothing to cite to prove that is true.

      Maybe it causes more congestion on the one road you drive from your house to work everyday.

    • Calhoun:

      Being behind a bus that stops every few blocks is definitely less convenient than being behind a car that does not, however, buses hold dozens of people. If my bus disappeared or cut back to the point of being too much of a pain in my ass, I’d buy a car and drive it to work alone and so would most of the other passengers. That would probably slow you down a hell of a lot more more than a bus stopping every few blocks.

      Also, buses move a lot of people down freeways and across bridges, where there aren’t frequent stops. If you were to swap out each bus on the freeway for however many cars each bus would add by disappearing it would slow things down considerably.

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