Council Committee to take public testimony on potential cuts in transit service

A potential 17 percent reduction in service could begin in 2014.

A potential 17 percent reduction in Metro transit service due to a lack of sustainable revenue will be the topic of a special meeting of the Metropolitan King County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee at at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday May 14. The meeting will be held at Union Station 401 South Jackson Street in Seattle.

The committee wants the public to have an opportunity to tell their leaders how transit service cuts will affect them. Absent action from the legislature, King County will begin seeking input this fall on how to cut 600,000 hours of transit service. The cuts are expected to begin in 2014.  Metro recently released a preliminary look at what routes might be cut or reduced based on their service guideline policies which includes routes in Covington and Black Diamond.

Based on its service guideline policies, Metro has identified 65 routes at risk for elimination and 86 routes at risk for service reductions without a sustainable source of funding. These reductions would be necessary to offset a $75 million annual deficit due to the continued drop in sales tax revenues.

Since 2009, when revenues declined sharply, Metro has been able to avoid these cuts through $798 million in efficiencies, staff reductions, fare increases, reserve spending, and additional revenue. The implementation of the Congestion Reduction Charge, a temporary charge on vehicle licenses for two years, helped Metro avoid deep transit service cuts in 2011. By law, the CRC must end in 2014 and without a new source of revenue, Metro must reduce service.