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Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 25, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Metro Transit has already been doing prudent budgeting

Gabriel Campanario / Seattle Times

Monday’s Times editorial disregards the facts about Metro’s six-year effort to preserve bus service [“King County Metro Transit heeds the voters’ call on efficiencies,” Opinion, Sept. 21].

Metro has worked hard to do what other regional transit agencies couldn’t do after the recession — keep buses moving and preserve service in key areas despite plummeting revenues. Meanwhile, ridership continues to grow.

The Times ignores the nearly $800 million in actions taken to preserve service since 2009 and those we are proposing moving forward. These actions are hardly new. Follow-up reviews from a 2009 performance audit have repeatedly shown solid progress in controlling costs and implementing almost all audit findings.

What we have not done is spend money we don’t have — the type of prudent budgeting the public expects of us. We’ve said all along that service would be adjusted based on solid confidence that the revenue will be there to maintain the system.

Better fuel price projections, a favorable bidding climate for bus replacement and better matching our fleet with service needs are just a few reasons we’ve been able to preserve service. And we will continue to press ahead to control labor costs as we have been.

We’re doing exactly what we said we would do — putting our money where our mouth is.

Kevin Desmond, King County Metro general manager

Comments | More in Metro | Topics: buses, Kevin Desmond, King County Metro Transit

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