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March 1, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Magnolia residents won’t give up on trying to restore late-night buses

Four months have passed since King County Metro Transit ended late-night bus trips in Magnolia, but residents haven’t given up on recovering their lost service.

Late service on Route 24 was cut in the countywide Sept. 29 service change. Metro restored one of those lost trips, leaving Sodo for Magnolia at 10:20 p.m., in its February 16 change.

Last week 30 people met with County Councilman Larry Phillips and Metro’s director of service development, Victor Obeso, in a Magnolia church and advocates say they gathered 500 petition signatures.

They want the 11:20 p.m., 12:20 p.m. and 1:20 a.m. trips from downtown Seattle restored.

“It mostly affects people who are disabled, or for some reason or another don’t drive, don’t own, can’t afford a car, or legally blind, like me,” said advocate Jim McIntosh, breathing hard Friday morning as he walked uphill to a bus stop on 28th Avenue West.

Metro has said the night runs were unproductive, and because of budget shortfalls they need to focus service hours on areas with more riders.  Taxpayers subsidize about three-fourths of bus operating cost, through sales taxes and a $20 car-tab fee.

“It seems to me they [Metro] should be able to find some money somewhere to give them back a run or two,” argues Katie Wilson, co-founder of the Seattle Transit Riders Union.

Neighbors are trying to organize a midnight walk, from the D Line stop in Interbay and across the Magnolia Bridge, in late March — after a neighbor challenged Phillips to sample what it’s like to lose bus access. McIntosh said the event will happen while the Legislature is in session, to dramatize Metro’s request to replace expiring revenue sources, and try to avert worse cutbacks.

Comments | Topics: King County Metro Transit, Magnolia


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