The Metropolitan King County Council voted this afternoon to raise Metro bus fares by 25 cents for 2015 and create a lower fare for low-income riders.
The new fares were part of a package of changes that include an April 22 ballot measure to raise sales taxes and vehicle-license fees to keep King County’s bus service intact. County leaders had hoped the state Legislature would pass a transportation package to help save Metro from a service cut of up to 17 percent. When the Legislature failed to act, they put together a tax proposal to take to King County voters this spring.
The council is expected to vote this afternoon to put the tax package on a special-election ballot April 22. If the tax measure passes, the low-income fare would be $1.25. If it doesn’t, the low-income fare would be $1.50.
Establishing a low-income fare is a way the council members are trying to make up for the taxes and fees they’re proposing. The taxes are “regressive,” meaning they disproportionately affect the poor.