The first wave of King County Metro Transit cuts in September will focus on reducing peak-time trips, rather than leaving cities or neighborhoods completely stranded.
General Manager Kevin Desmond today released a detailed list showing a plan to eliminate 166,000 operating hours a year. The plan is to be transmitted to the Metropolitan King County Council this afternoon, followed by public hearings and a final vote expected in early June.
For instance, a bus that runs seven times per afternoon from Seattle to Federal Way might make only four to six trips, said Victor Obeso, service-development director. In Lake City and Kenmore, the 306 Express would be dropped, while one afternoon trip and one evening trip daily would be added to the overlapping 312 Express. In all, 30 routes would be discontinued, and many suburban buses would quit running at 7 p.m.
The result will be that many of the remaining commute buses will become more crowded.
These moves follow voters’ rejection this week of Proposition 1, a sales-tax and car-fee increase to support transit and roads. An initiative to raise property taxes in Seattle — to prop up Seattle bus service — is being proposed by transit supporters, for a November ballot. But County Executive Dow Constantine has said that’s too late to avert the first round of cuts.