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Metro announces bus route cuts, reductions; Bellevue affected

 

Following the failure of Proposition No. 1 this week, King County Metro on Thursday released its revised list of bus route cuts and revisions anticipated to begin in September and be staggered through 2015.

The King County Council accepted Prop 1's failure shortly after preliminary figures were confirmed on Tuesday, showing the funding measure expected to prevent nearly 200 bus cuts and reduction at 55 percent in opposition. The count was at 54 percent opposed Thursday, with a 37 percent turnout.

Based on a March revenue forecast, the proposed cuts and changes to King County Metro routes changed slightly from 74 to 72 routes lost. That’s roughly 34 percent of the Metro system. The 107 routes proposed to be reduced or changed dropped to 84. Of those reductions, 48 percent will occur during peak transit hours.

Cuts to Bellevue routes identified Thursday include 237, 242 (Northgate to Overlake) and 243 (Jackson Park to Bellevue). Service reductions are set for routes 221, 226, 232, 234, 240 (Bellevue to Renton), 241 (Eastgate to south Bellevue) and 249 (Overlake-Bellevue). Route 235 is listed as being provided with additional service. Unchanged will be routes 245 (Kirkland to Factoria) and 246 (Eastgate via Factoria).

Prop 1 would have allowed for a recently formed King County Transportation Benefit District to implement a one-tenth of a cent sales tax and a $60 car-tab fee. Low-income county residents would get a $20 rebate. Prop 1 was anticipated to generate $130 million in revenue, with 40 percent going to local road and transportation projects.

Metro service changes occur three times each year, meaning the first cuts, reductions and route changes will start in September, said Rochelle Ogershok with the King County Department of Transportation. Three more rounds of cuts and changes will occur in February, June and September of 2015.

Ogershok said the staffing cuts that will come with the cuts and reduced service have not yet been determined.

“If you have less service, you have less buses on the street clearly,” she said.

Without funding, the transportation benefit district can remain dormant. There has been no indication from King County Council that it wants to dissolve the district.

To see the reduction plan submitted by King County, go to this shortened link: http://1.usa.gov/1iN38t4.

 

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