King County Metro Could Cancel Nearly 30 Percent Of Bus Routes

Apr 1, 2013

King County Metro released more details Monday about possible cuts to bus service next year. The agency says almost a third of its routes might be eliminated.

Ongoing budget woes are forcing King County Metro to consider slashing its bus service. Metro is grappling with less sales tax revenue and it’s anticipating the end of a temporary funding source.

The agency released a first draft of possible reductions, which includes plans to cancel 65 routes and reduce service on 86 other ones.

Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond predicted an unpleasant ride. “Those routes are going to be more crowded,” he said. “You may not be on a route now that may be targeted for reduction, but more people may be needing to access your route and therefore that route is going to become more crowded.”

Another thing that could become more crowded is the street. Metro says fewer people would take the bus if the cuts go into effect. The agency predicts that could lead to as many as 30,000 additional cars on the road every day.

Metro says it will continue to look for ways to reduce costs. Desmond adds that Metro has raised fares already — four times since 2000.

The cuts are far from certain. King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn have asked state lawmakers to come up with new funding sources for Metro. Those sources could be part of a gas tax increase or a new vehicle tax that would be based on the value of a driver's car.