Post-election updates: Where Metro plans cuts, changes

That’s where King County Executive Dow Constantine says Metro will make the cuts to close the funding gap that remains after Proposition 1’s defeat (here are today’s updated results) and the Legislature’s failure to pass a transportation-funding package. As far as we can tell, it’s the same revised draft that was on the county website by Election Night, and featured in our coverage that night. In West Seattle, four routes would be deleted – 21, 22, 37, 57.

The county’s news release says the cuts will revert service to 1997 levels. An excerpt:

Following the defeat of Proposition 1, King County Metro Transit must move forward with its proposal to cut about 16 percent of transit service, steps required to reduce spending and balance its budget in light of the expiration of the temporary Congestion Reduction Charge and the lack of replacement revenues.

“We’ve worked more than five years to create efficiencies and take other steps to avert service cuts and keep the buses rolling for our riders, so it’s deeply disappointing to see this measure defeated. As a result, we must now move forward to reduce the system to match our revenues, as any enterprise must do,” said Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond. “We regret that many people who rely on Metro will lose service, be inconvenienced, or ride on more-crowded buses because of the service reductions.”

An online summary list shows the 72 Metro bus routes slated for deletion and the 84 routes that would be reduced or revised. Detailed route-by-route information will be updated online today as the service cuts ordinance is transmitted to the King County Council for action. The council is scheduled to consider the legislation in May and act by early June. If adopted, the service cuts would be scheduled to begin in September.

We’ll add links when the route-by-route information is available – we just checked a moment ago and it’s not on the county website yet.

5:24 PM: The route-by-route information is now available – here’s the starting page. Each “square” with a route number links to the information about that route. Note that the headings for each route’s info shows when the change/deletion is proposed. Routes 21, 22, 37, and 57 – the four to be eliminated in West Seattle – aren’t scheduled for deletion until September of 2015, according to this new information.

98 Replies to "Post-election updates: Where Metro plans cuts, changes"

  • Sean April 24, 2014 (4:46 pm)

    Wow, cutting out the 21 entirely will cut out a huge swath of West Seattle! It’s amazing really. I would guess that West Seattle will be the neighborhood most affected by these cuts, as more people cram onto the already full (C)rapidride or drive…Good luck West Seattle it’s been a really swell nine years.

  • Me mama April 24, 2014 (4:49 pm)

    So does that cut all service to beneath the bridge? As in the only “park and ride” we have in west Seattle????

  • Joan April 24, 2014 (4:53 pm)

    Yeah, really!! The 21 is the only line between
    Avalon and Morgan. That’s a lot of walking from now on! Not that I can’t use the exercise, but it basically sucks.

  • flimflam April 24, 2014 (5:06 pm)

    I would bet the cuts will be as visible and painful as possible to punish those who dared vote against prop 1.

    i’m guessing we’ll still see near empty buses operating some routes…

  • JanS April 24, 2014 (5:21 pm)

    the “people” spoke…or at least some of them did….and this is what they were asking for. Put the blame where it belongs, besides Metro…your neighbors seemed loud and clear on “no”, even if they weren’t fully educated on it, and were a bit selfish. Everyone wants top notch full service, but many of them don’t want to pay for it.

  • M April 24, 2014 (5:39 pm)

    People, service on 35th Ave SW is not going away. It’s being replaced by a re-routed 50. You just won’t be able to go downtown on one seat anymore. You’ll have to transfer to Rapid Ride C or get off at SODO Station and transfer to Link or another bus on the busway.

  • Chris W April 24, 2014 (5:40 pm)

    Thank you WSB. I keep getting emails from Metro saying “this route will not be cut.” But the emails don’t specify to which route they pertain & I signed up for email alerts for every bus I use near home, downtown, office, school, etc. About 15 routes I’d guess. So thanks!

  • Paul April 24, 2014 (5:43 pm)

    The 21 local will partially be replaced by a reroute/extension of Route 50 on the current 21 route south of 4th and Lander. Service will be less frequent and no more one seat ride to downtown.

  • sam-c April 24, 2014 (5:50 pm)

    Sept 2015? seems like a lot could happen between now and then. hopefully they find away to retain the deleted routes.

    I don’t know, the changes proposed for 128 could actually have me riding the bus MORE than i do now.

  • TBone April 24, 2014 (5:52 pm)

    Crazy. I wonder how much they could have saved by not building all of the ‘bulges’ at stops and clogging traffic. If they really need all of traffic to stop for busses they could have outfitted them with retractable stop signs like a school bus. Metro and all of King County is grotesque and run by idiots.

  • Bree April 24, 2014 (5:55 pm)

    Question: Why does Metro have to keep putting out the expense of building “bus bulbs” when money is needed elsewhere in the Metro system?

  • JEM April 24, 2014 (6:01 pm)

    If they are sticking with the previously announced plan, the deleted 21 will be replaced by a revised 50, which would serve Westwood village and then take Avalon on its way to sodo station.

  • Paul April 24, 2014 (6:03 pm)

    Here is information about the changes to Route 50:

  • wetone April 24, 2014 (6:03 pm)

    Yep King County Executive Dow Constantine will hit hard and spread the fear throughout, winner/whiner. Funny how they can start and promise more big dollar projects but can never find money for transit and maintaining the infrastructure we have. Because that is what they can go after us for instead of reorganizing their wish list and/or holding cost overruns down by doing their diligence. I like how all our cost/fees like utility, electric, permits and so much more are paid to the City of Seattle (general fund) then they divvy it out. City Light and SDOT will get new equipment every year millions of dollars worth much not needed but they got to spend what their given or they won’t get it the following year, funny how that works. Then it’s surplused off for a fraction of cost. Seattle Parks I won’t go there. We seem to have an open checkbook tunnel project and soon waterfront rebuild and why are we paying for that ? and then the new $525mil bike path plan ? where’s that money coming from ? but the city can’t find any money for Metro wow. Personally I think it would be great to have bike paths through out, but I think before our city starts something new maybe they should take care of what we got and really need.

  • West Seattle Hipster April 24, 2014 (6:07 pm)

    Until Metro can get it’s fiscal house in order, I think it will be awfully challenging for them to win an election. Extorting voters to bail them out is never a good plan.


    If Dow Constantine is a good leader, he and his team will find some creative ways to come up with funding. I understand that they implemented lean concepts for King County government, why not Metro?


    Does this mean 16% of bus only lanes will be open to all traffic now?


    Kevin Desmond must be replaced before I will vote for any more subsidies for Metro.

  • Militant Moderate April 24, 2014 (6:09 pm)

    This is what happens when Seattle voters turnout ~40% … The Alabama-parts of King County, where the KCGOP is influential, decide election outcomes.

  • Ron April 24, 2014 (6:09 pm)

    I Agree!!!! The nerve of people expecting the users of transportation to pay for it.

    How about raise fares?

    “Everyone” wants top notch service, but does not want to pay for it.

    Raise fares.

  • Gina April 24, 2014 (6:14 pm)

    Cut to 1997 levels of service? When the 55,56, 57 and 37 had service from 5:30am until 11pm? And weekend service? I’m missing something here.

  • old timer April 24, 2014 (6:22 pm)

    The 21 is to be replaced with a re-routed 50 that will not go downtown. So, it will be a 50 to transfer to the RR C at 35th & Avalon, or to transfer to Link LR at Lander.
    The 21EX will still run as it does now, although a few runs may be cut.
    Worse, the 128 route is completely butchered.
    High Point is cut off from Morgan Junction and both High Point and Morgan Junction are now 2 bus rides to Admiral Junction. The trade-off is service on the 128 to Alki area, but Morgan Junction is left with only the RR C for the ‘transit service’ basis that the no parking developments are permitted.

  • Jim Clark April 24, 2014 (6:24 pm)

    Is this smart management?
    According to the Seattle Times
    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.

  • John Q Lincoln April 24, 2014 (6:28 pm)

    The revised 50 will run on 35th from Roxbury to Avalon for those impacted by the 21 deletion.

  • monroe1200 April 24, 2014 (6:29 pm)

    WOW Jan! That sure is quite the arrogant thing to say about your neighbors. Just because someone voted different then you doesn’t mean they are uneducated or selfish, that to me seems like an uneducated selfish comment in all honesty.

  • W April 24, 2014 (6:37 pm)

    This is a bit confusing. Some of the routes supposedly remaining will change where they go entirely…so the only thing remaining is the number. And some of the deleted routes will be taken over by “revised” routes. The 50 looks like it will no longer serve Alki, but take over for some of the 21. Whereas the 128 will no longer serve north admiral, but serve Alki…

  • Wes Cider April 24, 2014 (6:48 pm)

    There will be some restoration of service when the state legislature passes a transportation funding package.

  • Smitty April 24, 2014 (6:50 pm)

    This is a classic “we’ll show them”, reaction.

    Problem is, it typically backfires. You really think these kind of decisions will make people vote YES next time? No way in hell, they have just proven their incompetence.

    The people that voted YES are the ones you are hurting the most.

  • JayDee April 24, 2014 (7:01 pm)

    I rode what was the 4:39 C bus from downtown today and it was SRO. But there was no more room. I guess the C is the loser here.

    The 56 gains more runs likely to makeup for the 37/57 cancellation. The 128 will replace the 50 in the Admiral/Alki area. I can only hope we get bigger coaches on the 56–the shorties are a pain.

  • Civik April 24, 2014 (7:03 pm)

    It’s funny how much of an emergency it is and cuts will be delayed longer than Bertha is out of commission.

    I appreciate all the talk of selfishness from those who want to take my money and spend it on a service I don’t use. Until the city changes its definition of ‘efficient’ from “Have we spent all the money?” to “Have we spent the money WELL?”, I will always vote no on any new taxes.

    It is selfish of you to take my money and throw it at Metro without finding out if they are spending it wisely.

  • Sukieg April 24, 2014 (7:09 pm)

    Just an FYI that route 11 is being replaced with route 50 and will run along 35th. But what’s bad is that it will not run very late nor go to downtown. It seems to be a hybrid of current 21 and 50. So for me, it’ll mean three buses instead of two to work: progress .

  • Jennifer April 24, 2014 (7:13 pm)

    Joan, it looks like 21 local gets replaced by 50 that will run down 35th Ave, so maybe it’s not as bad as all that.

  • Eric1 April 24, 2014 (7:15 pm)

    The “explanations” are pretty much one of two cookie cutter reasons with no real data. There will be replacement for the 21 with a revised 50 but, I’d rather have no bus service.
    The revised route 50 is punishment for all the complaining West Seattle does to Metro. Metro is connecting West Seattle’s high crime district (aka Westwood) to Seattle’s high crime neighborhood (aka Rainier Valley). Since the C-Line already connects Belltown and Downtown to Westwood, all we need is a bus from Pioneer Square to Westwood.

  • Seattlite April 24, 2014 (7:20 pm)

    King County voters voted NO. Desmond and Dow are punishing voters instead of solving the internal problems at METRO. METRO has collected millions from KC taxpayers and what do they have to show for the $. Shame on Desmond and Dow. Neither are leaders. If they were leaders, they would problem-solve by cutting/controlling costs, revisiting union contracts. Good for KC voters for wising up to the inept and inefficient politics going on in in their county.

  • DarkHawke April 24, 2014 (7:30 pm)

    If all we take from this ballot issue’s failure is that 55% of those voting were either stupid, selfish or both, I think we do our fellow King County citizens a severe disservice. Considering how rarely such tax propositions fail around here, I think this was a considered decision on the part of the “no” voters. They’re not buying the hype that Metro’s made all the cuts that they can, and they’re not buying the B.S. that the county government has no alternative but to cut bus routes.
    Does anyone REALLY think there’s no waste, mis-management or just plain STUPID spending going on in the REST of the King County government? Is there some edict carved in stone that keeps the Executive and the Council from re-prioritizing those misused funds towards Metro Transit? And if so, who carved it and why can’t it be changed? I thought that was why Metro was folded into King County government, so that it would be more responsive and representative of the people of King County.
    No, the challenge here is to hold Dow Constantine and Co.’s feet to the fire to find an alternative that doesn’t suck more money out of our wallets, and that might make King County government more efficient, effective and responsive to the real needs of the citizenry. Put THEM on notice to find a way to further mitigate (if not eliminate) these cuts, or face their own “service cut” come November!

  • pagefive April 24, 2014 (7:42 pm)

    I’m with MeMama. It’s ridiculous to eliminate the ONLY two routes that stop under the bridge. Many of us commuters use this as a park & ride. Metro really needs to consider revising the C line route to stop there before it heads onto the bridge.

  • shaner April 24, 2014 (7:51 pm)

    I don’t live in West Seattle, however I am there ofter. I live off of Dexter, the City spent millions putting in bus bulbs to make me wait behind a bus. They just eliminated both the 26 and 28 (the two routes that follow Dexter), I hope there is money to remove the concrete islands in the middle of the road that are no longer needed.

  • K April 24, 2014 (8:03 pm)

    I agree re: bus bulbs. And new bus shelters, and encouraging people to use the honors system to board rapid ride and lightrail (i.e. pay before entering on newly built fare stations outside of the bus). I’ve also never seen fare enforcement on Metro, they way I’ve seen it in other cities. I did mention the lack of fare enforcement in another thread–this just seems like common sense, and a quick way to collect funds!

  • wscommuter April 24, 2014 (8:13 pm)

    I am amused by the presumed “waste and mismanagement” on the County’s part … with no actual evidence or facts offered that it exists. Maybe it does – maybe it doesn’t; I don’t know myself.

    But since I don’t know, I don’t go shooting my mouth off claiming one way or the other. Others here seem to take a page from the talk-radio right wing playbook – just smear government without any details as a justification for “don’t take MY money”.

    I just shake my head at the ignorance.

  • Diane April 24, 2014 (8:14 pm)

    the Metro communications, email alerts; so ridiculous; they sent out a bunch at 5pm, with no bus routes listed; they just sent out the CLARIFICATION emails, including the bus routes
    Routes recommended for revision or reduction
    1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9X, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 21X, 24, 26X, 28X, 29, 32, 33, 36, 40, 50, 56X, 60, 64X, 65, 70, 71, 73, 75, 98, 106, 107, 111, 114, 116X, 118X, 118, 119, 121, 122, 124, 125, 128, 143X, 148, 156, 157, 168, 177, 181, 182, 186, 187, 193X, 197, 204, 208, 212, 214, 221, 226, 232, 234, 235, 236, 240, 241, 248, 249, 255, 269, 271, 311, 312X, 331, 342, 355X, 372X; DART 903, 907, 914, 915, 931.
    Routes recommended for deletion
    4, 5X, 7X, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 37, 47, 48X, 57, 61, 62, 66X, 67, 68, 72, 82, 83, 84, 99, 110, 139, 152, 154, 158, 159, 161, 167, 173, 178, 179, 190, 192, 200, 201, 202, 203, 205X, 209, 210, 211x, 213, 215, 217, 237, 238, 242, 243, 244X, 250, 260, 265, 277, 280, 304, 306X, 308; DART: 901, 909, 910, 913, 916, 919, 927, 930, 935
    Routes that will remain unchanged
    RapidRide A, B, C, D, E lines, 10, 15X, 17X, 18X, 41, 43, 44, 48, 49, 55, 74X, 76, 77, 101, 102, 105, 113, 119x, 120, 123, 131, 132, 140 (future RapidRide F Line) 150, 153, 164, 166, 169, 180, 183, 216, 218, 219, 224, 245, 246, 252, 257, 268, 301, 303x, 309x, 316, 330, 345, 346, 347, 348, 373X, 601X; DART 906, 908, 917

  • JayDee April 24, 2014 (8:29 pm)

    Please stop whining about: “I don’t ever use this ____ why should I pay for it?” You don’t. I don’t have any kids, yet (I bet) pay taxes for your kids education. That is how it works. Maybe your should pay more if you have kids, and I pay none…Great. Send me my rebate to pay for (fill in blank here).

  • Paul April 24, 2014 (8:30 pm)

    For those who haven’t noticed yet, Metro plans to add two 21X trips in the morning and two in the afternoon.

  • moose2 April 24, 2014 (8:35 pm)

    I don’t think any of the negative comments are valid.
    Just to address reasons why some people say that voted/will vote no:
    Metro is inefficient. Wrong. It has been thoroughly audited, see the Municipal League report. Any large organization will always have areas for improvement, and a blanket statement that Metro is always inefficient and never improves is wrong.
    Metro does nothing to control spending. Wrong. They eliminated over 100 management positions. Froze driver pay. Eliminated drive COLA increases. Negotiated more efficient operational practices with the driver’s union.
    Metro is making cuts specifically as painful as possible. Wrong. The cuts are painful because they have to cut 16% of all services. That will be painful for everyone.
    Bus bulbs are a waste. Wrong. Anyone who supports even more efficiency should strongly support bus bulbs, since they enable buses to travel a route faster and thus for lower cost. Bus bulbs improve efficiency.
    I don’t use the bus so shouldn’t pay for it. Shortsighted. Even if someone doesn’t use a bus, they benefit from traffic reduction from those that do.

  • amalia April 24, 2014 (8:36 pm)

    Let’s all get in our cars. How much you want to bet those people who refuse to vote in the interest of the community are the loudest whiners about traffic? People who ride the bus sacrifice comfort and convenience and make drivers’ commutes more bearable. See you on the road (from my single-occupancy vehicle)!

  • Wb April 24, 2014 (9:06 pm)

    Anyone want a house on 35th ?

  • Last53BusRider April 24, 2014 (9:26 pm)

    I just hope that the changes to routes 50 and 128 will include scrapping those beat-up little 30-foot buses! Drivers have told me they’ve sometimes had to do two coach changes in a single shift.

  • flimflam April 24, 2014 (9:50 pm)

    also again – all those in favor of prop 1 can and should still send their $60 (at least!) to metro immediately. that way you can really show metro how much you value their service!

  • amisell April 24, 2014 (9:52 pm)

    Seattle admin is now feeling the effects of forcing the tunnel down our throats, flubbing the monorail project out of existence, tolling 520 sinking in overruns, threatening to toll I-90 and other roads, delays and overruns on the light rail, geez… what else? People are hanging on to their $$ anticipating all the expensive failures looming ahead.

  • rickws April 24, 2014 (10:06 pm)

    This tax package was poorly done. Come to us with a better package and I’ll support it.

    Transportation systems are used by everyone directly or indirectly. The equitable way is to tax property. It makes residents and business pay. Don’t give tax breaks and you have a steady funding source.

    To the comment about the municipal league doing an audit. I would trust an audit only by the state auditor. The Municipal League does not appear impartial.

  • S April 24, 2014 (10:16 pm)

    I rarely take the bus but I voted yes. I also voted for Dow when he was elected. I’m voting no on both next time. Time to vote out incompetence.

  • WTF April 24, 2014 (10:29 pm)

    OK Metro-experts, help me out. How do those of us who will “used to take the 21” get from 35th to SODO district?

  • B-Check April 24, 2014 (10:41 pm)

    Thank you, Moose2. I actually do appreciate reading comments on both sides – I do think it is a fair argument to consider rate/fare increases, but really side with those who point out as a society we share costs for community assets (schools, library, parks, fire/police services, ROADS, etc.), whether we use them individually or not. I do find it odd though, having moved here from Arizona about 10 years ago – a state that is very right leaning and conservative, and paying much lower car tabs/fees here. With no state income tax and low car tabs, how exactly is the state supposed to pay for costly transportation infrastructure? I am also frustrated that “we” (not me personally) decided to fund the Bertha Tunnel fiasco (which the current situation really should not have been a surprise to anyone who considered the geography/geology/history of the proposed path), but seem less willing to fund other options for diversifying our transportation modes (like more Link routes, better bike infrastructure, or high-speed rail on a national scale) Ah well, just more reason for me to continue to bike commute to work – I have a paid ORCA card through work, but happy to let others use my seat, since it sounds like the C line is going to get even more crowded :(

  • clark5080 April 24, 2014 (10:53 pm)

    Contact the council members as they are the ones who approve or change them. TR could you contact Joe McDermott to see what his ideas are at possibly changing what is purposed?

  • ollie April 24, 2014 (11:39 pm)

    Might be time for some entrepreneurs to come in and privatize mass local transportation options…ala “uber”…since it doesn’t appear that Dow and company are even thinking about addressing the root causes of the Metro deficits. Unfortunately, I’m sure they’d create mega artificial barriers to make sure it can’t happen!

  • dsa April 25, 2014 (12:02 am)

    Clearly no one won with Prop 1. Gutting the system benefits no one.

  • JP April 25, 2014 (4:01 am)

    I voted “YES” and I hardly ever use the buses these days. I also only drive for long distances. I voted yes because

    – If they cut these buses, traffic jam will become more chaotic (esp. rush hours).

    – People may end up biking everywhere. I don’t mind bikers, but sometimes they could add up for having slow traffic on roads.

    – I know I’m somewhat helping other people who regularly commute by keeping their bus lines.

    – Less pollution.

    – Less traffic noises on residential areas.

    – More competition when finding parking areas.

    – I use the bus when I don’t want to drive (esp. going downtown Seattle where there are rarely parking)

    – You’re helping out little business and community for those costumers/guests they usually get via bus.

    Just a little thought I’d share.

  • Nick April 25, 2014 (6:18 am)

    Wow people are so misinformed. Yea bus bulbs are the reason for metro to cut service. Let’s privatize transit. Really look at there budget. They have been gutted by Tim Eyman iniattives over the years and have been deferring maintenance. I love how all these naysayers act like they are perfect money managers. I bet most of them have bad credit and don’t have any understanding of how a budget works.

  • Ebisu April 25, 2014 (6:31 am)

    It is interesting to see the polarization of our society dip down to the local level. Neither side wins, and neither side will ever agree with the other. There is no common ground of goodwill and public service, just position-based vitriol.

    I hold the state legislature — all of them —squarely responsible for this mess. Their inability to pass a transportation bill meant that the public had to vote on whether to fund an essential public utility. They have utterly failed by abdicating one of their primary responsibilities.

    Personally, I’m losing the 57, which leaves a huge swath of Genesee Hill without service – for the first time in many decades, I would imagine.

    My conclusion: we are trending downward.

  • anonyme April 25, 2014 (6:40 am)

    Some of the buses (like the local #21) have low ridership because Metro keeps changing the routes and schedules to make them as inefficient as possible – thereby finding an ‘excuse’ to delete the route.

    If the local #21 had been left alone and continued to make a modified loop through Arbor Heights, a ton of down time could have been saved while empty buses sit at Westwood. Nor is a #21 local needed every 15 minutes – no wonder ridership continues to drop. These routes and schedule changes are cooked up by armchair Bozos at Metro offices, who know absolutely nothing about the neighborhoods they ostensibly serve.
    I voted yes, but I can understand why Prop. 1 failed. People are fed up with inefficiency. The audits of Metro did not examine whether or not service was efficient, but rather if designated pools of money were spent in certain areas.

  • roxy April 25, 2014 (7:44 am)

    Federal grant money paid for bus bulbs and new RR buses. Smart move by Metro – new and FREE equipment. The conditions attached to the grant REQUIRED bus bulbs. Good grief neighbors.

  • amalia April 25, 2014 (7:46 am)

    Privatize transit? Ha! Turn it over to a greedy for-profit! I guarantee it would cost more. (I admit to a bit of pre-supposition because I was forced to rip people off when I worked for a for-profit – in the environmental field!! Shareholders and CEOs are greedy!)

  • WSRES April 25, 2014 (7:47 am)

    They will make it as painful as possible so when that ask for money again will will give, it’s like the cut education first routine

  • gatewood April 25, 2014 (8:15 am)

    Guess us poor schmucks living on Gatewood hill are out of luck. Not everyone can walk to Morgan street. Thanks Metro.

  • JoAnne April 25, 2014 (8:45 am)

    Here is an article with some hard facts about Metro’s profligate spending:

    There is plenty of evidence of failure. Those who deny it are likely from the public sector unions driving us into bankruptcy.

  • Community Member April 25, 2014 (8:45 am)

    “Cut to 1997 levels of service? When the 55,56, 57 and 37 had service from 5:30am until 11pm? And weekend service? I’m missing something here.
    Comment by Gina — 6:14 pm April 24, 2014 #”

    This is an important observation. Over the years, Metro’s definition of “level of service” has changed drastically. It used to mean that anyone could get from one place to another, perhaps slowly and inconveniently, but it could be done. Now “service” has come to be measured purely by how many people are carried.
    Of course if that is your measure of “level of service”, you have to delete neighborhood routes, and emphasize standing room only busses from dense urban villages to dense employment centers, even if funding is ample!
    Comparisons are being made to how we fund schools and fire departments even if we do not personally use them. Interesting point, but would we do that if the tax-supported public schools decide that the best way to have high levels of service is to only offer a public education to children living in certain neighborhoods? And we certainly wouldn’t support a fire department that said they were providing a high level of service by dropping service to all outlying neighborhoods!
    My opinion is that “level of service” should include some well-defined crappy base level of service that would be available to every address in the city, defined by something like being able to get from one place to another by public transit in some time period (3 hours?), with no more than, say, a 1/2 mile walk, and no steep hills. Some very low awful standard, that clearly nobody would be saying it is wonderful, but at least there would be a basic availability, and then you could have goals of improving it.
    You could do that, and still carry thousands of people to downtown jobs, by replacing routes such as the 37 with circulating small buses that would loop around and drop people at the Junction to transfer to the crowded buses. The water taxi shuttle route is an example that should be extended to ALL areas.

  • E April 25, 2014 (8:47 am)

    Here is detailed info about metro funding that is very informative:

    I know a lot of people have te impression that metro is mismanaged but the truth is their funding has been cut short due to the recession.

    Also if you look at this link regarding how people voted: Seattle was in favor!

  • DTK April 25, 2014 (9:05 am)

    I think I’ll buy a horse.

  • dsa April 25, 2014 (9:31 am)

    Property tax vote will pass in Seattle. Look at prop 1 results commented by E above.

  • supernova72 April 25, 2014 (9:46 am)

    And where does our 37.5 cent per gallon gas tax go? Just kidding–the general fund I’m guessing.

    The 50 has become the “short bus” so maybe it will become LARGER now.

  • James April 25, 2014 (9:47 am)


    Crosscut article you reference by John Carlson uses cherry-picked statistics. One that particularly stands out his his use comparing 36% inflation since the year 2000 with an increase for Metro expenses of 80%, and an increase in service of 20%.

    In that time one of Metro’s significant input costs – Gas to run the buses – went up 273%.

    You might expect that if service increased 20% that expenses might increase in the neighborhood of 20%. John Carlson doesn’t mention that an increase in service would cause an increase in cost. He just throws the numbers out there so we can all say that Metro has been inefficient because their expenses increased more than the average basket of consumer goods over that time.

    Metro is not consuming the average basket of goods. Their main expense for operations, like almost every business, is labor. After that gas is a significant portion of their operating expenses. There is no mention in the article that a good amount of the increase over inflation can be linked to a price increase that Metro had no variance power over. 273% increase over 14 years. Metro has to absorb that cost increase in their expenses, thus draggin up the % increase over the year 2000.

  • Moose2 April 25, 2014 (9:56 am)

    @rickws – Your comment is the perform example of how people who voted no seemed to do it based on biased opinions rather than reality. You said “To the comment about the municipal league doing an audit. I would trust an audit only by the state auditor. The Municipal League does not appear impartial.”
    Municipal league is impartial. But if you want a state audit, here it is:
    I repeat, once again, if you were opposed to prop 1 because of inefficiency, look at the facts. In the state audit report, Metro has completed five of the six measures recommended in 2010. There will also be room for improvement, of course, but you cannot just blindly be opposed to Metro because of some vague ‘inefficiency’ reason.

  • Moose2 April 25, 2014 (10:07 am)

    @JoAnne – you are quoting an opinion piece, which is highly biased. Please review the facts first. You said “Here is an article with some hard facts about Metro’s profligate spending:
    This, like all many opinion pieces, cherry picks the facts. Look at the first paragraph stating that Community Transit is boosting service because sales tax revenue is up. It doesn’t mention (except in passing much lower in the article) that Community Transit made huge cuts in the last couple of years (including canceling all Sunday service in 2011). Given huge cuts back then, they can increase service this year.
    The other facts are equally cherry-picked. Saying that costs have gone up more than inflation is an obvious bias – fuel cost inflation has been much higher than regular inflation, and metro costs have gone up much less than fuel inflation.
    If this piece had included the full facts, it would have shown a completely different story.

  • long time WS resident April 25, 2014 (10:43 am)

    I would be willing to pay higher property taxes if Metro would also raise bus fares to $5 or more per trip.
    The main reason Iuse the bus is to avoid paying daily parking fees downtown.
    The rapid ride is frequently standing room only and at times I am really do not feel very safe at the bus stops downtown and on the bus too

  • K April 25, 2014 (10:52 am)

    That’s for the laugh, Nick. Some good humor “their” man.

  • Charles April 25, 2014 (11:32 am)

    I chose to live in the city in part for transportation options, including biking. My options to bus from my home to key destinations (work, downtown and airport) have greatly diminished, so I drive or cab almost everywhere. I would support an initiative that increased transportation options and road quality w/in the city. I find it harder to believe in supporting access to the remoter parts of the county.

  • clark5080 April 25, 2014 (11:50 am)

    Rapid ride money came from a federal grant. When does that grant run out and are we going to be in deeper trouble in the near future?

  • clark5080 April 25, 2014 (11:54 am)

    Found my own answers

    Funding for RapidRide

    Voters launched RapidRide when they passed the Transit Now initiative in November 2006. Some Transit Now funding for RapidRide comes from the sales tax in King County, and some comes from special partnerships with cities, employers, and other organizations that will benefit from RapidRide service.

    More recently, Metro has been successful in obtaining state and federal grants to help fund the program.
    In Seattle, the Bridging the Gap initiative, passed in November 2006, will help fund traffic signal and roadway improvements. These modifications are critical to improving transit travel times and schedule reliability.

  • NMWS April 25, 2014 (12:02 pm)

    So…do they want us to use public transportation more or not? Do the city wants more cars on the road instead? I’m all confused!
    Perhaps they are just saying it, but they don’t really mean it. Typical!

  • Sarah April 25, 2014 (12:11 pm)

    Raise bus fares to $5 per trip? I’d have to quit my job. $50 per week is impossible on mimimum wage

  • a. April 25, 2014 (1:09 pm)

    If a SEATTLE property tax is passed for a KING COUNTY bus system, you better believe I will be one of the first people to call this out in court.

  • a. April 25, 2014 (1:10 pm)

    Well, Sarah. If you are working a Minimum Wage job, you could probably find one closer to where you live so you wouldn’t HAVE to take a bus.

  • zark April 25, 2014 (2:27 pm)

    @ a. – that is perhaps one of the most insulting posts I have ever read in comments here on WSeablog.

    Unbelievable. People who work minimum wage should now walk because you’re a deadbeat who refuses to pay you own way? You may just want to contemplate hermitism.

  • AmandaKH April 25, 2014 (2:29 pm)

    @Moose – Just for the record, a Performance Audit is not a fiscal audit. In January, when the WSTC asked Chris Arkills about a fiscal audit, he said one had been conducted by King County – hardly seems impartial. And I still haven’t seen the document.
    @long time – It’s been proven that if you raise fares, less people ride the bus. It’s self defeating
    @a. – The money raised by Seattle in this initiative, would go to providing Metro service within the City of Seattle. It’s in the language of the initiative that was just released.
    @supernova – pretty sure the gas taxes are mandated to go to roads only.
    The important lesson here is that Seattle is an island in a State that punishes our progressiveness by withholding money. Things like schools and transportation have been hijacked. It’s completely unfair, and this initiative is an awesome first step into Seattle’s independence from the tyranny of the rest of the state.

  • West Seattle since 1979 April 25, 2014 (2:49 pm)

    a., the Seattle property tax they’re proposing is for Seattle service only. And you don’t know where Sarah lives–maybe there are no businesses within walking distance of her home. Maybe she can’t afford to move right now.

  • zark April 25, 2014 (3:18 pm)

    @a. – Aren’t you the one who’s been posting since December that you’re SO happy you’re moving because you hate West Seattle SO much? I have a great agent if you’re having a hard time selling. I’d be happy to help you relocate.

  • West Seattle since 1979 April 25, 2014 (3:22 pm)

    Community Member, I agree! IIRC, they changed “level of service” to mean how many people carried after one of the audits that some people seem to believe didn’t even happen, or needs to happen again. I think they thought that basing level of service on number of people carried would be the best use of limited funds.

    But the way you mentioned would really be better–maybe if there is ever a more stable source of funding for Metro something like that could be implemented. Of course then you’d probably have people complaining about seeing a bus at 2 pm with only one passenger.

  • maplesyrup April 25, 2014 (3:30 pm)

    Clearly Metro isn’t taking enough steps to be efficient. People who complain about a lack of space on the bus just aren’t being creative enough. We could try the Mexico City approach, right?

  • DarkHawke April 25, 2014 (5:42 pm)

    If Carlson’s opinion piece isn’t to your liking on this subject, how ’bout the Seattle Times? No conservative bastion there, they seem to think that Metro needs some reforms as well:

  • Eric1 April 25, 2014 (6:36 pm)

    I like the idea of funding routes for Seattle, but like all things that Seattle funds on its own, King County will soon stop providing any service in Seattle. They will still collect their sales taxes on Seattle residents but put make Seattle pay for ALL their routes on Seattle property tax funds.
    I would support the breakup of King County Metro and let King County fend for itself. Much like there is Everett Transit and Snohomish Community Transit. I would fully support not having anything to do with King County transit. At least we have a City Government that we elect and responds to the needs of the city. If we took the 0.9% of sales in Seattle, we should have more than enough money to fund Seattle Metro.
    Metro budget per year $500 million and if 50% is Seattle routes, it comes to $250 million. Metro estimated that the Proposition 1 0.1% sales tax would generate $50 million. So if 50% is generated in Seattle, it comes to $25 million. A 0.9% sales tax would generate 9X as much so $225 million might break even. Of course it is back of the napkin stuff but I would guess it would work as the city already pays more into Metro Transit than it receives.

  • Moose2 April 25, 2014 (6:38 pm)

    @Sarah: “Raise bus fares to $5 per trip? I’d have to quit my job. $50 per week is impossible on mimimum wage”.
    Raising fares is often counter-productive. It hurtsmost those that need the service the most (poor, disabled, etc). It also reduces the number of riders, leading to more car traffic.
    Prop 1 (the failed initiative) addressed the fare issue by adding a low income fare ($1.25). It also halved the car tax increase to $20 for low income car owners.

  • Moose2 April 25, 2014 (6:40 pm)

    @AmandaKH – thanks for the update, I look forward to seeing the fiscal audit. I was addressing in general that belief (apparently held by some that voted no) that Metro has not been audited or is massively inefficient.

  • amalia April 25, 2014 (7:47 pm)

    Uh, beg to differ… Seattle Times IS quite the bastion of conservative thinking, like it or not, Darkhawke.

  • AmandaKH April 25, 2014 (8:35 pm)

    @Moose2 – My heart is a little broken by West Seattle today.

  • Jim P. April 25, 2014 (11:54 pm)

    I’d just like to give a hearty “thanks” to all those who drive and voted to give the finger to blind and handicapped people who can’t drive and are totally dependent on public transit. We *really* appreciate knowing what you think of us.

  • Wedjat April 26, 2014 (1:16 am)

    This is not some kind of “punishment”, it is the consequence that has been planned all along. If there is no funding, then this happens. And if you voted no, then you get to see the consequence and how it affects your own commute, road maintenance, and all kinds of things…

    Particularly a problem for an isolated area like West Seattle. My, I wonder what happens when people stop wanting to buy houses here.

  • A April 26, 2014 (8:26 am)

    Hey Zark, Do you really think there is only one “A” on here?! No, that wasn’t me but this is and it’s nice to know I have a follower on this stupid blog. And yes, the move is coming soon! I can’t wait! By the way, get a life.

  • DarkHawke April 26, 2014 (7:13 pm)

    @amalia: The Seattle Times? Conservative?! Compared to what, Pravda? The Stranger? Does Fidel Castro share your opinion? Name for me the tax measure that they’ve drubbed recently, or the Republican and/or conservative candidate the paper has endorsed. The Times may not be as radical as you’d like it to be, but they’re not conservative by a LONG shot.

  • Ian Richards April 26, 2014 (8:38 pm)

    From Ian Richards to King County Metro

    Dear, King County Metro I Know your Cuting Metro

    Routes 66 and 67 From Northgate to the Uw District

    I Don’t Wnat That to happen Because I Take The

    Routes 66 and 67 But if you are Deleting Routes

    66 and 67 I Think They Shuld Be Replaced By

    New Routes From Northgate Transit Center to

    UW District Down Roosevelt to Downtown Seattle

    But My Question is are There going to be New

    Routes From Northgate Transit Center to UW

    Down Roosevelt to Downtown Seattle When you

    Receive my Email Could you Email me Back at Thanks Ian Richards.

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