King County Metro Transit could be forced to eliminate 65 bus routes and reduce service on 86 others if the state Legislature fails to approve new revenue sources this session, said King County Executive Dow Constantine.
"These cuts could mean more crowded buses and longer waits for commuters," Constantine said. "The transit cuts could affect up to 17 percent of the total service provided by the 217-route system, according to a report compiled by Metro."
Two years ago, Constantine worked to convince the King County Council to approve a temporary two-year Congestion Reduction Charge (CRC) to fully fund the transit agency, but the authorization for that charge will soon expire.
The Legislature allowed King County alone to assess the CRC based on the agency's extensive efforts to cut transit costs, including major financial reforms, fare increases, schedule efficiencies, wage freezes and reductions in staff.
King County has joined with the Sound Cities Association and the city of Seattle to lobby the Legislature for a package of state and local funding tools for transit and roads maintenance.