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Metro service cuts certain after voters reject Proposition 1

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on April 24th, 2014

The King Country Transportation District Proposition 1 was rejected by voters this week. After the second count of ballots on Wednesday, Proposition 1 is behind with 54.5 percent of voters voting no.

According to King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County must prepare for reduction of Metro transit services starting this fall.

“We gave the voters a choice, and presented a proposal for saving Metro Transit and maintaining our roads. They have chosen a reduced level of service, and we will carry out the will of the voters. Tomorrow I will transmit legislation to the King County Council to reduce service by 550,000 hours and eliminate 72 bus routes,” says King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Here in Ballard, as we reported on Monday, now that the measure has failed, Metro will be cutting and reducing many routes that service our neighborhood (click on image below).

According to Metro’s website, local routes 61, 62 and 28 will be cut entirely and routes 17x, 18x, 28x, 29, 40, 44 and the D Line service will be reduced or revised.

metroprop1

“The defeat of Proposition 1 means King County will make the adjustments necessary to ensure that Metro Transit provides service with the funding that’s available,” says County Council Chair Larry Phillips, chair of the King County Transportation District (KCTD).

If approved, Proposition 1 would have implemented a $60 vehicle fee and increased the King County sales tax by 0.1%. The revenue from the increases would have been directed toward maintaining Metro Transit bus service at its current hours and supporting road repair and maintenance.

Now that the proposition has been rejected, starting in September, Metro will eliminate 72 bus routes and reduce or revise another 84 routes around the city to maintain service with reduced revenues.

The County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee will be hosting a series of special night meetings to receive public comment on the Executive’s proposed legislation. The My Ballard team will keep readers informed of the details of the meetings when they are known.

With the failure of the proposition, local group Friends of Transit has proposed a Seattle-only property-tax initiative that would raise $25 million dollars a year for six years at a tax rate of $22 per $100,000 of property value.

According to our news partners at The Seattle Times, the group is the set to file the initiative by the end of this week.

Executive Constantine commented on the announcement of Friends of Transit’s initiative in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

“We welcome and encourage efforts that would protect bus service and avoid major disruption to our riders. Unfortunately, in the near term, we will still need to transmit major service cuts if Proposition 1 fails,” says Executive Constantine.

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18 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Sam // Apr 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Yawn. Voted no and will vote no again in November.

  • 2 Dave M // Apr 24, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    To be clear, King county chose to make these cuts, not voters. Like any good tax supported, manipulative government, to get more money, they chose to redirect funds away from services that would tug at voters heart strings in hopes they would re-fund those services as a separate initiative. Over the long run, not falling for these traps will cause King county to be more fiscally responsible because they know voters won’t be tricked by this sort of behavior. Sadly painful for now.

    This coming from someone who rode the bus for 7-years and finally gave up due to service unreliability.

  • 3 Guest // Apr 24, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Maybe if the average bus driver didn’t earn over $100K plus a lifetime of massive pension benefits.. Ludicrous and unsupportable..

  • 4 DrewJ // Apr 24, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Seattle strongly voted for Prop 1, with Ballard’s legislative district saying at least 63% “Yes.” (The 43rd district voted for Prop 1 with at least 78%!)

    At least it looks like there’s a backup plan for Seattle, with Friends of Transit leading the way.

  • 5 DrewJ // Apr 24, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    @Guest, less than 1% of bus drivers earn 100k+. In order for drivers to make that much, they have to work a lot of overtime and holidays. The top pay for most drivers is $63,000 before overtime, and with overtime, the average pay is $66,000.

    Please don’t make up numbers.

    (See here for salary info: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023383046_ballotmetrocostsxml.html)

  • 6 Sam // Apr 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    After riding the Rapid Ride D one time I knew I’d never vote another dollar to Metro. What a joke. Only Metro could call something “rapid” that is, in fact, slower.

    But hey,they blew millions on shinny new expensive buses, fancy new shelters for the hobos and wifi that connects at speeds I haven’t see since 1995.

  • 7 lynn // Apr 24, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Well, since Seattle supported funding Metro I sure wish they would leave Seattle routes alone and make the reductions to those cities that voted it down. I don’t support tying transportation funding to property taxes, so honestly I’m not sure I would vote yes on that.

  • 8 Profile photo of Christina Christina // Apr 25, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Metro is now saying the 17X line will NOT be revised in this round of service cuts.

  • 9 Erik // Apr 25, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Goodbye, Route 28. You were my front steps connection to downtown, Bumbershoot, sports games, concerts, and light rail. You will be missed.

  • 10 Profile photo of jj jj // Apr 25, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Every time metro wants to get rid of a line, the 28 is always on their list. Either it’s not used as much as I thought it was, or someone important lives along that line that they want to play politics with.

  • 11 Sam // Apr 25, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    “Goodbye, Route 28. ”

    Why goodbye? They’re simply combining it with the 28x, cutting out duplication of the 5 above 103rd st and eliminating the dexter detour of the local. Still goes down 8th, gets on 99 at 39th now.

    http://metro.kingcounty.gov/am/future/PDFs/changes/route-028x-apr14.pdf

  • 12 Sam // Apr 25, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    This is exactly the kind of efficiency, eliminating the 28, replacing it with the 28X, that Metro should have done before this “crisis” hit. Now voters are forcing them to be efficient.

    So your bus will still be there but now you get downtown faster. Boo hoo.

  • 13 Kylek // Apr 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Clearly Seattleites support more/better bus service and the county does not. Prop 1 is passing by a landslide in Seattle and the progressive Seattle only option will pass by more.
    The only question is: Why is KCM rushing to cut service we are obviously going to preserve in November?

  • 14 guesty // Apr 25, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    KCM is rushing to make cuts to show everyone that the sky is falling and to punish voters….

  • 15 Kylek // Apr 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Maybe, maybe they just havent taken in the implications of Seattle’s support yet.

  • 16 Profile photo of jj jj // Apr 25, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Some of us take the 28 to Fremont/Dexter… which wouldn’t do us much good if it got to downtown so efficiently.

  • 17 Sam // Apr 25, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    You can still take the 28 to Fremont it will stop at 39th. To get to Dexter, you transfer.

    Or do we need buses to everyone’s doorstep?

  • 18 mdlaslo // Apr 28, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I love how the bus driver pulling $50-$100K bothers everyone but not the CEOs pulling $25MM-$2BB. “But you can CHOOSE not to buy from the CEO”. Oh, really? Tell me how I can CHOOSE not to use $30,000/mo cancer drugs.

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