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.
“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.