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REMINDER: Metro’s Final Meeting On Cutbacks Is At City Hall TONIGHT

REMINDER: TONIGHT (Thursday, July 21st) is Metro Transit’s final public meeting on possible cutbacks, to be held at Burien City Hall starting at 6 p.m.

Metro has proposed a two-year, $20 car tab fee hike to try and avoid cuts to its transit service, which is facing a $60 million budget shortfall.

“The recession-driven decline in the sales-tax revenues that supports public transit leaves the Council with two choices – ensure interim funding to continue service at current levels, or face the reality of cutting 17 percent of bus service by the end of 2013,” reads a press release. “As a result, four out of five bus riders would walk further, wait longer, stand on the bus—or at the curb as fully loaded buses pass them by.”

Staff from King County Metro Transit will outline possible cutbacks to bus service across the county – some of which could begin as soon as February, and several of which would cut bus routes in the Burien area – at this third and final hearing.

More information about the proposal is available online at: www.kingcounty.gov/metro/future [1].

NOTE: The City of Burien wants our Readers to know that people attending this hearing should NOT park in the City Hall/Library lot. “Parking is available on nearby vacant lots and streets,” reads a note on their website [2] (and yes, we see the irony in this as well…).

Here’s more from a Metro press release:

If Metro must cut service by 600,000 annual hours over the next two years, there could be many impacts countywide. Not only would bus riders have less service, but more people are likely to return to driving in the absence of frequent and convenient service, leading to increased traffic congestion for all commuters.

Thursday’s hearing is expected to attract residents, employees, and business owners from across South King County. More than 700 people attended the Seattle hearing on July 12.

Many of the service cuts being considered for neighborhoods and bus service in South King County would involve deleting entire routes or reducing the frequency of service. Some examples are:

  • Eliminate routes: 110 (Renton), 129 (Tukwila), 133 (Burien), 134 (Burien), 139 (Burien), 152 (Auburn), 157 (Kent), 158 (Kent), 159 (Kent), 161 (East Kent), 162 (Kent), 173 (Federal Way), 175 (Federal Way), 179 (Federal Way), 196 (Federal Way), 901 (Federal Way), 908 (Renton), 910 (Auburn), 912 (Enumclaw), 913 (Kent), 914 (Kent), 916 (Kent), 918 (Kent), and 919 (Auburn);
  • Reduced frequency: 101 (Renton), 107 (Renton), 111 (Renton Highlands), 125 (White Center), 148 (Fairwood), 150 (Kent), 156 (SeaTac), 166 (Des Moines), 169 (Kent/Renton), 903 (Federal Way), and 917 (Auburn);
  • Eliminate weekend service: 155 (Fairwood/Southcenter) and 186 (Auburn);
  • Eliminate evening service: 187 (Federal Way) and 903 (Federal Way).

There are other routes countywide under consideration for elimination, reduction or revision. While they may not travel through South King County, many of those other routes are important connections for bus riders and do affect the overall traffic congestion at both the neighborhood and regional level.

The service change legislation that has been submitted to the King County Council includes some specific actions to take effect next February, such as: elimination of routes 129 (Tukwila), 134 (Burien), 175 (Federal Way), 196 (Federal Way), and 912 (Enumclaw); and reduced service on 139 (Burien).

For more information, visit www.kingcounty.gov/metro/future [1].

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