Monday, December 9, 2013

Neighborhood Bus Service Slated To Be Eliminated Next Year

Metro's funding gap equals bus cuts

Bus service in the neighborhood may soon come to and end unless Metro is able to find stable funding thus Metro must plan now for major service cuts in absence of funding.
Metro Bus Route 25 that serves Laurelhurst is proposed for deletion because "it is one of the lower performing routes in Metro’s system, and there is alternative service available for most riders" using  use revised Route 65 or Route 75, which will remain unchanged. 

In May of this year,  the route was reduced from every 30 minutes to once per hour. If the route is completely cut, the nearest bus stop could be up to a 30 minute walk for some neighbors. 

A Downtown Seattle Service Reduction Public Meeting is taking place tomorrow from noon-2pm at Union Station (401 South Jackson Street). The meeting, which will be an open house format, is an opportunity for the community to talk with Metro staff about the service reduction proposal. There will also be a shhort, interactive presentation and small group discussion from 1-1:30 pm.
Throughout Seattle eighty percent of transit service would be affected - 74 routes would be deleted, 107 routes would be changed and 33 routes would become more crowded.  About 55,000 rides per day could be lost as Metro would revert its service to its 1997 level.

On November 7, Metro released a proposal that details its drastic service reductions that will start next year. Over the past five years, Metro has already cut costs, raised fares four times and  in addition,temporary funding authority from the state, as well as reserve funding will expire in June and may not be extended. The plan once short term funding end in June is available here.

"After all we’ve done, we have no options left that would generate enough to close the sizable gap ahead," Kevin Desmond, General Manager of King County Metro Transit, said in a letter last month.
To voice your concern about this latest proposal email or take Metro’s service survey.
The King County Council will make a final recommendation in spring 2014.

For more information on the cuts and how to provide feedback go here.

Here are comments from a concerned Laurelhurst resident:
The 25 route (Laurelhurst-Downtown) should be retained. This route was running every 30 minutes in the recent past and has now been reduced to once per hour.

It is the only bus serving the Laurelhurst neighborhood and is important to many residents, who will be left far from the nearest bus stop if the 25 is deleted (up to 30 minutes of brisk walking - impractical for seniors or disabled).

It is true that ridership is fairly low in off-peak hours, but the principle of providing at least minimal service to a neighborhood should override this. This is something of a vicious circle: one reason for the lower ridership is the infrequent service.

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