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King County Metro bus service faces 17 percent cut
It was only two years ago that King County enacted a $20 "congestion reduction charge" on vehicle tabs in order to stave off service cuts and reductions for King County Metro bus service.
With the charge set to expire in 2014, the county is again looking for ways to combat a potential $75 million annual budget shortfall for Metro beginning in 2014. If no solution can be found, Metro is indicating that a 17 percent cut to overall services — or 600,000 hours of service — will be necessary.
"We are at a crossroads. As demand continues to increase and the economy improves, we should be increasing service and providing more transportation services," King County Metro general manager Kevin Desmond said in a press release. "However, unless we obtain new funding, we will put plans in place this fall to begin reducing service in 2014."
If some measure cannot be found to alleviate the anticipated budgetary shortfall, Metro is already outlining the routes that might be eliminated entirely or will see significant changes.
According to King County Metro's data, about 6,000 people are served on a daily basis in the Federal Way area. For Federal Way, a total of 11 of the 19 routes that serve the city could be either eliminated or reduced/revised.
Those Federal Way-area routes facing potential elimination include:
• Route 173: Federal Center South, Duwamish Boeing, Midway, Star Lake Park and Ride (P&R), Redondo Heights P&R, Federal Way, and the Federal Way Transit Center.
• Route 179: Downtown Seattle, Federal Way Transit Center, Twin Lakes P&R
• Route 190: Downtown Seattle, Stadium Station, SODO, SODO Station, Star Lake P&R, Redondo Heights P&R
• Route 192: Downtown Seattle, Kent-Des Moines P&R, Star Lake P&R
• Route 197: University District, Kent-Des Moines Freeway Station, Star Lake Freeway Station, Federal Way Transit Center, Sea-Tac Mall, Twin Lakes P&R
Federal Way routes that could see reductions/revisions:
• Route 177: Downtown Seattle, Stadium Station, SODO, SODO Station, Federal Way/S 320th Street P&R
• Route 181: Twin Lakes P&R, Sea-Tac Mall, Federal Way Transit Center, Supermall, Auburn Station, Green River Community College
• Route 182: Federal Way Transit Center, Sea-Tac Mall, South Federal Way, Northeast Tacoma
• Route 187: Covers Federal Way Transit Center, S 320th St, SW 320th St, Twin Lakes
• 901 DART: Federal Way Transit Center, West Federal Way
• 903 DART: Federal Way Transit Center, West Campus, King County Aquatics Center