350,000 service hours to be cut; hard work ahead
StoryAfter today’s unanimous vote from the Metropolitan King County Council on the compromise plan to adopt service reductions for Metro Transit, Council Chair Larry Phillips, Council Vice Chair Joe McDermott, and Councilmembers Dave Upthegrove and Larry Gossett released this statement on the final proposal:
“We all want to keep buses running. Cutting service will impact our communities – and our economy. Yet we have an obligation to live within our means; it’s what voters told us to do in April.
“The legislation approved today was developed in the spirit of compromise and meets our need to better align costs with revenues by authorizing 350,000 hours of bus cuts. Despite some claims to the contrary, our economy is recovering – but slowly. The latest revenue forecast confirmed that Metro’s financial situation has not vastly improved. In fact, it’s slightly worse.
“Our Council has a long history of working together to keep buses rolling. We’re pleased that after a month of political games, we’ve arrived at today’s compromise with leadership from Chair Phillips and Executive Constantine.
“In the coming months, Metro will prepare for cuts in September and February. The cuts authorized by today’s vote will be made based on Metro’s Strategic Plan which was unanimously adopted to keep politics out of route decisions. Metro will also complete another outside audit initiated by the Executive, to continue the County’s work to make sure our department is running as efficiently as possible.
“This legislation is not perfect. But we have a bus system to run, and the people of King County deserve some certainty about whether their bus will continue to serve them. It is time to move forward.”