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Task force to review Metro Transit’s data-driven service guidelines

Summary

Building on the award-winning effort that created the foundation for allocating regional bus service in King County, a panel of regional leaders this week will begin a review of King County Metro’s transit service guidelines.

Story

Building on the award-winning effort that created the foundation for allocating regional bus service in King County, a panel of regional leaders this week will begin a review of King County Metro’s transit service guidelines.

King County has used its service guidelines in transit planning for several years. The Service Guidelines Task Force will revisit how the guidelines measure transit performance, evaluate geographic and social equity, and address financial policies for contract services and alternative transit services.

“Three years ago our first Regional Transit Task Force developed guidelines for allocating transit service, based on productivity and fairness, to meet the needs of the entire county,” said County Executive Dow Constantine. “In the spirit of continuous improvement, it’s time to hone these guidelines, to make sure we are delivering the most service to the most people and communities.”

“Our transit service guidelines are fundamentally sound,” said Council Chair Larry Phillips, “but as we grow and change, it’s appropriate to reflect on how we measure and manage transit service. With the County Council’s support, this task force will focus on whether there is room for further refinements.”

Metro plans and manages its transit service in King County based on the strategic plan and service guidelines adopted by the King County Council in July 2011. Those guidelines grew from the award-winning Regional Transit Task Force, which forged a regional consensus around allocating transit service using objective, data-based guidelines.

For its effort, that panel earned the prestigious James R. Ellis Regional Leadership Award from the Municipal League of King County. The success of the original Regional Transit Task Force was due in part to collaboration by King County, partner cities, regional decision makers, and diverse stakeholders. The Service Guidelines Task Force will use this same approach to develop recommendations for further improving the regional transit system planning.

The first meeting of the Service Guidelines Task Force is 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4. Meetings are open to the public and will include a public comment period at the end as well as an opportunity to submit written comments.

Meetings are typically from 4-7 p.m. on these dates and at these locations (See online calendar for latest info):

  • March 4, King Street Center, 201 South Jackson St., Seattle – Eighth Floor Conference Center
  • April 1, Bellevue City Hall
  • April 30, Bellevue City Hall
  • May 21, Bellevue City Hall
  • June 3, Bellevue City Hall
  • June 16, Location TBD 

The Service Guidelines Task Force is expected to submit a report with its recommendations for changes to Metro’s service guidelines to the King County Executive and King County Council in July. Metro, Executive Office and County Council staff members will work over the summer to translate the recommendations into proposed policy changes. Updates to the Metro’s strategic plan and service guidelines are expected to be transmitted to the County Council in December.

The Service Guidelines Task Force will do this work in the first part of 2015 so that it can influence development of both Metro’s long-range plan, scheduled to be complete by mid-2016, and its Service Guidelines update, scheduled to be complete by April 2016. Metro is coordinating its long-range plan development with regional planning efforts being undertaken by Sound Transit, the Puget Sound Regional Council, local jurisdictions and stakeholders.

About the task force
The Task Force includes 31 executive-level representatives of a variety of organizations and constituencies across King County. Members are not necessarily transit experts, but are familiar with how the transportation system affects quality of life and with transit’s relationship to land use and mobility.
Membership includes a mix of elected officials representing jurisdictions across King County and representatives of business, labor, major institutions, human and social services, large employers, environmental groups, King County’s Transit Advisory Commission, mobility advocates, and the Puget Sound Regional Council.