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King County Executive
Dow Constantine

County considers expanding cost-effective transit options for local communities


Executive Constantine, County Councilmembers, and mayors say King County Metro's Alternative Services Program would use less-expensive shuttles, vans, and other options to keep people moving.


Vanpool_groupKing County is considering an expansion of its successful Alternative Services Program, to enable Metro to team up with local cities and communities on development of better transit service in areas of the county where traditional fixed-route bus service cannot be operated cost-effectively.

The proposed expansion of the Alternative Services Program would address reductions and limitations in the current fixed-route network by offering cities and communities several options, including customizable shuttles or vans, ridesharing options and community hubs.

The Executive's Proposed 2015/2016 Biennial Budget announced this week includes $6 million over two years for cities and communities to consider some combination of funding, staff, volunteers, or facilities for operation of targeted transit operations.

This program builds on the successes of Metro’s existing alternative services programs that include Vanpool, VanShare, and Community Access Transportation (CAT). In 2013, Metro demonstrated the first community level alternative service project in the Snoqualmie Valley, which created an innovative public/private community shuttle to replace expensive higher cost fixed route service.

This program is an example of how Metro continues to find ways to move more people in a more cost effective way, tailoring localized service while maintaining a broader transit network.

Metro is moving forward to cut transit service beginning on Sept. 27. Additional transit service reductions have been proposed by Metro for February 2015 and March 2016. Communities where service has been reduced or revised can consider options within the Alternative Services Program to provide replacement service where it works best.

The County Council plans a number of public hearings on the Executive's proposed budget and will adopt a final King County Budget in November.

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In some places it doesn’t always make sense to run a 40-foot bus on a traditional fixed route with infrequent trips. Working in partnership with those communities, this new toolbox of alternative services can tailor innovative and cost-effective options that are more responsive to specific local needs.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

As soon as I learned that the Route 139 was on the chopping block, I asked Metro to find some sort of alternative for people in Gregory Heights and Seahurst. This proposal is an affordable solution that might just work better for those who need transit services the most.

Dave Upthegrove, King County Councilmember

I’m pleased that King County Metro has worked to provide transportation options for areas that have been particularly hard hit by recent service cuts. I’m looking forward to seeing the implementation of the community shuttles, right-sized services, VanPools, Rideshares, and other alternatives that will be helpful to the people of Snoqualmie.

Kathy Lambert, King County Councilmember

We are working to make Metro Transit into a national leader on innovative transportation options for our residents. These creative proposals are a down payment on a flexible, nimble, customer-driven future in our region that leverages public and private partnerships to maximize convenient mobility.

Rod Dembowski, King County Councilmember

We are looking forward to working with King County Metro and other partners to provide crucial service for our residents and businesses, including Highline Medical Center.

Lucy Krakowiak, Burien Mayor

We all need to move quickly to mitigate the impacts of the deep cuts in our community by encouraging riders to use alternative services and by building upon Metro’s recent creative partnership with the Snoqualmie Valley Shuttle system. These resources will give us the opportunity to restore connections to the regional system in a more cost-effective manner.

Matt Larson, Snoqualmie Mayor

For more information, contact:
Jeff Switzer,, 206-550-7041
King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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