Potential harm to downtown economy and social service safety net
StoryMetropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn today released a letter calling on Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and County Executive Dow Constantine to take another look at how eliminating the Ride Free Areas in downtown Seattle will negatively affect both businesses within the corridor as well as low-income riders who depended on the service as their main means of transportation.
“You have two very different groups who have come to depend on the Ride Free Area,” said Dunn, chair of King County’s Regional Transit Committee. “For the businesses within the Ride Free Area, it’s an important economic tool. For the homeless and low-income residents who get to their appointments using the free buses, it can be a literal lifesaver. We should review what damage will be done to both communities by ending this service.”
In the letter, Dunn reminds the Mayor and Executive of the unanswered questions that are part of cutting the 40-year old Ride Free Area. He’s asking both to conduct an economic study to examine the impacts of the removal of the service and to determine whether or not the Ride Free Area should be restored.
Dunn said, “If a study reveals that the elimination of the Ride Free Area service actually hurts our downtown economy, we should take steps to bring it back.”