City makes Route 200 bus service a priority

June 1, 2010

By Staff

Expanded bus service to the Issaquah Highlands and Talus will be a priority when the City Council finalizes the budget for next year.

City leaders last week reaffirmed a plan to expand King County Metro Transit Route 200 to the urban villages.

The city, highlands developer Port Blakely Communities, the Talus Residential Association and the Timber Ridge at Talus retirement community joined to fund the Route 200 service. But budget cuts last year prompted the city to delay the planned expansion until 2011 in order to save money in the short term.

The agreement calls for the city to contribute about $235,000 per year for Route 200 service.

The earlier plan called for the line to expand to the highlands and Talus in September 2010. The council approved the expansion in December 2008.

Until then, buses circulate along Route 200 through downtown Issaquah and on to North Issaquah, where buses stop at the Pickering Place and East Lake Center retail complexes.

Council Transportation Committee members endorsed a measure May 27 to treat the expansion as a high budget priority for 2011. City department chiefs will begin drafting the budget soon, and Mayor Ava Frisinger will present the proposal to the council by mid-October. Then, the council launches into weeks of deliberations to tailor the final budget before approval in late December.

Transportation Committee members also requested for Metro to incorporate the Swedish Medical Center campus under construction in the highlands into Route 200.

The city, Port Blakely and Timber Ridge requested the expansion be delayed until 2011, but Talus residents called for the expansion to proceed.

“As there is a current transportation need within the Talus community that will continue to grow, the association desires service to commence as soon as possible,” Terrie Stedman, Talus Residential Association president, wrote in a May 4 letter to Metro.

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