King County Council delays Metro Transit fee decision

August 2, 2011

By Staff

King County Council members listened to testimony from dozens of bus riders July 25 before delaying a planned decision on a measure to stave off cuts to Metro Transit service.

The council plans to discuss the issue again Aug. 15 — a day before a crucial ballot deadline.

The steepest proposed reduction in Metro Transit service could eliminate Route 200 in Issaquah and Route 927, a link between downtown Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau, as early as next year.

Metro Transit faces a $60 million budget gap due to a decline in sales tax revenues. In order to close the gap, transit planners need to trim 600,000 hours from bus service — or 17 percent — through 2013.

County Executive Dow Constantine proposed the $20 vehicle-tab fee — billed as a congestion-reduction charge — for 2012-13 to generate funds for Metro Transit. If the fee is not enacted, Metro Transit plans to start widespread service cuts in February.

Council members could send the measure to voters on the November ballot or enact the fee outright. The deadline to place measures on the November ballot is Aug. 16.

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