King County Metro Transit offers discounted tickets to homeless people
September 24, 2012
NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 24, 2012
King County Metro Transit is poised to offer more than 41,000 additional subsidized bus tickets to community service groups.
Officials said the human services bus ticket program offers critical support for homeless people by providing a means to get to jobs, medical appointments, shelters and other services.
Funding for the program came in a mass transit package approved last year by the King County Council. The funding for subsidized tickets augments the $1.8 million Metro Transit already contributes each year for discounted tickets.
The package approved by the council imposed a $20 vehicle-tab fee to forestall a 17-percent reduction to mass transit countywide.
“The cost of bus tickets is prohibitive to our clients who have little, if any income at all,” Leslie Miller, client services director for The Sophia Way, a nonprofit organization serving homeless women in East King County, said in a statement. “Without bus tickets, clients are often forced to choose between accessing critical services such as shelter, case management and medical appointments, job interviews and school.”
The incentive program enables each King County household registering a vehicle to either receive eight Metro free ride tickets or donate the tickets’ value to the Human Services Reduced Fare Bus Ticket Program.
The program started collecting funds in June and plans to continue through May 2014.
Established in 1993, the program provides transportation assistance for homeless and low-income residents of Seattle and King County. Local agencies pay 20 percent of the tickets’ value and Metro Transit contributes the remaining 80 percent.