Independence Day brings changes to transit schedules

June 29, 2012

NEW — 4:30 p.m. June 29, 2012

Issaquah bus riders should prepare for Sunday schedules on July 4 as King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit observe Independence Day.

The holiday schedule means many Metro Transit commuter bus routes do not operate. Bus riders should be sure to check the schedule for individual routes in advance of the holiday. Sunday fares go in effect on all Metro Transit routes July 4.

Due to many holiday events starting over the weekend and continuing through July 4, riders should check for bus reroutes in the Metro Online Alerts Center under the Construction & Events heading. Or, sign up for Transit Alerts to receive news about specific routes.

In addition, all Metro offices, including the Customer Information phone lines, close for holiday. When the Customer Information Office is closed, most transit information is available on Metro Online, or in the online Trip Planner.

Ditch $4-per-gallon gas on Dump the Pump Day

June 20, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. June 20, 2012

Regional public transit agencies joined forces to encourage commuters to forgo $4-per-gallon gasoline Thursday for Dump the Pump Day.

Sound Transit, King County Metro Transit and other agencies asked commuters to board buses, trains and ferries for the national event. Organizers said more than 560,000 riders already use regional public transportation services.

Metro is reaching out to riders on Facebook to ask how they plan to dump the pump. In addition, 10 people can win a Dump the Pump T-shirt and a regional ORCA card loaded with $10. Organizers plan to select participants in a random drawing June 25.

Commuters can use the American Public Transportation Association’s monthly transit savings calculator to determine the costs of driving versus using public transit. Read more

County accepts applications for Metro Transit board

June 19, 2012

Issaquah residents can apply to a King County board to improve transit services.

Officials need a King County Council District 3 representative for the King County Transit Advisory Commission — a panel formed last year to advise King County Metro Transit staffers, the county executive and County Council, local jurisdictions and local transportation boards.

District 3 stretches from Woodinville to Issaquah, and from Lake Sammamish to the Kittitas County line.

Members include residents, entrepreneurs and other people concerned about transit service in the county. Members must live in King County and at least half of the members represent disabled or elderly riders.

The executive appoints members and, after approval by the council, appointees serve two-year terms.

The county accepts ongoing applications for the board. Learn more about the panel, and find application information, at http://metro.kingcounty.gov/have-a-say/be-an-advisor.html.

Expect transit schedule changes on Memorial Day

May 24, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012

Issaquah bus riders should expect King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit scheduled changes Monday for Memorial Day.

Metro Transit operates on a Sunday schedule for Memorial Day. The transit agency is also offering special shuttle bus service Saturday through Monday to the Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center from the Northgate Transit Center and South Renton Park & Ride.

For Metro Transit service, if a bus route does not usually operate on Sunday, then no service is offered on Memorial Day.

Metro offices also close on the holiday, including the customer information phone lines. Use the Trip Planner for travel assistance.

Read more

King County Council to scrutinize proposed arena package

May 18, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 18, 2012

King County Council members intend to scrutinize a proposal to build a $490 million sports and entertainment arena in Seattle to determine if financing for the plan is feasible and if arena-related traffic could harm other businesses in the area.

County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, joined by investor Chris Hansen, a San Francisco hedge fund manager, on Tuesday announced agreements between the county, city and the ArenaCo investment group to govern financing for a proposed arena near Safeco Field.

The proposal heads to the County Council and the Seattle City Council for additional study.

The investment group intends to contribute $290 million to construction and more than $500 million to purchase a National Basketball Association franchise. Investors also hope to land a National Hockey League team for the arena.

Read more

County transit charge appears on vehicle tab renewals

May 15, 2012

Motorists in the process of renewing vehicle license tabs should notice a $20 charge authorized by the state Legislature and enacted by the King County Council last year.

The fee, billed as a Congestion Reduction Charge, is meant to prevent cuts to King County Metro Transit bus service. The county starts collecting the fee on June renewals sent out by the state Department of Licensing. The charge remains in effect until May 2014.

The renewal forms also include information for motorists to obtain tickets for eight free ride tickets on Metro Transit. The ticket incentive program is designed to build ridership.

Motorists must fill out a request form in order to receive the tickets. The value of the tickets also can be donated to a fund to support low-income residents relying on bus service.

Find information about the ticket incentive program and eligibility requirements at www.kingcounty.gov/metro/tip. Learn about the Congestion Reduction Charge at www.kingcounty.gov/metro/crc

Officials estimated the charge should generate about $50 million for transit service.

City, businesses celebrate Bike to Work Day on May 18

May 15, 2012

City leaders, local businesses and the Cascade Bicycle Club invite bicyclists to celebrate Bike to Work Day on May 18.

The city is hosting a Salmon Friendly Commute Bike Station at the corner of state Route 900 and Northwest Sammamish Road from 6-10 a.m. Bicyclists can load up on snacks and water bottles to help fuel their trips.

Pacific Bicycle Co., a Sammamish bike shop, also plans to be on hand to do small repairs and answer questions.

Then, REI, Costco and the city plan to host a barbecue for bicyclists at Lake Sammamish State Park’s rotunda picnic area from 4-6 p.m.

May is National Bike Month.

Bicyclists using King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit ride free through May 18. The offer applies to any Metro Transit bus or ST Express bus operated by Metro Transit, including routes 554, 555 and 556 from Issaquah.

Buses offer free rides for bicyclists during National Bike Month

May 8, 2012

May is National Bike Month, and to mark the occasion, bicyclists loading a bike onto local buses can ride for free.

Bicyclists using King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit ride free from May 14-18.

The offer applies to any Metro Transit bus or ST Express bus operated by Metro Transit, including routes 554, 555 and 556 from Issaquah.

Each bus has three spaces on a bike rack available on a first-come, first-served basis.

If the bus’ bike rack is full, cyclists should be prepared to wait for the next bus or consider leaving the bike parked in a bike rack at a transit facility.

Many Metro Transit and Sound Transit facilities also offer bike lockers.

Buses offer free rides for bicyclists during Bike Month

May 3, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 3, 2012

May is National Bike Month, and to mark the occasion, bicyclists loading a bike onto local buses can ride for free.

Bicyclists using King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit ride free from May 14-19.

The offer applies to any Metro Transit bus or ST Express bus operated by Metro Transit, including routes 554, 555 and 556 from Issaquah.

Each bus has three spaces on a bike rack available on a first come, first served basis.

If the bus’ bike rack is full, cyclists should be prepared to wait for the next bus or consider leaving the bike parked in a bike rack at a transit facility.

Many Metro Transit and Sound Transit facilities also offer bike lockers.

King County Metro Transit warns riders to expect delays

May 1, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. May 1, 2012

Issaquah residents commuting to or from downtown Seattle on Tuesday afternoon should prepare for delays, King County Metro Transit advised riders Monday.

Transit service — and all traffic — in downtown Seattle is likely to be delayed during the afternoon commute and into the evening due to a May Day march and other activities.

The transit agency alerted bus riders to prepare for transit service delays and possible reroutes. The changes could affect bus service on surface streets and possibly the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.

One march is planned to depart the Central District at 5 p.m. and travel along South Jackson Street to Fourth Avenue to the Wells Fargo Building on Third Avenue between Madison and Marion streets.

Read more

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