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

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 delve into $490 million arena proposal

May 22, 2012

King County Council members intend to scrutinize a proposal to build a $490 million sports and entertainment arena in Seattle to determine whether 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 May 16 announced agreements between the county, city and the ArenaCo investment group to govern financing for a proposed arena near Safeco Field.

Construction could start after a professional basketball franchise is secured for the arena. Moreover, the public investment could drop if backers cannot secure a professional hockey team for the facility.

The amount of public support is capped at $120 million if organizers secure only the basketball franchise. The total could rise to $200 million if a hockey team is added to the equation.

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

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.

Citizens can comment on long-term plans for business district

April 17, 2012

Citizens can comment soon on a historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead.

The draft Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

The city is in the midst of a key environmental study for the 915-acre business district, or Central Issaquah. The council is poised to decide on the proposal as early as July. In the meantime, the municipal Planning Policy Commission plans a public open house and public hearing on the draft environmental study April 19.

Read more

State orders businesses to stop collecting expired sales tax

April 3, 2012

Consumers should scrutinize bar and restaurant receipts a little more closely, after state officials said some establishments continue to collect a long-expired King County sales tax.

The county used the revenue from the half-percent sales tax to pay for Safeco Field construction, but the tax expired Oct. 1. In the meantime, the tax on food and beverages at bars and restaurants remained in place at many businesses.

“Short of auditing every business, we don’t really know whether they collect it or not, but our sense is that it’s pretty widespread,” state Department of Revenue spokesman Mike Gowrylow said March 30.

King County bars and restaurants should collect the state and local sales tax rate of 8.6 percent to 9.5 percent — not 9.1 percent to 10 percent. Issaquah is inside the Sound Transit taxing district, so consumers pay 9.5 percent. (The regional transit authority collects a 0.9 percent sales tax.)

Read more

Presidents Day means Issaquah closures

February 15, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Feb. 15, 2012

Presidents Day means closures and schedule changes Monday.

King County Metro Transit operates on a weekday and no University of Washington schedule for the holiday.

Sound Transit buses operate on a regular weekday schedule for Presidents Day. Sound Transit customers can also sign up to receive Rider Alerts via e-mail or text message for specific services and bus routes.

Metro Transit also offers Transit Alerts to update riders about inclement conditions, road construction and other service changes.

The city, county and state close government offices in observance of the holiday. In addition, the Issaquah Community Center and Julius Boehm Pool close for the day.

State liquor stores also remain open for the holiday.

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