[nfbwatlk] Transportation Package

Jacob Struiksma lawnmower84 at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 8 08:22:41 UTC 2013

Nov. 7, 2013
A painful proposal: cuts when we should be growing
Today I announced a proposal to cut up to 17 percent of Metro's service if
no new funding becomes available. The proposed reductions would touch more
than 80 percent of Metro's bus routes, eliminating 74 of them and cutting
trips or making other cost-saving changes to 107 more. About 55,000 rides
per day could be lost as our service would revert to its 1997 level.
We don't want to make these drastic reductions. They would hurt Metro
riders, our economy, and our quality of life. Cuts would be especially
painful now: According to our service guidelines, we should be growing by 
percent just to reduce crowding on our buses, keep them on schedule, and
deliver the amount of service needed today. With Metro's ridership growing
toward a record high, we should be investing even more for the future.
Unfortunately, we have no choice but to plan cuts. Metro faces a $75 
annual shortfall after the two-year Congestion Reduction Charge and our
reserve spending end next June. Our reduction proposal also deletes the
extra service we're providing to ease congestion caused by the Alaskan Way
Viaduct project. State funding for this service ends in June as well, but 
seeking an extension so we can continue to help hold off gridlock in and
around downtown Seattle.
As the Great Recession and slow recovery have depleted the sales tax 
we depend on, we've acted on every opportunity to cut costs or boost
revenue, saving or gaining $800 million to keep our system nearly whole.
Many of our financial reforms will bring ongoing benefits, and we continue
looking for new efficiencies-by participating in the Lean program 
by Executive Constantine, for example. But after all we've done, we have 
options left that would generate enough to close the sizable gap ahead.
One thing we can't change is our funding base, which relies too heavily on
unreliable sales tax revenue. We're encouraged by Gov. Inslee's decision 
convene a special legislative session that will consider transportation
funding. Authorization of new local funding tools for transit would give
King County voters an opportunity to avert, or lessen, the cuts I outlined
this morning. But legislative action isn't certain, so we have to continue
preparing for service reductions.
With today's announcement we're launching a robust public outreach 
I invite you to learn more about the proposed cuts and what they would 
for you. You can find plenty of information at
www.kingcounty.gov/metro/future, or come to one of the many community
meetings we'll be holding around the county in the next three months.
Our proposed changes are based on our service guidelines, which help us 
the best use of diminished resources. We're also interested in hearing any
ideas from the public for reducing impacts on riders, serving more
customers, and still cutting the necessary amount of service.
We'll submit a final proposal to the County Council by next April.
Many things could change over the next weeks and months. I'll keep you
informed and hope you'll stay involved in the public discussion about 
Kevin Desmond, General Manager
King County Metro Transitwww.kingcounty.gov/metro

King County, WA . 500 Fourth Avenue . Seattle, WA 
From: "Prows, Bennett (HHS/OCR)" <Bennett.Prows at HHS.GOV>
Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 2:49 PM
To: <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Subject: [nfbwatlk] Transportation Package

Jacob has been telling us all along that the transportation package is 
considered. Now that the Governor has cleverly gotten it considered along
with the rest of the Boeing package, we need to contact our legislators to
strongly encourage their adoption of a comprehensive transportation 
to include public transit. When metro came out with its cuts today, it
became apparent that if we don't get involved, we the blind may be sitting
at home after 6:00 P.M. Night life? What's that?  Call the hot line at
1-800-562-6000 to urge your legislator to support transportation.

I'm Bennett Prows, and I approved this message. It's nonpartisan, so as a
federal employee I can do this.  (grin.)

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