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Metro cuts again threaten routes 41, 67, 73, 77EX

Posted by Mike on April 1st, 2013

Riders of Maple Leaf’s popular bus routes need to heed today’s announcement that a potential $75 million shortfall could doom the 77EX express route to downtown, and cut back on at least six other routes – the 41, 67, 66EX, 68, 73 and 373EX.

The cuts would take effect for 2014. A full list of the routes affected, and other background information on why, can be found here.

This last came up two years ago, in almost identical fashion. The shortfall then was plugged by a special vehicle licensing fee that expires after two years. Renewing it will require action by the state Legislature.

Over Metro’s entire system, 65 routes – including the 77EX – would be eliminated if the funding can’t be restored.King County/Metro and numerous cities have asked the Legislature for local transportation funding tools.



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10 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 John Parnell // Apr 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    ALSO note : the Route 373, the bus that goes down 15th NE to the UW is slated for “Reduction or Revision”. It is already crowded and limited in number of trips. Ouch.

  • 2 Soox // Apr 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    April Fools!

  • 3 Terry Parkhurst // Apr 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    When the license tab fees were passed by the King County Council, without a vote of the people, part of the way of mitigating the insult of not allowing a public vote, was by saying the tax was “temporary.” I doubt anyone actually believed that.

    What will likely happen is that the legislature will allow King County’s council to extend that increase in the license tabs, maybe even at a higher rate. Some on the council will pretend they want a public vote, until the last minute; and then, a majority on the council will pass it into law – same as before.

    It’s become the so-called “new normal” in King County. Don’t worry, service will likely remain the same, at least for routes in Maple Leaf.

  • 4 Tim // Apr 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Terry, the tab fee cannot be renewed without a public vote.

  • 5 Terry Parkhurst // Apr 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    According to the April second Seattle Times (“Without taxes, Metro warns of big cuts”), House Bill 1959 would allow the Metropolitan King County Council to enact – or send to the ballot – a motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) of $150 per $10,000 of vehicle value, to be split 60 percent for transit and 40 percent among county and city roads. And a $40 car-tab fee could be imposed by cities or counties.”

    I believe the word “imposed” implies “without a vote (of the people).” If HB 1959 passes, guess we’ll find out.

    Editor: Here’s a link to the bill.

  • 6 Jim // Apr 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    It seems that Terry has forgotten basic high school civics class. Last I checked, the Seattle government was a representative democracy. The city council and mayor are both elected by and beholden to “The People”, so the whole notion that Seattle can “impose” a tab fee without the say of “The People” is a spurious argument. Don’t want a hike in the tab fee? Write your representative and/or vote against them.

  • 7 dhsea // Apr 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Exempt!

    My car is now classed as a “Farm Tractor”!
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.04.180

    Whenever I drive the kids around, I’m doing “husbandry” duty!!

  • 8 dhsea // Apr 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    OK, I’ll quit be a smart-ass.
    I ride the 77 every morning. It’s a commuter bus as you know. I ride it by choice, AND it’s the right thing to do. At $2.25 each way, even with a full bus, that’s only ~ $130. That can’t be even close to breaking even. OK, I know busses aren’t a profit center, but I’d bet that a lot of you commuters out there would be willing to pay more for our commuter routes?

  • 9 Simon // Apr 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I agree with Jim that it is perfectly reasonable for democratically elected bodies to raise taxes or fees. We can boot representatives out of office if we don’t like it. Constantly having public votes on every little dime and nickel is a huge waste of time and resources.

    I would also like to make the point that public subsidization of transit is the whole point to public transit; anyone who doesn’t understand this also needs a civics refresher. Governments subsidize things they want to encourage. Bus usage reduces congestion and pollution; this is desirable and a common good, so transit gets subsidized. Raising the ticket price now and again is obviously also necessary, but elected governments can and should raise taxes to subsidize transit so long as it remains desirable and a common good.

  • 10 Concerned Citizen // Apr 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Simon, who determines what is desirable and a common good ? Sounds like you enjoy being a Metro freeloader. I think you should walk to work. That is what is desirable and a common good for me. After this fiscal crisis passes at Metro there will another one and then another one, and so on ……..