Eastside riders wait for bus cuts

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 23 at 6:37 PM

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- If you want a parking place at the popular eastside park and rides you better get there early. By mid morning most spots are taken.

Rider Shadia Doud drove to one in Bellevue at about 10:30 a.m.  She was reduced to stalking passengers who got off arriving buses.

“I will rush for a passenger coming down and then I will take their spot as soon as they leave,” said Doud who takes the bus to work every day. She said even if her route is cut or trimmed she will find a bus somewhere.

Eastsiders are in love with their buses. They pack new parking structures the minute they are opened and many bus routes are standing room only throughout the morning commute.

The Eastside is also where the strongest opposition to failing Proposition 1 is based. Members of the Eastside Transportation Association (ETA) decorated popular roadways with ‘No On Prop 1’ signs which posted the proposed car license tab increase of $60.00.

ETA spokesman Dick Paylor, said the group has never been anti-transit but he said riders, not drivers, should be asked to pay more. He added that Metro could reduce cuts by reducing pay and benefits to drivers and other employees. Comparisons show Metro drivers are among the highest paid on the West Coast.

King County officials said the eastside service reduces traffic jams on the two Lake Washington bridges and that is a benefit to drivers and riders.

They are expected to announce their list of routes to be cut or reduced later this week.

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