Friday marks last day of Metro's 'Ride Free Zone'

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by Web Publisher

KING5.com

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:21 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 28 at 7:15 AM

Poll:
End of Seattle's ride-free zone: Good or bad?

SEATTLE -- Metro's Ride Free Zone is about to end, but even if you never step foot on a bus, your commute could be chaos Friday.  A pair of protests has the potential to create gridlock in downtown Seattle.  

Facing budget cuts, Metro Transit is eliminating the Ride Free Area, ending decades of hopping on a bus for free in the city center.

Beginning Saturday, the ride that's cost nothing for nearly 40 years will cost $2.25.  King County hopes that will add up to about $2 million in fares annually.

Advocates for the poor and homeless say the changes will hurt those who can afford it the least. 

Riders upset by the change are planning a funeral march tomorrow for the Ride Free area between 3:30-5:30pm along 3rd Avenue.  

They say they will stay on the sidewalk, but the city warns, traffic between Westlake and the County Courthouse could be impacted.

A bike protest, part of what's billed as an international bike blockade called "Super Swarm" say they will block intersections and cripple traffic.

One gathering will start at Occidental Park in Pioneer Square and another at 5:30pm leaving Westlake Park.

 

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