Riders come out in droves against cutting Metro bus routes

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 12, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 13 at 9:59 AM

SEATTLE -- Bus riders packed the King County Council chambers Tuesday night, concerned and angry over drastic proposed cuts to Metro Transit.

Cuts are required to overcome a $60 million deficit. Under the proposed reductions, several routes would be canceled and scaled back. To see the complete list of proposed route cuts, click here to visit Metro's website.

According to Metro, the gap is so large that 600,000 hours of annual bus service over the next two years would have to go -- the equivalent of cutting all weekend transit service or all weekday commuter service.

The King County Executive Dow Constantine has proposed a temporary $20 car licensing fee, called a "Congestion Reduction Charge." If approved by the King County Council, it would help close the deficit over two years. The council needs just 6 votes to pass the fee without a ballot measure, and a simple majority of 5 votes to put it on a ballot.

Councilmember Reagan Dunn opposes the fee, saying Metro must live within its means.

A student group at the University of Washington, ASUW, recently came out in support of the $20 Congestion Reduction Charge, saying it would help save Metro routes, which thousands of UW students rely on.

Another measure they will vote on would reduce Metro by 100,000 hours beginning in February 2012.

Another similar meeting will be held at the Burien City Council Chambers on July 21.

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