King county to host three public hearings on planned Metro cuts

A series of three public meetings has been set to receive testimony on planned cuts to King County Metro Service, including a meeting in Renton.

Metro and county leaders have been working for more than five years to reduce costs and achieve stable funding to preserve transit service. However, given their current finances and the failure of a new funding measure that was rejected by voters, Metro no choice but to reduce service levels to balance our budget.

County Executive Dow Constantine recently sent the County Council a proposal to delete 72 bus routes and reduce or revise another 84 routes.

This proposal is now being reviewed by the Council, whose Transportation, Economy and Environment (TrEE) Committee will host three public hearings beginning next week:

Tuesday, May 13: Union Station (Ruth Fisher Boardroom) 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle;

Thursday, May 15: Bellevue City Hall (City Council Chambers) 450 110th Ave. N.E., Bellevue; and

Tuesday, May 20: Renton Pavilion Event Center 233 Burnett Ave. S., Renton.

All three meetings begin at 5:30 p.m.

In addition to hearing public testimony at these events, the Council is accepting online testimony via a web form from residents who can’t come to a hearing.

Without new funding, Metro had limited flexibility to make changes to the proposal, but public participation helped Metro develop minor modifications that they say will minimize impacts on riders.

Examples include maintaining service on Route 245 through the Bellevue College campus, continuing service from the Tukwila Park-and-Ride to First Hill on Route 193 Express, and keeping service on Route 7 to Upper Rainier Beach during peak periods.

The Council plans to make a decision about the proposed service reductions by June 9.

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