Preserving Metro Transit Service

Mayor Murray announces transit proposal to preserve Metro bus service

To preserve Metro bus service in the City of Seattle and along key inter-city routes, Mayor Murray is proposing a transit funding plan, expected on the November 2014 ballot. Through the following two revenue sources, the plan would generate $45 million per year:

  • $60 vehicle fee: Approximately $24 million per year
  • 0.1% sales tax: approximately $21 million per year

Of the $45 million:

  • $40 million would be used to preserve the vast majority of service that would otherwise be cut in second, third, and final rounds of cut during 2015
  • $3 million would establish a Regional Partnership Fund to partner with key suburban cities and employers to maintain cross-jurisdiction routes
  • $2 million would establish a $20 low-income vehicle fee rebate

The first round of Metro service cuts are scheduled to occur in September 2014. Because this funding plan cannot be approved in time to avoid first round cuts, the Mayor plans to reallocate existing SDOT funds to retain night-owl service hours that would be lost.

Funding could be phased out starting in 2016 if new regional revenue is approved in 2016.


Full Metro cuts would impact more than 110,000 Seattle boardings, or approximately 55,000 people, per average weekday.

The Mayor’s  City of Seattle funding measure would prevent significant impacts on nearly 100,000 of those boardings.


The City of Seattle will partner with other cities, employers, and King County to preserve key peak hour service. Partners will identify their top priorities for protecting Metro routes that connect suburban residents with Seattle employers and institutions.

The City of Seattle will contribute up to 50% toward the cost of partner services. Partnerships might center on peak-period commuter routes to Seattle such as (examples only):

  • Bellevue, Issaquah: Route 215, I-90 to Downtown via Eastgate
  • Kent: Route 158, East Hill to Downtown
  • Lake Forest Park, Shoreline: Routes 304 and 308, Richmond Beach and Horizon View to Downtown via I-5 and N. 145th Street
  • Renton: Route 167, Renton Transit Center to University District


Under this plan, King Country Metro would collaborate with the City of Seattle to finalize use of funds and recognize the City’s authority to allocate funds, while the City recognizes the need to honor Metro’s Service Guidelines with flexibility to address specific demands.

Metro would commit: To continuing efforts to improve efficiency, to minimizing the amount of capital and overhead included in cost per service hour, and to the pre-cut plan of replacing the entire electric trolley bus fleet with modern electric trolleys.

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