Next steps for the congestion reduction charge

Courtesy Ned Ahrens, King County

We’ve received a lot of questions about the current status of the congestion reduction charge and the next steps in the process. Here’s a quick summary of the actions the King County Council has taken and the decisions on the horizon.

On June 20, the County Executive asked the Council to act on three proposed ordinances:

  • Impose a two-year congestion reduction charge of $20 to help fund Metro Transit operations and prevent major transit service cuts in the 2012-2013 biennium (2011-0288).
  • Approve a Congestion Reduction Plan, a prerequisite for Council action on a congestion reduction charge (2011-0287).
  • In case the congestion reduction charge is not approved, approve Metro service cuts to begin taking effect in February 2012 and direct Metro to plan for reducing bus service by an additional 500,000 service hours in the 2012-2013 budget (2011-0289).

After holding four public hearings, the Council is scheduled to take final action on the congestion reduction charge ordinance at its August 15 meeting. The Council has two options for implementing the charge: vote to enact it or send the proposal to the November general election ballot.

As for the second ordinance, the Council adopted the Congestion Reduction Plan at its July 18 meeting, paving the way for adoption of the congestion reduction charge.

And the service reduction ordinance remains in the Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee (TrEE). Once the outcome of the congestion reduction charge is known, the TrEE Committee will send a recommendation to the full Council for its consideration.

Important decisions will be made in the coming weeks. Although the Council is no longer taking public testimony on the congestion reduction charge ordinance, the August 15 meeting will be open to the public.  To stay informed, sign up to receive our Metro Matters email updates, attend the upcoming August 15 Council meeting, or watch it live on Channel 22, KCTV.

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