Access service hours to change this September

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Beginning Sept. 30, Access Transportation will no longer provide early-morning and late-evening service in Enumclaw, Black Diamond, Carnation, Duvall, Milton, North Bend, Sammamish, Snoqualmie, areas around the edge of Vashon Island, the southernmost part of Snohomish County (within 1.3 miles of the King County border), and parts of Tacoma and Edgewood in Pierce County.

We will still provide service between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. in all of the areas listed above that are in King County. Service in Pierce and Snohomish Counties will only be provided in areas around Metro bus routes. Transfer trips will not be affected by this change.

Why is this change being made?

Metro provides Access service as an accommodation for those who can’t use regular Metro bus service, so Access service is linked to the routes and hours of regular service. We’re changing the hours of Access service in certain areas to more closely match the hours when our regular bus service is available there.

After a 2009 audit of Metro’s performance and efficiency, we’ve taken a number of steps to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The audit required us to find ways to reduce Access service while still complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and keeping the impact on Access customers to a minimum.

Who will be affected?

This change will affect 8 percent of our Access customers. On May 6, we will send a letter to each customer who will be affected, including a table listing that customer’s specific trips that will be affected and times when each trip can still be made after Sept. 30.

We will also send letters to popular destinations in areas that will be affected by this change. If you or your organization do not receive a letter, most likely you are not in the affected area.

No one is losing service completely. This change reduces only the hours when service is available. Access customers will still be able to travel to the same destinations, but they may need to schedule their trips for different times.

However, we cannot promise that customers will never lose Access service. Access is based on regular Metro bus service, and Metro changes bus routes from time to time. As long as there is regular Metro bus service in the area, Access customers will still have service.

When Metro makes major changes to bus service, we always provide an opportunity for public comment on those changes. And if changes are planned that will cause customers to lose Access service entirely at some time in the future, we will provide advance notice and involve the public in our decision-making process.

How is Metro helping customers prepare for this change?

Staff members are available to answer customer questions and hear their concerns. We’re working with community access transportation (CAT) providers to see if they can provide service during the hours when Access will no longer be available. We’re also reaching out to destinations affected by this change to see if they might be interested in becoming CAT providers to make up for lost service.

What you can do

Since service will still be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in affected areas, customers can prepare by adjusting their schedules to take their trips within those hours. This may mean talking with medical providers or employers about changing regularly scheduled trips so they fit within the new service hours.

Questions or concerns

Please use our online comment form to tell us what you think about this change. Comments received by May 24 will be provided in a report to the King County Council.

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One thought on “Access service hours to change this September

  1. Pingback: Reminder: Access service hours to change this month | Metro Matters

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