State transportation tour invites public comment

2013_0514_womanspeaksBus riders can share their views about transit and other transportation needs with Senate Transportation Committee members at public forums on Tuesday, Sept. 17 in Bellevue and Monday, Oct. 14 in downtown Seattle.

These “listening sessions” are part of a statewide tour hosted by the Washington State Department of Transportation. At least half of each meeting will be dedicated to public comment, and individual bus, train and ferry riders are encouraged to share their stories.

Where and when
Bellevue
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6-9 p.m.
Stevenson Elementary School
14220 NE 8th St

Downtown Seattle
Monday, Oct. 14, 6-9 p.m.
King County Courthouse, Room 1001
516 3rd Ave, 10th Floor
NEW LOCATION: Seattle First Presbyterian Church, 1013 Eighth Ave., Seattle

The forums are a follow-up to the 2013 legislative session. The legislature considered a transportation funding package but did not pass a bill.

 

Metro faces a $75 million annual shortfall next year, and without a funding solution, will have to begin major service cuts in fall 2014. Metro is planning up to 600,000 hours of service reductions – up to 17 percent of Metro’s service countywide – that would begin in September 2014. Public outreach about proposed reductions will begin this fall. Learn more about Metro’s funding and what’s at risk.

An additional 45,000 annual service hours will have to be cut from bus service in the Alaskan Way Viaduct corridor. State funding to reduce the impacts of the viaduct replacement project runs out next June, even though work on the new tunnel and waterfront improvements will continue through 2019.

Local elected officials and a coalition of community leaders are committed to seeking funding for transit and other local transportation needs as part of a statewide package.

County Executive Dow Constantine and Governor Jay Inslee recently issued a joint call for action on transportation. Inslee said that if legislators can hammer out a transportation package, he’ll call a special legislative session in November. Read the Governor’s statement.

Stay involved in this conversation by following our Metro Future blog category.

One thought on “State transportation tour invites public comment

  1. I would be very disappointed to see Metro have to further reduce its service levels. As a King County employee, I relied on Metro Transit (and then Community Transit) to commute to my job in downtown Seattle. I did this for 30.5 years. Since I am very environmentally conscientious, I have continued this habit since retiring in July, 2008. I never drive into the City for a single appointment; I take either Metro or Sound Transit instead. Keeping cars off the road goes a long way toward reducing greenhouse gases and preserving the environment into the future.

    I realize that all elements of government are having to try to maintain their mission while having less and less budget to fund it. I know that these are trying times for everyone. Yet, there is some room for hope as we see signs of a slow but consistent recovery.

    In the case of transportation funding, I believe that it is “penny wise, but pound foolish” to reduce transportation services in this part of the state. Reducing funding for public transportation will create more and more wear on our already overtaxed infrastructure. Reducing funding for public transportation severs a lifeline for the poor, disabled and elderly. Reducing funding for public transportation creates a severe burden for citizens who must commute to low paying jobs.

    King County and Washington State both express a deep commitment to environmentally sound practices. Reducing funding for public transportation belies that commitment. Surely there is some other way, if only those who have the power to make changes look for more creative ideas to stay ahead of the problem.

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