In the event that the State legislature doesn’t pass a transportation package that would restore funding for King County transit service, Metro has proposed a 17% reduction (600,000 service hours) in service effective in the fall of 2014 (see video below). The proposed service cuts to NE Seattle, which are significant County-wide, have been characterized by the Seattle Transit Blog as “possibly the most dramatic in the proposal…” Over the last five years, Metro has weathered the economic downturn which has so drastically impacted their budget through temporary “congestion reduction” funding authorized by the legislature, raising fares, delayed capital investment, and streamlining inefficient routes. But, the County is now forecasting a $75 million annual budget shortfall.
These service reductions would effect many routes throughout Wedgwood and NE Seattle more broadly. Metro’s proposed changes for NE Seattle are shown HERE ON THIS MAP and are summarized, to the best of our ability, as follows:
- The 71, 72 and 73 routes would be folded into one route that snakes north from downtown to Northgate, via the University District, Ravenna Boulevard and Roosevelt Way.
- The current 71 route would turn into an hourly, daytime-only feeder route between NOAA and 65th St.
- The 72 would be folded into the 372. o Service on 15th Ave NE, currently served by today’s 73, would be reduced to peak hours only via the 373 and 77.
- The 66 and 67 routes would be eliminated; meaning north of Roosevelt, there would be no service on 5th Ave NE.
- The 68 would be eliminated.
- The 74 would remain during peak hours, but the 30 would be eliminated altogether.
- The 243 would be eliminated, meaning no direct connection to Bellevue during peak hours.
- There would no longer be ‘straight shot’ routes providing Ravenna and Bryant riders with a direct connection to downtown OR the University District; all riders would have to take two buses.
In response to these changes, the Wedgwood Community Council has written a letter to the 46th District legislators (Senator David Frockt, Representative Gerry Pollet, and Representative Jessyn Farrell) imploring them to be strong advocates for public transportation funding within any comprehensive, multimodal transportation package. Other state, county, city, and neighborhood representatives were also sent a copy of the letter.
For those that are interested in learning more about Metro’s proposed changes or sharing your thoughts, Metro has a variety of ways to participate: public meetings, email METRO», complete their survey, join their Metro Matters e-mailing list, or give them a call at (206) 263‑9770.