Metro: 80 Percent of All Routes Will Be Affected By Coming Cuts

With all eyes turning to see what kind of transportation package, if any, the Legislature will pass during a special session that began this week, King County Metro is releasing the gory details of what will happen to bus service if Olympia does nothing:

As it has long been saying, a reckoning is coming for buses. King County Metro said today that 74 routes would be deleted and 107 would be changed if nothing is done. That makes up about 80 percent of all Metro routes (33 lucky ones are left untouched). The cuts would go into effect when funding runs out next June.

Here’s a super easy (and super depressing) chart showing how individual routes would be affected (farewell route 5X, you’ll always be my Fighin’ 5).

Transit advocates have been calling on lawmakers to pass a transportation package that gives King County the authority to ask voters for a new transit levy. With that authority in hand, King County voters would at least have the option to stave off metro cuts with a new tax.

The authority was included in a transportation package passed by the House earlier this year, but which collapsed in the Senate parties couldn’t agree on how to fund a bridge spanning the Columbia River.

The details of the latest package haven’t been released, though Gov. Jay Inslee has attached it to a broader set of policies meant to keep Boeing 777X production in the state. That likely improves the package’s chance of passing.

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