King County Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond will appear before two King County Council committees this week to highlight the challenges that lie ahead for Metro as it prepares for massive funding cuts. Those cuts are scheduled to take effect in 2014.
At Tuesday’s 9:30 a.m. Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee, Desmond will outline what’s at stake as Metro works to keep Seattle moving during construction of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
State mitigation funding for transit runs out in June of 2014 — well before work is completed on the AWV tunnel and waterfront improvements. Without additional funding, as many as 130 daily bus trips – the equivalent of 7,500 daily transit seats in the SR 99 corridor will be lost. The ripple effects of traffic slowdowns will be felt throughout the region as vehicles seek alternatives to avoid construction delays.
Desmond will also highlight the broader challenges facing Metro as it begins laying the groundwork for a 17 percent systemwide service reduction in 2014 if sustainable funding solutions are not found.
On Wednesday, Desmond will report to the council’s Regional Transit Committee on Metro’s current financial situation and the potential loss of 600,000 hours of bus service at a time when ridership is nearing record levels.
Desmond will also outline steps Metro has taken to reform operations and current proposals under discussion that could avert deep service cuts.