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King County Council adopts updates to Metro’s Strategic Plan

The Metropolitan King County Council voted unanimously today on legislation updating King County Metro Transit’s Strategic Plan for Public Transportation 2011-2021 and Metro’s service guidelines.

The updates were the result of work done by the council’s Regional Transit Committee, which sent the legislation to the full council last month. During the course of the year, the committee thoroughly reviewed the policy basis for the updates, reviewed the annual service guidelinesreport and the very first strategic plan progress report.

“I believe the process we used to update the plan was a model of cooperation of leaders throughout the region partnering together to improve this vital regional asset,” said Councilman Rod Dembowski, chair of the Regional Transit Committee. “Working together with the Sound Cities Association and the city of Seattle, we were able to address some of our region’s challenging transportation problems; I hope to see this model of cooperation followed in the future.”

“Productive and efficient transit service remains King County’s focus in this update to the Strategic Plan for Public Transportation,” said Councilman Larry Phillips, chair of the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee. “This update also deepens King County’s commitment to working with cities to plan for the transit system of the future as our region continues to grow and add jobs.”

“On behalf of the Sound Cities RTC caucus, we deeply appreciate the excellent staff collaboration and Chair Dembowski’s leadership on issues like park-and-ride capacity and access that are vital to our growing member cities,” said RTC vice chair Kim Allen. “We remain committed to working in partnership with the King County Council and the city of Seattle to shape our transit system to meet the needs of our growing ridership.”

First adopted by the council in 2011, the Strategic Plan for Public Transportation is the policy blueprint for Metro Transit, establishing goals and strategies for the state’s largest transit agency.

Highlights of the update include:

• Requiring  Metro to develop a long-range plan;

• Refining the service guidelines to facilitate planning by cities and include college student enrollment when evaluating the need for transit service;

• Requiring a multi-agency study on community infrastructure that supports access to transit, including park-and-ride facilities; and

• Updating policy language to match Metro’s procedures for complying with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The council also voted to approve updates to the King County Metro service guidelines, which specify how Metro identifies transit service needs throughout King County, based on data measuring productivity, social equity and geographic value.


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