Proposition 1, a ballot measure to ensure additional funds for pending metro cuts, was behind in Tuesday night's special election ballot count, with fifty-five percent of voters rejecting the sales-tax and car-tab increase.
If Proposition 1 fails, the results could mean big changes for Mercer Island commuters – fewer routes and more crowded buses. County-wide Metro expects to cut 72 routes. Among those affected on Mercer Island are the 201, 203, 205 and 213, with service reductions expected for the 204.
The measure, if passed, would add a $60 car tab fee and a 0.1 percent sales tax increase. Money would be allocated to both bus service (60 percent) and county roads (40 percent of funds).
Those opposed to the measure argued that Metro needed to first cut overhead costs and underused bus routes.
In an editorial April 16, Mayor Bruce Bassett and Deputy Mayor Dan Grausz said if Proposition 1 didn't pass, the City of Mercer Island may have to consider a $20 car tab fee that would go into effect in 2015 to meet Islander’s expectations for bicycle and pedestrian trails and traffic reduction projects.
There are 83,000 votes yet to be counted.