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King County Bus Service Cuts, Stop Closures Begin This Weekend

Atomic Taco

The first wave of what could be the largest service cut in King County Metro Transit history begins Saturday.

Buses will stop running along 28 routes — a half-dozen of which run within Seattle and another dozen that connects outlying communities with the city center. Service will decrease or change on another 13 routes.

Metro Transit has proposed slashing 400,000 hours of service over the next year and a half — an 11 percent cut — at a time the agency's general manager Kevin Desmond says the agency should be adding more service.

“We should be adding over 500,000 hours of service to meet existing demand for our system. We have overcrowded bus routes today. We have corridors that are growing very fast where if we put out more bus service, more people would ride Metro Transit,” Desmond said. “We need to be focused on growth growing forward.”

A team of about 30 Metro employees has already deployed to stops in Seattle to inform riders of the service cuts, which include the closures of 250 bus stops. They will be on hand Monday, the first day many riders may notice the cuts.

The agency is recommending a second round of cuts to take effect in February. Their current proposal would ax 16 routes and revise or reduce service along 32 others, carving another 169,000 hours out of their overall service.

Kyle Stokes covers the issues facing kids and the policies impacting Washington's schools for KPLU.