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Seattle Rally Planned to Protest Possible Metro Transit Cuts

Jennifer Wing

This time next year, King County's Metro Transit system could be working out the final details of eliminating 65 bus routes and other cuts in service.

The grassroots group Transit Riders Union is holding a rally on Saturday just south of the King County courthouse in Seattle. It starts at noon.

The event is called WTF Olympia. Organizers say "WTF" stands for "where's the funding." They want to raise awareness about a possible 17 percent cut to bus service. 

State lawmakers left Metro in the lurch when the legislative session ended without the passage of a transportation package. The deal included a plan to let King County residents vote on a car tab tax that would fund Metro and road projects. 

Metro Transit relies heavily on sales tax revenue, which was hit hard during the recession. Those figures are starting to improve, but not fast enough to put off service cuts. 

Meanwhile the number of people riding on Metro's buses is going up steadily since taking a dive when the economy slumped. Ridership reached an all-time high in 2008. 

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.