King County Metro | KNKX

King County Metro

A directive from Public Health — Seattle & King County that requires people to wear face coverings in most public spaces,  including the bus , begins Monday.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

 

Starting Monday, bus riders will be expected to wear face coverings in King County during their commute. That change comes from a directive announced by Public Health — Seattle & King County that requires people to wear masks in most indoor public spaces.

A northbound train pulls into Westlake Station in downtown Seattle.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

Even though Seattle commuters are still getting used to the viaduct replacement tunnel, transportation officials are preparing for the next step in the "Seattle Squeeze." Starting Saturday, all buses that currently use the downtown transit tunnel will move onto the surface streets.

A King County Metro RapidRide B Line bus approaches.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

If you ride King County Metro’s RapidRide bus lines, you might have seen fare enforcement officers in action. They sometimes board the long buses, checking to make sure people have paid their due.

John Froschauer / AP Photo

More people than ever before are using mass transit in King County. Authorities say rides on buses and light rail totaled about 150 million last year, making Seattle the nation’s fastest growing large metropolitan region for transit use.

A King County Metro RapidRide B Line bus approaches.
Simone Alicea / KNKX

King County Metro is trying out a few programs this year to improve parking access for its transit system.

Building a parking lot near transit can be more cost effective than building frequent bus or train lines outside a dense city center. But the transit agency's park-and-ride lots often fill up before many commuters can get to them. 

"Access to the system is a big piece of the puzzle," said Metro's manager of strategy and performance, Christina O'Claire.  "If you can't have access to the system ... you can't use it."

Ashley Gross / KPLU

King County Metro Transit bus drivers are stepping up their pressure on officials to give them more bathroom breaks. On Monday, some workers picketed outside King County Executive Dow Constantine’s office to draw attention to what they say are unsafe and unhealthy working conditions.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

It’s a curious time for transit riders in King County. New services like streetcars and light rail are being built. But several waves of bus cuts are looming, and transportation officials are working to streamline transportation efforts in the region.

Atomic Taco / Flickr

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is urging voters and elected officials not to get behind a local property tax hike to fund mass transit. Instead, the mayor plans to introduce his own proposal next week.

Jennifer Wing

Some state lawmakers who are supporting a Seattle initiative to undo King County Metro bus cuts say it could give them some bargaining power in Olympia.

State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, is one of eight Democratic lawmakers who’ve signed on as endorsers of the so-called Keep Seattle Moving Initiative.

AP Photo

King County Council members are proceeding with the unwelcome task of eliminating bus service. Metro already has a plan, but council members have the final say on how to parcel out the cuts in the most logical and equitable way. 

King County Metro Transit's Facebook Page

King County's Proposition 1, which would have raised sales taxes and car tab fees to preserve Metro bus service, is failing. Initial counts show 55 percent of voters rejected the measure, leaving low odds of passage.

Still, Seattle transit advocates are down, but not out of ideas.

King County Metro Transit's Facebook Page

King County will take its own measures to save Metro Transit services if the state Legislature fails to pass a transportation package in time, said King County Executive Dow Constantine on Thursday.

“Let me be clear: this is not our first choice,” Constantine said of taking local measures.

But time is running out for state lawmakers to act, he said; the Legislature on Thursday missed its target day to take up a statewide transportation package. 

"It's not happening," Constantine said. 

General Motors, Joe Polimeni

King County Metro will be forced to cut 74 routes and revise an additional 107 routes when temporary funding runs out next June, the agency said Thursday.

Metro said the cuts will affect more than 80 percent of its bus and DART routes, and result in some 50,000 fewer daily trips throughout the county. King County Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond said only 33 of Metro’s routes would remain “untouched,” but that doesn’t mean they won’t be affected.

“Now, ‘untouched’ is a relative term, because if we’re eliminating all of those routes and otherwise reducing service, those 33 routes—our biggest routes that carry the most people—they are almost certainly going to have more demand,” he said. “And many of those routes and trips on those routes are already very, very crowded.”

Atomic Taco

Even if you don’t ride the bus, you may feel the brunt of possible service cuts by King County Metro as roads get more crowded with cars. That’s one of the messages leaders of King County Metro told the Seattle City Council.

They’re urging the state Legislature to pass a transportation revenue package in the special session that starts in several weeks.