The cuts follow the failure of Proposition 1 in April, which would have increased funding to the Metro bus system. Due to the failure, Metro had to figure out how to cut 550,000 service hours.
Phase 1 Cuts Approved
On June 9, 2014, the King County Council approved an ordinance that implemented only Metro Phase 1 service cuts, which included two Snoqualmie Valley routes.
Then on July 21st, the council approved another ordinance deferring an additional 200,000 hours of service reductions originally proposed for June and September 2015, pending adoption of the 2015/16 King County budget.
The approved Phase 1 reductions focus on the cutting of “bus routes that are below the 25 percent productivity threshold that is part of the County’s adopted Transit Service Guidelines.”
The adopted ordinance cuts 31 Metro routes, including 208 and 215, as they were determined to be two of the “lowest performing peak-period-only routes in Metro’s system.”
That will leave route 208 as the only King County Metro route operating in the Snoqualmie Valley, running between North Bend and Issaquah. According to Seattle Transit blog, “This represents the lowest level of Metro service to the Snoqualmie/North Bend area since at least the 1980’s.”
Metro says route 208 will operate service less often, but run in both directions during commute hours since routes 209 and 2015 were eliminated. Route 208 will come once every two hours during weekday peak and daytime hours – and also on Saturday.
Riders on the 209 route are advised to use revised route 208 along Railroad Ave SE between Snoqualmie Parkway and the North Bend Factory Stores, or use the Valley Shuttle for transit service to other Snoqualmie Valley cities.
A City of Snoqualmie press release states the city is continuing discussions with Metro about ways to mitigate route impacts in Snoqualmie. The city also stated that updated timetables have not yet been posted on the Metro website, but will be sometime in August. Riders are advised to check Metro online services for updated timetables for all Metro bus routes in Snoqualmie as September approaches.
Snoqualmie is also a member of the Sound Cities Association (SCA), which has been actively meeting with state legislative representatives to support a statewide transportation package addressing critical transportation infrastructure needs.