Snoqualmie Ridge has only had King County Metro Transit bus stops since 2008. Grant money from the county funded new Route 215 that services North Bend, historic Snoqualmie and Snoqualmie Ridge during daily peak commute times.
Now, though, Metro Transit, whose budget relies heavily on sales tax revenue, says that 5-year old route is in jeopardy of being cut (along with 64 others) as it deals with a $60 million revenue short fall.
According to the Metro Transit website, “Buses delivered 115 million passenger trips in 2012, and ridership continues to grow. Unfortunately, a looming revenue shortfall could force Metro to reduce service by about 17 percent beginning in fall 2014.”
Adding to the large deficit is the looming expiration of a congestion reduction charge King County residents pay when renewing their car tabs each year. That $20 per vehicle fee adds about $25 million in funding for transit each year – and it’s set to expire in May 2014.
Coupled by the fact that King County Metro needs another $15 million to replace aging buses, the budget shortfall tops out at $75 million. Of course, this is a far cry from the $1.2 billion shortfall that sales tax reliant Metro Transit faced in 2008, at the beginning of the economic recession.
But, Metro Transit says King County and local governments, organizations and community members are working together with state leaders to find a long-term funding solution for transportation needs, including transit.
For information on how you can participate in helping keep the Snoqualmie Valley 215 bus route visit Metro Transit.