Public Hearing on Elimination of Ride Free Area in downtown Seattle, May 30
The Metropolitan King County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee will a public hearing on the elimination of the Ride Free Area (RFA) in downtown Seattle:
Wednesday, May 30, at 9:30 a.m.
County Council Chambers
King County Courthouse, 10th floor
The meeting will be carried LIVE on King County TV, seen on Comcast and Broadstripe Cable Channel 22.
In August 2011, as a result of a political compromise necessary for the passage of the $20 car tab fee or Congestion Reduction Charge to save Metro from a devastating 17% cut in transit service, the Council directed Metro to enter into negotiations with Seattle to cover the full cost of the RFA or eliminate the RFA by October 2012.
The RFA will be eliminated on September 29th. In order to implement this change, all Metro buses will change to pay-on-entry regardless of whether the bus is heading into or out of the downtown area. This constitutes a major change in fare collection and will affect every rider of Metro. As a result of moving to a pay-on-entry system, all buses will also move to loading passengers through the front door. This will result in transit service moving slower throughout the downtown area on both the surface streets and the bus tunnel, especially during the evening commute causing transit service in downtown Seattle to be less reliable. You will notice other changes to Metro including some buses moving out of the Downtown Transit Tunnel back to street level.
If you would like to give input by testifying on how you think the County can best mitigate the impact of taking away free bus service in downtown Seattle on residents (particularly the poor and indigent), you are welcome to come down at 9:30 am on Wednesday, May 30th and testify.
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