King County Metro will not follow through on its threat to cut 550,000 bus service hours. You may recall that, just a few months ago, the transit agency threatened voters with the cuts as a consequence of not passing Proposition 1. Prop 1 would have raised both sales tax and car tab fees, King County voters said no.
Well, last week, Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond said that the transit agency “found enough savings to limit the cuts to 400,000 bus service hours a year, instead of 550,000.” Apparently, minor changes benefitting efficiency—including lower costs for new electric trolleys and more efficient bus scheduling—improved Metro’s finances enough to save 150,000 bus service hours.
So, presumably, these efficient changes would have never been implemented if voters approved tax increases via Prop 1. Lesson learned? Say no to tax increases.
Desmond went on to promise that, if “Seattle voters approve new transit taxes this fall,” the City of Seattle may “actually gain more bus service instead of just holding the line against cuts.” In other words, if Seattle voters pass the latest tax proposal, the transit agency can go back to being inefficient again.