The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced today that beginning Saturday, October 2, the City of Seattle will help fund 14,800 new hours of King County Metro Transit bus service. The new hours are designed to make buses a better transportation option for more people. The new trips include route extensions to improve mobility in and between numerous Seattle neighborhoods.
Thanks to the voter-approved Bridging the Gap transportation levy, bus riders throughout many Seattle neighborhoods will enjoy an increase in service on routes 5, 7, 30, 60 and 75. The city is using $1.5 million in levy funds to purchase additional bus hours for Seattle residents through the county’s Transit Now program. The program will continue for the next five years.
“These new service hours are vital for helping the city meet its goal of making walking, biking and transit more accessible to all residents,” said SDOT Director Peter Hahn. “In a time of tight budgets, the city is working through Bridging the Gap to help our partner Metro add hours and better serve Seattle bus riders.”
This increase builds on hours previously added to the 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 26, 28, 44 and 48 bus lines in 2008 and 2009. This allotment brings the new bus service added to approximately 45,000 hours per year – the equivalent of ten buses running more than twelve hours per day 365 days per year.
These service additions support Mayor McGinn’s Walk Bike Ride initiative and its goal of making walking, biking and riding the easiest way to move around our city. Purchasing more bus service for these routes moves the city closer to its goal of having a network of reliable transit service running every 15 minutes or better, all day and late into the evening, seven days a week on corridors connecting neighborhoods with active business centers. Frequent, reliable transit service offers people options to driving and helps fight global warming.
Approved by voters in 2006, the $365 million Bridging the Gap levy enables much needed work by the Seattle Department of Transportation, such as roadway paving, sidewalk development and repair, bridge upkeep, and tree pruning and planting. It also supports the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master plans, the Safe Routes to School program, enhanced transit connections and large Neighborhood Street Fund projects.