Sims outlines transportation package

King County Executive Ron Sims last week released his

recommendations for guiding future Metro Transit services and capital investments

if voters in November adopt a measure to preserve and enhance public


"King County residents rate traffic as our number one problem,"

Sims said. "It is a critical factor in our growth management planning,

our economy and our overall quality of life."

Sims added that in the last several months he was out in the

community discussing transportation with county residents.

"Everywhere I go I hear that our neighbors want us to address our

traffic congestion and they want us to do it now," he said. "My vision is to

keep the buses moving, enhance Metro Transit service and focus on

projects that provide congestion releif."

In a letter to the King County Council, Sims identified transit

improvements and traffic relief projects that could be implemented by

Metro if the two-tenths of one percent sales tax proposal is approved for


As proposed, the two-tenths would raise $80 million to restore bus

service set to be eliminated as a result of Initiative 695. Funds will run out

early next year and the Legislature gave counties this local option tax to

save local transit.

Sims recommendations include:

• Using revenues approved by the voters to enhance the overall

transit system by strategically adding another 575,000 annual service

hours over the next six years to the 3.3 million annual hours currently being


• Added commuter service from park-and-ride lots

• New connections between Eastside and employment centers

• New service from Sea-Tac airport to Kent and Auburn

• More frequent service on key highway corridors

"The suburban communities around Seattle will benefit

greatly from the expanded transit service, new and improved park-and-ride lots

and the traffic signal synchronization," said Councilwoman Louise

Miller, who helped with the proposal.

The two-tenths measure will be on the November general election ballot.

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