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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.