King County Metro, the backbone of our public transit network, is currently working through its Long Range Plan, “Metro Connects.” This document looks 25 years into the future and envisions a day when 75% of King County residents live within walking distance of accessible, reliable, and fast transit service.
Metro plans to increase service by 70% over the next 25 years, increasing the number of places people can currently get while decreasing the time it will take to get there. This is a huge step for Metro. As our region continues to grow over the next several years, Metro has been planning for the future needs of King County residents. Many people are not just taking transit to commute to work, they are using it for recreational purposes and for everyday needs like going to and from the grocery store, doctor appointments and child care. To meet this demand, the King County Council is taking a deep dive into what Metro Connects can bring to riders and help move our region for the years to come.
While still in draft form, the plan includes detailed policies on how Metro intends to provide the next 25 years of service, including:
- More service! Buses will come more often, take you farther and get you there faster—including new 20 new RapidRide lines all over the county.
- New ways to help you navigate the system. Technology has been, and will continue to be a key tool for transit, allowing for real-time information on when your bus is set to arrive, or when to call for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft to get you that last mile home. Metro Connects will take an in-depth look at new technology to make your commute even easier.
- Integrating multiple transit systems like Sound Transit , Community and Pierce Transit, and ferry services (like the Water Taxi) to provide one interconnected, efficient, easy-to-use transit regional system.
- Expand funding for alternative services- a program where Metro tailors its mobility services to communities where fixed route, every day service (like your neighborhood bus stop), doesn’t quite make sense. These types of services are especially useful for aging communities and small cities. There are currently two alternative service projects in District 6: Redmond and Mercer Island. More programs like these will help people use the transit system more frequently and efficiently.
It should be noted that Metro Connects will require an ambitious capital program which will involve additional funding (about $7.8 billion) over the next 25 years. The County Executive has identified a proposal to fund the first ten years of Metro Connects. While the County Council will consider his proposal this Fall the remaining funds have yet to be identified.
As chair of the Regional Transit Committee, Claudia will work closely with city partners to review the plan to make sure it meets our communities’ goals. Some of her top priorities for the plan include:
- Transit integration between agencies and creating “One System” that is easily accessible and useable for all potential users.
- Regional equity of all-types of service (route options, mode-sharing, parking and pedestrian, bike and wayfinding improvements) to make sure that all communities have suitable access to the transit system.
If you would like to learn more Metro’s Long Range Plan, Metro Connects, please visit www.kcmetrovision.org
Helpful and fun links:
See how far you’ll be able to get from your house with Metro Connects http://www.kcmetrovision.org/plan/service-network-isochrones/
View the service network map