Sunday, July 31, 2011

Even More Bus Cuts on the Horizon?

The PI's Scott Gutierrez points out that Republicans in congress have proposed a 6-year transportation bill that would cut Washington state's federal transit funding by $128 million per year. Metro estimates it would lose approximately $21 million per year under this scenario. The Congestion Relief Charge (CRC) would only raise about $25 million per year, which means Metro may still have to cut buses by 6% even if the CRC passes. In other words, that loss of federal funding would cancel out most of the benefit of the CRC. If the CRC fails and Metro loses that federal funding, that would be a double-whammy and could mean even bigger cuts than previously expected.

Cuts in federal funding would also jeopardize Sound Transit's plans to extend Link light rail. If the Republican plan decreased funding to the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts grant program, Washington state could lose $38 million slated for Rapid Ride lines from Burien to Renton and Shoreline to downtown Seattle.


  1. The Senate proposal would provide more funding than the House proposal, but still less than this year's funding.