Recently, King County Metro officials announced that they would implement a single system-wide bus fare to make the bus routes in and around Seattle easier to navigate. Beginning in July 2018, all of the bus routes maintained by King County Metro will switch to a standard fare of $2.75. Then, just a few weeks after this announcement, metro officials unveiled plans for a significant expansion of King County’s bus service as well.
As of Saturday, September 23, King County Metro has added “hundreds of daily bus trips on dozens of routes across Seattle and the region,” according to The Seattle Times. This expansion includes improved late-night service from midnight to 5 a.m. on 13 routes throughout the county. Altogether, King County Metro has added more than 200 new bus trips during weekdays, and more than 100 on Saturdays and Sundays.
The bus service expansion was funded in large part thanks to the passage of Proposition 1, a tax increase which voters approved in 2014. King County Metro also chipped in an additional $30 million in funding from its two-year budget. Two more bus-service expansion are slated to occur between now and the end of 2018.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) estimates that 85 percent of the bus routes in Seattle with see improvements as a result of Metro’s expanded service. The service expansion should also result in decreased wait times at bus stops throughout the county. On some routes, wait times will be effectively cut in half. For commuters who rely on Metro’s buses to get to and from work, the expanded service is sure to be a welcome improvement.