Executive announces structure for reduced-fare program for lower-income Metro bus riders

Acting on recommendations from an independent task force, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced Thursday how King County will implement a reduced-fare program for lower-income bus riders by March 2015.

The reduced fare will be $1.50 for those who qualify. It takes effect on March 1,, the same day that all regular Metro fares will increase by 25 cents – the fifth fare increase for Metro riders since 2008. In that time, off-peak fares will have increased by 100 percent.

King County Metro will be the second major transit system in the nation to offer this type of fare.

"One of the ways we create opportunity is by helping people get to work, get to school, and get to the services they need to reach their full potential," Constantine said in a King County press release. "This reduced fare program will ensure that those who have lesser means still have access to opportunity."

The Low-Income Fare Implementation Task Force spent weeks examining Metro's proposed structure (PDF) for the new fare program. In their letter to the Executive and King County Council delivering the final report and recommendations, Task Force members praised the County's emphasis on equity and social justice, and said the program "will make a major contribution to the County's effort to create a more equitable community where everyone can realize their potential."

Click here to read the Task Force’s full report (PDF).

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