Local Services’ 19: Top Accomplishments of 2019

What a first year!

Our goals were clear: create a department and begin delivering improved government services to the diverse residents and businesses of unincorporated King County.

We took that and ran with it, retooling how the county listens to residents, works collaboratively with them, and acts in their communities.

Here are 19 accomplishments we racked up in 2019: Continue reading Local Services’ 19: Top Accomplishments of 2019

Improving mobility by connecting more communities to transit

Crossposted from Metro Matters

Not everyone who needs transit lives near a bus stop. And not every area has the right mix of infrastructure and housing to support traditional bus service. So Metro is exploring several new ways to connect more people to transit and improve mobility options for customers who need them.

Executive Constantine ribbon-cuttingMetro recently launched the Des Moines Community Shuttle/Route 635, in partnership with the City of Des Moines, to connect workers commuting to Des Moines with the Angle Lake light rail station. It is one of the ways Metro is working to connect more people to transit and improve mobility. Continue reading Improving mobility by connecting more communities to transit

2017 in review: Metro Transit fares made simpler for all and more accessible

The year 2017 saw adjustments to Metro Transit fares aimed at making public transit easier for all to use and understand and more affordable for those in need.

0617OrcaYouthCardEvent084Youth ridership on buses, trains and streetcars increased dramatically last summer when King County Executive Dow Constantine launched a pilot program offering reduced 50-cent fares for youth paying with ORCA cards for Metro buses, to make it easier for young residents – particularly those who have limited transportation options – to take transit to jobs, internships, camps, and other activities during the summer, when youth ridership has historically declined. Sound Transit offered a reduced fare of $1 and Seattle offered $0.50 fares for the Streetcar. Metro distributed more than 11,000 free ORCA Youth cards during the promotion – twice more than originally planned. Excluding ORCA cards offered through other programs, Metro’s youth ridership increased to 376,000 boardings, up 35 percent from the previous summer. Youth ridership on Link light rail increased 42 percent while Streetcar boardings increased 25 percent. Continue reading 2017 in review: Metro Transit fares made simpler for all and more accessible

2017 in review: Leading the nation in the transition to battery-powered buses

0117BatteryBusAnncmnt088 dow shaking handsKing County Executive Dow Constantine is accelerating the transition to zero-emissions transportation by making one of the largest bus fleets in the US all-electric by as early as 2034. Under his leadership, and that of DOT Director Harold Taniguchi and Metro General Manager Rob Gannon, Metro is not only upgrading its fleet to battery-powered buses, we’re demonstrating that there is strong market demand for the new generation of cleaner, quieter buses that can help King County confront climate change. Continue reading 2017 in review: Leading the nation in the transition to battery-powered buses

What the new timeline for Convention Place Station means for riders

wide shot of bus stationRiders will be the beneficiaries of a steady and reliable stream of revenue to Metro Transit – an aggregated $275 million over 32 years — as a result of the stance taken by King County Executive Dow Constantine in negotiating the sale of Convention Place Station for expansion of the Convention Center. The Executive insisted that revenue from the sale support service and reliability improvements for Metro that begin to address the need for sustainable growth in bus service throughout the region.

Construction for Convention Center expansion will require closure of the site. The station was always slated for permanent closure – light rail already bypasses it by going straight from Westlake to Capitol Hill, and up until now Metro was planning for removal of all buses from the downtown transit tunnel as early as September 2018. Continue reading What the new timeline for Convention Place Station means for riders

Keeping people and goods moving at a “Critical Juncture”

by Harold S. Taniguchi
Director, King County Dept. of Transportation

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Marcus Deyerin, Training and Exercise Program Manager for emergency management in the DOT Director’s Office (Photo: Jeff Wamsley)

Keeping communities connected is our mission, and that includes during those times when roads are blocked by natural disaster or overturned trucks. It’s impossible to predict when an emergency or disaster will occur, so our job is to be trained and prepared for when that day comes. A big part of that preparation is making sure the jurisdictions in our region are all on the same page.

That’s why we’ve brought Marcus Deyerin into the DOT Director’s Office as our Training and Exercise Program Manager for emergency management. Marcus has earned the initials CEM MEP after his name, which mean he’s a Certified Emergency Manager and a Master Exercise Practitioner. Continue reading Keeping people and goods moving at a “Critical Juncture”

New projects will improve transportation on the Eastside, after construction impacts

By 2024, commuters on the Eastside will enjoy a new era of fast, reliable transportation on light rail, bus rapid transit, and many local street improvements. But first comes what one leader called an inevitable “five or six years of pain” from construction of those projects. More than 90 regional leaders met May 5 in Bellevue to share their concerns and address the challenge of mitigating the impacts on their shared constituencies.

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Councilmember Claudia Balducci: “Working Towards Real Solutions to our Shared Mobility Problems”

Continue reading New projects will improve transportation on the Eastside, after construction impacts

GoGreen and “The Future of Transportation”

by Harold S. Taniguchi
Director, King County Dept. of Transportation

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Local action will continue to be our path forward on climate, sustainability, mobility and equity in King County, as we saw at the recent GoGreen Conference in Seattle. Thanks to the leadership of King County Executive Dow Constantine, we are addressing these challenges and partnering with businesses and the community for shared success on green building, wind and solar energy, transit-oriented development, and the nation’s leading commitment on electric buses. Continue reading GoGreen and “The Future of Transportation”

Connecting Eastside bus riders with congestion-free light rail

520 busFor Eastside bus riders commuting into downtown Seattle, potential new connections between Metro Transit and Link light rail offer an appealing option for beating the congestion of traffic on Interstate-5.

Eastside residents have a chance to weigh in on these potential new connections through Link Connections: SR-520, a partnership between Metro and Sound Transit to explore several of these potential options, which include stopping cross-lake buses at the University of Washington light rail station so riders can transfer onto trains headed to downtown, and providing Eastside communities with new transit connections to destinations such as South Lake Union. Routes potentially affected include the 252, 255, 257, 268, 277, 311, 540, 541, 542, 545, 555 and 556. Continue reading Connecting Eastside bus riders with congestion-free light rail

From deckhand to climate change manager

Alex Adams on bridge of Water Taxi

What Alex Adams saw in the waters of Southeast Alaska, and closer to home in Elliott Bay, impressed upon him the urgency of confronting climate change. Continue reading From deckhand to climate change manager