Council member looks to prioritize RapidRide

After hearing that RapidRide had received a federal grant, King County Council member Larry Phillips has decided to ask Metro Transit to prioritize RapidRide services when balancing the agency’s projected $100 million annual budget shortfall in 2010 and beyond.

RapidRide is Metro’s new streamlined bus service that will provide frequent, all-day service in five major corridors throughout King County, which includes both Ballard and West Seattle.

“I predict that Metro’s RapidRide lines will become some of the highest-ridership, most-productive and cost-effective routes in Metro’s system,” Phillips said in a press release. “With the budget shortfalls Metro faces, moving toward a more efficient system-one that maximizes opportunities for federal, local, and private partnerships-will allow us to get the most bang for our buck. RapidRide is a model for the direction Metro should be heading, so it makes sense to prioritize implementation of the five RapidRide lines.”

The funding that Metro had received from the Federal Transit Administration amounted to $13.8 million to help fund new articulated hybrid-electric coaches, station, and shelter improvements fro the Metro’s first RapidRide line serving Tukwila, SeaTac, Des Moines, Kent and Federal Way.

Following RapidRide lines will service Bellevue and Redmond, West Seattle, Ballard and Uptown/Lower Queen Anne, and Shoreline along Aurora Ave.

“The council has made no decisions on cuts yet but they are looking at options on what could be cut,” Leah Zoppi, legislative aide to council member Larry Phillps said. “The legislature gave options a week ago to do some back filling and some way to off set the hole. They need to make conversation on whether and when to do that and when to put it out to voters.”

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