King County’s Original Proposal of Required Service Cuts

Opposition to Proposition 1 proved to be too much. Unofficial results indicate that the measure appears to have failed. Current results show “Yes” on Prop 1 to be nearly 38,000 votes shy. The next step is unclear, but King County will likely submit plans to reduce service by 16%. This will likely cut over 550,000 hours of service, disproportionately affect the poor that can’t afford cars, increase congestion, and reduce economic opportunity. You can see for yourself the routes that will be changed or deleted here and here.

Perhaps the most important and dismaying result of this outcome will be to embolden those that are anti-transit. Showing that a transit tax can’t pass even in King County, the most supportive area in the state for transit, is discouraging for legislators gauging the public attitude towards transit. This gives much more leverage to rural counties. The desperate nature of funding allows anti-transit legislators to extract more from those whose livelihoods depend on public transit.

Perhaps the only silver lining in all of this is that it may prove a rallying cry for those of us that care about supporting people too poor to own cars, fighting climate change, and designing a successful city. If you don’t want to stand on the sidelines but actually get involved in order to win the next fight, you can connect directly with The Urbanist at

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Owen does servicing and consulting for a software company to pay the bills. He has an amateur interest in urban policy, focusing on housing. His primary mode is a bicycle but isn't ashamed of riding down the hill and taking the bus back up. Feel free to tweet at him: @pickovven.

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