METRO CONNECTS Long-Range Plan

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Metro Connects

The Service Network

proportions of priority populations who are farther than one-quarter mile from local service or one-half mile from frequent service. 12 Priority populations: people who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color; have low or no-income; are immigrants or refugees; have disabilities; or are linguistically diverse. Metro defined which populations to focus on in partnership with the King County Office of Equity and Social Justice and the Equity Cabinet as part of the development of the adopted Mobility Framework.

As shown in Table 1, the analysis found that if the interim network was in place today, it would improve access to frequent and local service for priority populations and everyone in King County. Priority populations would have relatively higher access than other households to both frequent and local service in the interim network, which is important because people at lower income levels are less likely to own cars and more likely to depend on transit for mobility. Technical Report B. Metro Connects – Service Network includes a more detailed breakdown of access by priority population. Table 1

Changes in Access to Frequent and Local Service in the Metro Connects Interim Network Access to Frequent Service – 2019

Access to Frequent Service – Interim

Access to Local Service – 2019

Access to Local Service – Interim

Everyone in King Co.

51%

68%

74%

80%

Priority populations

61%

82%

79%

90%

Equity gaps remain across King County for many reasons. These include increased housing costs in central areas that have good access to jobs. This results in people with lower incomes moving farther into suburban areas with lower densities and less street connectivity. These areas are harder to serve with traditional fixed-route transit. Metro cannot solve these problems alone, or even address all the gaps that could be filled by mobility changes. However, Metro is committed to acting intentionally to build a more equitable system. Through the 2021 update, Metro made targeted updates to the interim network to improve service where it would have the greatest positive impact. Metro conducted a cluster analysis to identify larger concentrations of households in areas with equity gaps and determine where to make targeted improvements. The results identified three areas for focused improvements: Kent East Hill, SeaTac, and Skyway. Metro staff evaluated bus routes in the interim and 2050 networks that serve these areas to determine how access to transit could be improved. Metro reclassified three routes from local to frequent in the interim network and moved one new route from the 2050 network to the interim network to provide new connections.

12 Given the challenges in predicting future demographics, Metro used demographic data from 2020 for this analysis. For that same reason, Metro chose to conduct the equity gap analysis on the interim network, rather than the 2050 network.

King County Metro Long Range Plan

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