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Metro Connects

Attaining the Vision

Service investments In 2019 Metro spent $755 million on service operations. An additional $337 million annually for the interim network, and an additional $711 million annually for the 2050 network (in 2019 dollars) would enable Metro to implement the Metro Connects service improvements, bringing frequent service to within a half mile of 80 percent of the county’s population and expanding flexible transit options. This would require approximately twice Metro’s current funding capacity. As mentioned above, Metro’s primary source of revenue is sales tax, along with fares, property tax, and federal and state grants. King County must engage in a regional conversation about how to fund this service investment (which could include, but not be limited to, additional federal, state, and local funding options and partnerships).

Capital investments Metro Connects will require a substantial expansion of capital investments in infrastructure, facilities, and fleet to support the vision. Investment will be needed to create optimal transit travel conditions that keep buses moving and on time. Significant investments in passenger facilities will also be needed to support the new service network. Metro will invest in technology and supporting infrastructure to create an enhanced customer experience. These capital investments will support the productivity gains associated with the Metro Connects network. Without these investments, service will be slower, operating costs will be higher for the same level of service, transit will be less productive, and it will be more difficult to meet the region’s goals for climate, equity, mode share, and ridership. Metro Connects will also require substantial investment to acquire battery-electric buses, convert operations, prepare the workforce, and build the necessary infrastructure to support a 100 percent zero-emissions bus fleet. As mentioned above, Metro estimates the 2050 network will require an investment of approximately $28.3 billion in year-of-expenditure dollars on capital projects. Figure 28 illustrates the current estimates of how the capital investments would be distributed among the major capital elements. As with the service investments, and as shown in Figure 27, existing revenue streams would cover some of the proposed capital investments. To fund the remaining investment, King County would look to additional federal, state, and local funding options and support jurisdictions and elected officials in a regional conversation about funding. In addition, Metro will seek delivery partnerships to increase the capacity and ability to implement the new investments needed to support the Metro Connects vision.

King County Metro Long Range Plan