Page 133

advertised more so that tourists will be more aware of the opportunity to travel around downtown without a car. Thanks, Jesse Bennett 667. Eliminating the free-ride zone, as planned on September 29 of this year, will have a significantly detrimental impact on downtown merchant's revenue. As it stands today many who work in the downtown core depends on having a quick, low-cost trip for a lunchtime meal or after work shopping trip. Once the free ride zone is eliminated there will be a detrimental impact on restaurants and retailers throughout the zone. Forcing riders to enter only through the front door will make the evening rush hour very difficult. Buses will take longer to load and passengers will not move quickly to the back of the articulated buses, resulting in less efficient use of Metro bus resources and schedules. Imagining that the bus driver will be able to verbally command the passengers to move back or use the announcement system to encourage full use of the space on the bus is not practical. People do not enjoy being yelled at by a real person or an anonymous voice. Overall the public transit experience will be more difficult and will do a poorer job of serving its customers and its customer base will dwindle. And then there are the tourists who have not had to worry about paying the right fare (with U.S. dollars) to get around to the major sites. Is it wise to penalize tourists? Will we increase the number of locations where Metro trip ticket books are sold to offset this inconvenience? This notion of ending the free ride zone is an attempt to make people who do not use the Metro system feel like the rest of us (who do use it) are behaving with fiscal responsibility. It is a "feel good" solution to the problem of lower tax revenue. Ultimately the bottom line may improve but it will do so at the cost of total ridership in the system, which will equate to lower employment throughout the region. How can that improve the economy? Isn't the timing of this operation exactly wrong? If our region were flying high on full employment perhaps a suggestion that well-off population could afford the extra dollars to ride Metro in the downtown core would be more reasonable. Yours truly, Ira Worden - daily commuter from Kirkland to International District tunnel station via Metro 255 13011 104th PL NE Kirkland, WA 98034 i.worden@hotmail.com 668. Yes, please do provide transportation for poor people in the downtown area. I am a bit concerned about the “pay as you enter” decision. I think it will delay bus boarding downtown. It’s easy to do when one gets on the bus on the suburbs but with the large number of people boarding buses downtown it will create delay. Sometimes I catch the bus at 7pm going home and there’s a delay when people have to pay as they enter, and 7pm is not rush hour. I can’t imagine the delay during rush hours. I would encourage Metro to leave it the way it is now or if you change it monitor the bus delays and be willing to change it back. Thank you. Yvonne Rodriguez 669. To King County Metro Transit Staff: Just wanted to comment and say that I support elimination of the RFA. I regularly ride the 150, 545, 550, 70s, Link, and Lower Queen Anne-bound routes through Downtown. I am however certain that simple elimination of RFA without some sort of compensatory solution will cause excess delay and possible malfunction of the bus tunnel and 3rd Avenue. Elimination of the RFA would be wise only with operational improvements such as POP or fare penalty to those utilizing cash or non-ORCA fare product media. The Seattle Transit Blog, as I am sure you know, has suggested a number of options to evaluate. I endorse a thorough review of the options to minimize disruption to the reliability and peak-capacity of Downtown transit corridors. Thank you. Kind regards, Stephen A. Fesler

Ride Free Area - Public Engagement Report  
Ride Free Area - Public Engagement Report  

King County Metro Transit Implementation plan for Ride Free Area elimination and transition to pay-on-entry