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714. Dear everybody, I have now personally spoken about this matter to the Mayor and the entire city council at the City Hall Open House, and to the heads or representatives of Metro, Sound Transit, and King County at the Ride Free Zone Open House. You all agree that it would be nice to retain a piece of the free zone to allow it to grow back but that the current system is too complicated. Bus drivers, in particular, hate it. No one has a problem with the word "free," the problem is with the word "zone." Now that the zone is gotten rid of, there is no reason to retain any part of it. But that doesn't mean we have to lose the word "free." I propose switching from a zone based free bus system to a route based system in which at certain times throughout the day, entire routes would be free from beginning to end. I have spoken to them and the bus drivers LOVE this idea. It makes their jobs even easier. On a free route, the driver doesn't have to deal with money or transfers, just stopping at every stop and letting everyone on or off. Here is my imaginary Press Release: SEATTLE CHANGES FROM "FREE BUS ZONE" TO "FREE BUS ROUTES" In a deal worked out between the City of Seattle, Metro, and Sound Transit, rates will be set for certain hours during which individual routes will be available from beginning to end for free. "Right now we've made a commitment to X hours of free time a day," said [insert your name here]. "It will be up to Metro to decide which routes and when." "We invite the public to participate in the decision," said [insert your name here]. "Along with payments from the city, costs will also be defrayed by an increase in cost on other lines. It makes sense for the people who ride the bus most often should help subsidize the free buses they themselves use." "We're considering a rotating schedule that will eventually cover every route. The free zone can now extend to the suburbs where buses have never been free," said [insert your name here]. "We will subsidize the homeless who will miss the current system the most by simply supplying more passes to homeless shelters and other social agencies," said [insert your name here]. "We've got till September to get the new system in place so there will be no disruption of free bus service in Seattle, which has been a tradition for many decades. This system can start with just a few lines then mutate and grow as the economy changes," said [insert your name here]. According to [insert your name here], "The cheapest rates would be for the lines least ridden. There are all kinds of variables to take into account when figuring out the cost. There's a lot to be done in five months." "It's a good idea," said Michael Dare, who thought of the whole thing. "I hope they do it." MD 715. I believe that eliminating the free ride zone is a very poor idea. It will result in additional traffic downtown and will also discourage ridership by people who are not frequent transit riders, but get exposure to the system through the free ride zone. Overall, the alleged cost savings does not outweigh the negative effects on public relations and traffic. Please keep the free ride zone alive. Molly A. Lawrence 716. "Mark me down as opposed to eliminating the downtown free ride area. :) John Sweeney President, 717. Dear Sir/Madam: The change to remove the 'free-ride' downtown Metro bus service is another nail to destroy downtown small business. What more will King County and Seattle City Government do to deter business in the downtown core? First, Mayor McGinn raised parking fees and increased paid parking hours 8AM-8PM. This was not a prudent change. It has resulted in deterring people from coming to the downtown core to shop and dine, and is killing small business already under pressure from the economic downturn. Now, Metro has decided to eliminate the 'free-ride' area of the downtown core, which will also act as a further deterrence to downtown small business activity. Also if bus transport is supposed to decrease auto use downtown, the added cost will reduce bus usage and therefore is counter to increasing public transportation use. It will also be a burden to those,

Ride Free Area - Public Engagement Report  

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