To Whom it May Concern: As a social worker concerned about the well being of people who are low income and homeless, I am deeply disturbed by the elimination of the Ride Free Area. Transportation has always been a key component in aiding disadvantaged people to access necessary social services downtown. By eliminating the Ride Free Zone, you are limiting Metro access to people who can least afford it, disproportionately targeting the most vulnerable among us. I know that we are in a time of budgetary crisis, but I urge Metro to address this urgent issue and come up with a way to assist homeless and impoverished people (which will help everyone overall!) with free transportation in the downtown "services" core. Additionally, increasing availability of subsidized bus tickets, though not a long-term solution, will help.
Haa haaa Bussissness wil loose out. The lo. No income effect agencies as DHSH. Or Work Sourse Harborview. No FREE RIDE. Bus Tickets are gone?Just makes No SENCE. DEBORAH Ruppert
I am sorry to hear about the decision to eliminate Ride Free in downtown Seattle. I have worked as a physician in downtown Seattle for years and see how much this services helps people in need access care and services in the downtown area. And, yes, I ride the bus several times a week myself. Although I can afford the fare, I know that paying extra will be a disincentive for me to ride from work at one end of town to the commercial areas for shopping. Hard to see that this won't be a problem for downtown businesses. Overall, this seems like a poorly thought through decision for our aging population, especially when combined with less parking downtown. Please reverse this decision!
I am a social worker in the University District and many of my clients have relied on the ride free zone to make their appointments including medical and court appointments. If transfers are also eliminate, many people will have no transportation. Previously I worked in Snohomish County where a ride free area did not exist and transfers were eliminated. Many people inappropriately used expensive forms of transportation such as ambulances to get their needs met. This could result in increased money spent by the County to accommodate increased court fees, usage of ambulances, etc. Please look into other revenue sources to fund this needed service. Additionally, please advocate only for proposals that do not affect marginalized populations such as people who are low-income or people of color.
I live on Bainbridge Island and rarely bring a car to Seattle. I work as an RN in a community health clinic in south Seattle and have a partially subsidized Orca pass, which means this change doesn't directly impact me. However, the Ride Free zone is a tremendous boon to tourists, low income people living downtown or near to downtown, and my retired my husband with MS. The ride free definitely speeds up boarding for all riders as buses go through downtown. My husband doesn't have an Orca card. Some days he is too fatigued to walk very far, though he generally opts for walking when time allows so he can maintain his abilities. As ferries are infrequent, approximately every 50 minutes, often taking a bus in the downtown area saves considerable time, a whole extra 50 minutes, when ferry times don't allow walking to event starts or endings.
NOT FOR PROFIT BUSINESS'S THAT HAVE EMPLOYEE'S CONDUCT BUSINESS (within the Free Ride Zone) WITH OTHER SUPPORTIVE AGENGIES TO HELP THE POOR AND LOW INCOME, SHOULD HAVE A BUSINESS METRO PASS WITHIN NORMAL M-F 8 - 5PM PASSES TO USE.
When the most vulnerable members of our community can easily access services, it benefits the entire community. When people cannot access the services they need â€“ medical services, mental health services, basic food and shelter needs â€“ the consequences fall on all of us.