people who are already strained for resources, many of whom do not have access to bus passes. Even with the Ride Free area, our agency is always swamped with requests for bus passes. I can't imagine what it will be like to have to give passes out for everything. I do a lot of case management and being able to jump on buses with my clients to help get them to doctor appts, social security, DSHS, etc helps speed the process and reduces barriers. As I navigate through downtown on a daily basis, I also see many tourists who comment on how nice it is to have this transportation and it makes them want to return for future visits. So, it's not just the poor who are impacted but I believe it will also impact tourists. This feels like we are cutting off our nose to spite our face. Please keep the ride free area. Thank you. 159. It would not be a good idea to get rid of the ride free area. I can remember when I first moved out in 1999, and living at the Youth Hostel. It was great to be able to get anywhere downtown without having money. I find it hard to believe that with the amount of money just for a one way/one one trip, that KCM is unable to continue this needed service. 160. I work with low income and homeless clients who are based in Belltown. Services for them are spread all over downtown and up the hill to Harborview. It is a huge social injustice to withhold a basic service from some of the people who most desperately need it. As someone who works downtown as well, it's ridiculous to take away the ride free area. So many professionals use the bus to get to meetings during the day. We pay enough money to Metro to get to and from our jobs each day, and that's always worked for you in the past. It should work still. 161. Downtown and the ride free zones are such an essential part of the living experience here in Seattle. I love Metro and the services that it offers but I am crushed about the changes that are in order. I think that it is a complete disregard for the socio-economic challenges of the city. I think that it is saying, "you canâ€™t pay, so oh well! WALK." And what does that mean for people with disabilities? How does this hold up for the population of people who live in the downtown area and pay so much for rent that they deserve the ride free area? What will this mean for the tourist that come to Seattle? Its bad enough the bus fare is $2.25 and $2.50 at peak hours! I don't like it. What about the multitude of struggling college students who use Metro services, who wont be able to afford $2.25 EVERY TIME they board a bus. And lastly...will you be adding time to the transfers? Don't do it Metro. Don't do it Seattle!!! Its fine the way it is. 162. Removing the ride free zone will only hurt low income people. i cant imagine that it will generate enough revenue to justify the disadvantaged people it will hurt. it would seem that low income people would just stop riding it in the downtown area, while people with cash would also probably opt to just walk, and people with monthly passes would not matter either way. expecting someone with a disabled bus permit would need to shell out .75 for a short ride across downtown seems an unfair burden to someone with no/low income trying to get to social services or medical appts. 163. Please do not eliminate the ride free area. We understand that Metro is strapped for money. We use the ride free area frequently and eliminating it will be a burden on us. This will disproportionately affect us as we are a low-income family, struggling to pay for basic services. We do not have access to subsidized bus passes from employers or institutions. For our family of four, having to pay for the bus downtown is too great of an incidental expense. We simply would not be able to afford it. Please reconsider your decision. Look for alternate savings measures and alternate income generating measures. Thank you.
Published on May 31, 2012