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consultant for the new Bellevue Community Forums and Community Forums Network of Washington State and family partner in Dick's Drive-In Restaurants 178. Sad to see the Free Ride Area go. If you guys are going to make this happen this year, then I hope it will be successful transition! I strongly believe in order for it to be just that, then Metro needs to make it clear to riders that ORCA is much better than cash and much quicker. I see so much of the following: 1.) people fumbling to search for transfers & cash 2.) people paying in pennies 3.) arguments of fare between driver and riders (with 99% of riders in the wrong) This slows our buses down! If you make a specialized effort for everyone, especially low income riders and those in the south sound, to switch to ORCA, then I think this can work out. 179. I am the Executive Director of the Downtown Seattle YMCA. As a large social service provider in the middle of the ride free area I am very concerned at the impact of this change on our service community. Presently people from all walks of life come to the Y for housing, skills development, education, and wellness activities using the free bus. I believe the end of a ride free area will harm our accessibility and reduce our capacity to serve the community effectively. I believe members of our facility who currently travel more than a few blocks may decide to join another facility. Right now many choose to exercise in our not-for-profit social service agency rather than a for-profit health club because they want to benefit their community. With the lack of free parking and the elimination of a ride free area I believe we could lose significant customer base and this would harm our ability to serve the community with housing for the homeless, high school re-entry for disengaged students, job training, and other key programs. Thank you for the opportunity to share the impact as you finalize a decision. 180. Please reconsider your decision to eliminate the Ride Free Zone. Thousands of Seattle's daily population use this service to run quick errands during work, get to much needed emergency services, get to work, and spend time shopping during work breaks. This cut not only would severely diminish the businesses in downtown Seattle but more importantly would eliminate the ability of many thousands of the city’s most vulnerable population to utilize life saving services throughout the city. 181. I am writing you in regards to some alternate options you may consider for ending the Ride Free Area in downtown Seattle. First of all, I strongly believe that the Ride Free Area is a great tradition for both Seattle area residents and tourists all over the world. I work for a hostel at the International District to help budget travelers to stay in Seattle. During the summer time, our 284 beds are all occupied with them who are mostly from outside of the country. When they check out the hostel, they all appreciate the greatness of the Ride Free Area which they say that they never see such a friendly system in other places. It is now very unfortunate to hear the announcement regarding the ending of the Ride Free Area. From a tourist point of view, I just want to show you some ideas you may consider to keep attracting tourists and move them smoothly in the Seattle area below. 1) Day Pass on weekdays: Currently a day pass is available on weekends only. If the transit authority issues the day pass every day, 7 days a week, this helps travelers move without hassle around the area. 2) Free shuttle bus in the tunnel. If a number 99 type bus runs every 30 minutes in the tunnel from International District station to Convention Place station, tourists will get comfortable impression without knowing the traffic mess on the ground. 3) Bus fare payment at a vending machine. Tourists especially coming from outside of the country don't usually carry small changes. If they can pay a bus fare at a vending machine in a large bill or on a credit card, it would be very simple to ride and convenient for them

Ride Free Area - Public Engagement Report  

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