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organization supporting low-income residents in housing. Eliminating the Free Ride Area is just plain poor policy. It is a short-term savings of funds that will ultimately cost the City and the local and regional transit programs more both financially and in the public’s regard. The proposed solution to provide more free or reduced bus passes through established social service agencies assumes that all lower-income people living in Seattle are, or should be, connected to a social service program. Neither assumption is true. This change will also disproportionately impact lower income workers in Seattle the men and women who work in janitorial, retail, property management support, and food services in downtown Seattle - the same people who clean up after many of us when we work or play in Seattle; the people who work the registers when we go shopping, and the people who make our sandwiches for us when we forget our lunch at home. I receive a subsidized bus through my employer, but many of the people I mentioned above do not. Many will now have to pay (or pay more) to go to work starting in September. I'm not sure what the cost will be, but it seems unfair for a public transit system to place the highest burden on folks making $10 an hour. Increasing user fees always impacts lower-income wage earners the most. If the plight of the lower-income workers doesn't resonate with you, I would like point out that this process will also slow down the transit system for those of us who use it to commute into and spend our entertainment dollars in the city. It really is too expensive to live in downtown Seattle for anyone who is not either a higher-income salary earner or living in subsidized apartments. I earn the median income for King County; have a bus pass, and ride transit to and from work about 3 times a week. I also ride transit in downtown Seattle several times during the week. I've worked, played, and spent my money in downtown Seattle for over 10 years. The recent decisions made by the local and regional transit planners have pushed me to consider looking for work on the east side of the lake. This is a hard decision for me since I like my job and find it very fulfilling. I just can't afford the extra time and expense that have been added (or in the case of the elimination of the Free Ride area, will be added) to my commute in 2011/ 2012. When I leave my Seattle employment, I will spend my entertainment, shopping, and dining out dollars in Bellevue, Kirkland, Bothell...well, pretty much everywhere that is not Seattle. I will miss the friendly, progressive, welcoming city that I came to know and love when I moved to the area 21 years ago. Thank you for considering my input during your Public Comment Period. I hope that this opportunity means that the decision to eliminate the Free Ride Area has not already been irreversibly made and that my words have reached you. 258. We need best service, clean, on-time, and security. More respect of the drivers to us. Sometimes we run to take the bus and just when we catch we knock the door, the door never open. The driver going mocking us. More vigilance with video camera. Sometimes the homeless fight for nothing. Besides they (homeless) eat on the bus and leave the garbage under the seat. 259. I am very disappointed and concerned that the Ride Free Area is being canceled after 39 years of being in effect. This program has substantially lessened the burden of needed transportation costs of our most vulnerable populations. Getting to and from various social services, doctors, job interviews, etc. is something that will now be near impossible or too costly to attempt. This is not how we, the great city of Seattle, should be demanding of our neighbors. There must be a solution which can adequately alleviate the economic burden. Please create a solution that operates nights and weekends as well as during "work" hours. This problem deserves the utmost attention and creative problem solving. Another concern is frequency of the route. An elderly individual standing in the rain to wait for a circulator that only arrives every 30 minutes. And what about who is allowed? It's great if no eligibility were to be required. But, if the new system only has 15-20 seats, then how do we guarantee room (priority?) for seniors, homeless, low-to-no income citizens? Our downtown area was built around

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