County looks into Metro hike

King County Council members are considering a fare hike on Metro Transit this week to help offset the rising costs of fuel.

Rising fuel prices, an economic downturn and suburban route service expansions have surged Metro ridership numbers to record levels. The new-found enthusiasm for transit, however, also is creating a funding crisis: Metro will receive $40 million less in sales tax revenue in 2008-2009 than originally projected and pay an extra $36 million for fuel.

“Areas such as Covington and Kent’s East Hill have exploded from rural villages to full-blown urban centers and the people who live there need more transportation options,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn.

A King County Council meeting on the issue of public transportation was held Monday evening in Covington after the Kirkland Reporter’s deadline. A proposal to raise fares was recently heard at the county’s Transportation Committee and they are scheduled to take up the matter again at a Wednesday, Aug. 27 afternoon hearing.

Kirkland’s representative on the County Council, Jane Hague, also is a member of the Transportation Committee.

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