King County voters are receiving ballots in the mail for the April 22 special election. Many of them have only one issue to decide: Proposition 1. Unless voters approve it, King County Metro will be forced to cut between 16 percent and 17 percent of its current bus service.
That number is a little hard to visualize. Seattle Transit Blog has done it with this map revealing how much of the region’s frequent service network would disappear. King County has crunched numbers to show how route cuts will impact highways and job centers. But for those of us who aren’t transit nerds or intimately familiar with traffic patterns, here’s another way of thinking about what a 17 percent cut really feels like:
The reductions would go beyond trimming fat or belt tightening. They would cut deeply into a core service that 400,000 people rely on to get where they’re going. And one that benefits everyone else by getting those people out of cars and freeing up road space. So if a nine-week pay cut—or figuring out what to do with your kids for an extra six weeks of summer—feels like a big deal to you, chances are good that Metro bus cuts would be too.