Metro riders voice concerns about service cuts

SEATTLE -- King County bus riders say further Metro cuts will turn their lives upside down, and many of them came out Tuesday night to beg county leaders to find a fix.

Hundreds of thousands of residents rely on Metro every day, and they don't know what they'll do if the proposed service cuts go through.

Susan Cook has epilepsy and is unable to drive. She, like so many others who turned out Tuesday night, want city and county leaders to find a solution to Metro's budget crisis.

"We all need to and want to be in contact with the rest of the world," she said.

King County voters have already voted down a sales tax and car tab increase that would have funded Metro's ailing coffers. Now riders are learning about how that decision will impact their daily lives.

"How are we going to get to our jobs? Who's going to be cleaning those hotels? Who's gonna be cleaning those houses?" one rider asked.

Mayor Ed Murray now wants Seattle residents to go back to the polls to save service in the city and match funds with other cities. He announced the plan Tuesday afternoon while flanked by city and county leaders who are all hoping for a joint solution to the problem.

County executive Dow Constantine hopes to avert cuts by allowing all cities in King County to purchase additional transit service.

It would be up to each city to figure out how to pay for the service.

Murray is calling for a $60 license tab fee for all Seattle drives, along with a .1 percent increase to the city sales tax.

The county will host two more public hearings on Metro before any further decisions are made.