Regional Transit Task Force wins leadership award

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Regional Transit Task Force has won the prestigious James R. Ellis Regional Leadership Award from the Municipal League of King County.

"We asked 28 local leaders to set aside arbitrary political divisions and come up with transit recommendations that meet the needs of the entire county, and they exceeded all expectations," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "That takes real leadership, and I'm pleased to see their hard work and vision recognized by the Municipal League."

The Ellis Award honors individuals and organizations for contributing significant leadership in the examination of regional public policy problems. The Regional Transit Task Force (RTTF) is a 28-member panel representing a broad coalition of transit stakeholders in King County and the Puget Sound region. Last year, the Executive and Metropolitan King County Council tasked the group to identify short-term and long-term objectives for transit service investment, and to formulate a service implementation policy based on those objectives.

The work of the RTTF is expected to form the foundation of a unified regional effort to work with the state Legislature to replace the volatility of the sales taxes that now provide the majority of the funding for public transit with a more long-term, sustainable source of revenue. This revenue source will be needed to avoid deep cuts to Metro Transit service in future years and to plan for future growth of Metro’s bus system – the ninth-largest in the nation – as millions more potential riders move to this region in the coming years.

The RTTF recommendations were accepted by the County Council in December. They are now serving as the foundation for work by a joint Council and Executive staff group to develop a new Metro Transit Strategic Plan that can be transmitted to the King County Council at the end of February.

Members of the task force, including Shoreline Councilmember Chris Eggen, said they were honored by the award, and pleased to see their work recognized.

See previous story.

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