NUHSA Board Member named to King County advisory panel on transit mobility

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Metropolitan King County Council today gave its unanimous approval to the members appointed by the County Executive who will explore developing fare programs for low income communities who use public transit as their primary source of transportation.

Rob Beem, board member of the North Urban Human Services group, and Shoreline city staffer, was named to the advisory panel.

Council Chair Larry Gossett, prime sponsor of the motion, said that
“The goal of the committee is to explore how we continue to provide vital transit service that is both accessible and affordable to all transit users. The makeup of the committee ensures that a wide range of voices—including those who depend on Metro as their only source of transportation—will help in providing the information we need.”
Larry Phillips, chair of the Council's Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee, added 
“The economic downturn, the end of the Ride Free Area, and transit fares increases have made it harder for low- and no-income people to get to work and appointments on public transportation. I thank the members of the Low Income Fare Advisory Committee for their commitment to coming up with recommendations for making King County’s public transit system accessible to people of limited means.”

In October 2012, the Council took the proactive step of addressing the mobility needs of low-income residents throughout King County by unanimously adopting the formation of the advisory panel.  The group, which consists of representatives from a wide range of human service agencies as well as those who might benefit from the recommendation of the panel, will assist in the development of public transportation fare programs for low income communities in support of the “fair and just” principles that are part of the King County Strategic Plan.

The scope of work for the committee includes a number of issues:

  1. Establishing a common understanding of mobility barriers for low income populations, and how transit fare price points affect access and use of transit by low-income persons;
  2. Reviewing the different types of transit fare options available to meet the mobility needs of low-income persons;
  3. Reviewing costs of potential King County low income fare programs;
  4. Recommend definitions of low income to be used for the implementation of transit fare programs;
  5. Making prioritized recommendations related to the establishment of King County low-income fare programs;
  6. Identifying different options for funding low income fare programs and potential partners that may be willing to support such programs;
  7. Identifying opportunities and recommendations for regional low income fare programs for potential consideration by agency partners of the ORCA joint board.

The committee would present its recommendations to the Council this summer.


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