Public transportation has the potential to increase quality of life by providing mobility options to those that need them. It serves as an alternative for those who cannot drive, and provides an alternative to driving for those that may need it. Offering a variety of public transportation services, such as fixed-route service, ridesharing, paratransit service, and community shuttles, amongst others, Metro is the primary public transportation provider in King County, Washington. Metro created this five-year plan to guide decision-making around alternative to traditional, fixed-route service delivery options in King County between 2012 and 2017.
Metro’s overall goal is to put services of the right “size, scale, and type” into each community that they serve. In order to do this, Metro created this five-year plan, which describes alternative services, opportunities for alternative service delivery, and process for community collaboration.
Other report highlights include:
- Alternative services can be defined as those provided by a public transportation company, such as Metro, and those provided by private organizations or businesses. When determining how to improve services, Metro considers the services they provide, as well as the services provided by private organizations and businesses.
- In order to be successful in implementing the right services in the right locations, it is important to consider the function of existing services, mobility needs in the community, what Metro services are currently available, what resources Metro has available, the availability of services provided by other organizations and businesses, and available partner resources.
- Two of the challenges that Metro currently faces in regards to transportation options are that some of the services they provide are limited to special populations, and lack of awareness among residents that these programs exist.
- Where population density is low, fixed-route services may not be the most cost-effective option. Instead, it may be better to meet the mobility needs in low density areas with services, such as carpools and vanpools, shared taxis, and employer transportation programs, that are more flexible.
How to Use
While this plan is based on the needs of Metro Transit in King County, the information and ideas provided can be altered to make sense in any community. Additionally, there is information provided regarding Metro’s timeline for planning, a review of best practices, case studies, stakeholder involvement information, and constraints to implementation that can be reviewed and utilized by local planners and leaders interested in focusing on transit service delivery options.
View full report: King County Metro Transit: Five-year Implementation Plan (PDF – 10.7 MB)