Bus Rapid Transit
8:36 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Congressional cuts threaten Metro’s RapidRide bus service

The red-and-yellow buses of King County’s new RapidRide system may stall before they have a chance to really get going. The Seattle Times reports that budget cuts proposed by House Republicans may leave the new Bus Rapid Transit program without promised start-up funds

Bus Rapid Transit is designed to make bus transit more like rail transit, with fewer stops, roomier coaches and more frequent service.

One RapidRide line – the "A" Line serving Tukwila, SeaTac and Federal Way – is already running. Metro Transit officials say that line will continue, regardless of federal cuts.

The other five lines slated to open over the next two years were relying on $68 million in federal grants. The grants were approved by the Federal Transit Administration. But the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives has targeted those funds as part of their effort to reduce the federal budget deficit.

Metro officials say the start of the other five RapidRide lines will be delayed, reduced or even canceled if the federal funds are withdrawn.