Metro proposal threatens to cut routes which will hinder students’ commute

MetroSliderDue to a lack of funds, Metro Transit has recently proposed a series of changes to its service that would be implemented in June 2014. The changes would cut 17 percent of service including alterations and eliminations of several routes.

While the effects of this proposal will be felt through all of King County, the Bellevue College community will be particularly impacted. 271 and 245 run straight through campus and are two of the most popular routes at BC. If the proposal goes through, the nearest stop to BC these routes would make is on148th, 145th or in  the Eastgate Park & Ride. With transit users forced to walk a portion of their commute, there would be a significant increase to their travel time.

“These changes simply do not make sense,” said BC Associate Student Government Environmental and Social Responsibility Representative Alex Clark. “We have around 1,200 people that ride the bus to and from our campus daily. A majority of those riders use the 271 and 245 … Having these routes run through the heart of campus … is convenient and accessible and therefore a great option … I am appalled that Metro would suggest making the proposed changes to these vital routes.”

The proposed changes would not only negatively impact bus riders. BC Sustainability Director Deric Gruen explained that “it will put an extra 30,000 cars back on the road … It will reduce accessibility for transit-dependent people, for example those unable to drive due to a disability or who cannot afford … a car.” At BC, “it will also clog our sidewalks and create more of a conflict between pedestrians and cars driving through our campus,” added Clark.

Clark continued to say that he would “be representing the students in several ways. From Watchdog coverage, letter writing, calling legislators, and testifying at public hearing[s], I vow to make avoiding these changes a priority.”

Gruen encourages students to get involved as well, insisting they can make sure “these cuts don’t happen.  The decision will be made at the state and county level. The city will also play a role in advising the county.  Concerned students can work with [the ASG and OSLA], contact their legislators directly and/or attend a public hearing, including a Bellevue meeting Wednesday, Dec. 11, 6-8 p.m., Bellevue City Hall.” To stay up to date with BC transportation, visit www.bellevuecollege.edu/sustainability.

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