Year Two: Seattle Transportation Benefit District Performance Report

We’ve released our second annual performance report about voter-approved Proposition 1, which created and funded the Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD) to purchase more bus service from Metro, specifically for Seattle residents.

The year two report shows that the voters’ investment continues to translate into major transit dividends.

Seattle voters were told they would get increased Seattle-specific Metro service and the data in the latest report shows:

  • STBD increased service by more than 30 percent on key Transit routes.
  • In two years, STBD increased access to frequent transit service from 25 percent to 64 percent of households.

Seattle residents clearly meant it when they voted for a local Metro boost. The numbers in the new report show:

  • Ridership is up across the board on our RapidRide lines, including a 40 percent increase on Rapid Ride C, with all three buses meeting their schedule nearly 80 percent of the time.

When voters authorized this funding, they were also taking a stand for transit equity. We’re happy to report that the commitment to prioritize social justice in our bus service is working:

  • Working with King County, the percentage of low-income residents using ORCA Lift, our discounted ORCA card program, has nearly doubled, going from 11 percent of eligible riders, to almost 20 percent.
  • We’ve gotten pre-paid Orca Cards to 2,680 low-income middle and high school students, generating 440,000 student Orca Card trips and saving $648,000 for them and their families.

Voters, government accountability watchdogs, and total transit nerds can dig in to the all the data in the Year Two Performance Report.

Background

In 2014, voters passed Proposition 1 by 62-percent, which created and funded STBD. The funding measure includes a $60 vehicle license fee and 0.1 percent sales tax increase to generate about $50 million annually for six years (2015-2020).

STBD’s successful first year included adding 270,000 more annual service hours on 68 routes, and a 26-percent addition of 71,000 annual hours for RapidRide C, D, and E lines.