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Would Eight Free Metro Tickets Make You More Likely to Take The Bus?

Are you going to use your eight Metro Transit bus tickets? Incentive program will send each household with a registered vehicle eight vouchers to take King County Metro Transit buses.

Do you remember last year that maintained the level of King County Metro Transit bus service? 

Part of the legislation on the $20 increase included eight free bus vouchers for registered vehicle owners. 

The Metropolitan King County council this week approved the two-year incentive program, which will include eight bus tickets a year for the next two years to each household with a registered vehicle.

That means, even if your household has two or three registered vehicles, the household will share a set of eight vouchers a year. Also, the incentive program is for Metro-branded transit programs and does not include Metro ACCESS, Metro Vanpool, King County Water Taxi, or any other non-Metro branded transportation service, according to Metro's website.

According to a press release, the program is meant to encourage drivers to get from behind the wheel and leave the “driving” to Metro Transit.

Eastside King County council members Jane Hague and Kathy Lambert, who initially did not support the county council's efforts to raise the car tab fee without going to voters, after negotiating the preservation of Eastside routes and the inclusion of the bus vouchers. The conditions also included at the end of September.

The increase will be for two years, as will the bus voucher program. The program goes into effect June 2012 and will end in May 2014. The set of tickets are worth $24 a household.

“With the rising cost of gasoline, the use of these Metro Transit vouchers can offer riders significant savings over the cost of fuel for driving their own cars,” said Lambert, in a prepared statement. “Taking the opportunity to ride the bus with these vouchers may introduce or reintroduce people to the benefits and cost reductions of using the bussystem. I like to read my paper or catch up on e-mails when I ride the bus. I hope everyone will take advantage of this opportunity to use our transit system, or to benefit those who may not have other alternatives for transportation by donating vouchers to ticket programs with human service agencies.”

“According to customer surveys, 95 percent of Metro riders have access to a car, but choose to take the bus instead,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, chair of the Transportation, Environment and Economy Committee, in a prepared statement. “In this time of rising gas prices, this incentive program gives all car owners the opportunity to join the ranks of transit riders leaving their cars parked and discovering the benefits of taking transit.”

Drivers who don't plan to use the tickets can donate the value of their tickets toward existing human services ticket programs, according to the county.

The tickets will be sent with the car tabs when the tabs are renewed, starting with tabs renewed in June 2012, according to Metro's website.

Tell us in the poll what you plan to do with your tickets. If you're donating them, let us know what agency would need the tickets the most.

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