A shared vision
More service, more choices, one system
The opening of the new Link light-rail stations at Capitol Hill and the University of Washington—with more frequent Metro bus service connecting more neighborhoods to high-capacity transit—is a tangible example of how we are creating a seamless transportation system that give more people more choices to get to more places on time.
It’s a preview of the future of transportation in King County, and the long-range plan—METRO CONNECTS—is how we will get there.
This proposed plan is intended to be our atlas as we create an integrated transportation system that connects people to opportunity, protects our environment, and knits together our growing cities.
Decades of innovation at Metro give us a strong foundation to build on, including the highly successful RapidRide lines, one of the greenest bus fleets in the United States, the ORCA card system that has made fare payment more efficient and convenient, and the nation’s leading low-income fare program, ORCA LIFT.
The plan is shaped by input we received from passengers, King County cities, Sound Transit and other transportation agencies, businesses and other stakeholders—all working together to achieve a shared vision of better mobility in our region.
I invite you to review this summary of the draft plan and to share your thoughts on our website, kcmetrovision.org, and at upcoming public meetings as we finalize the plan.
Together, we will turn that vision into reality.
King County has urgent needs and exciting possibilities
Accommodate growth. Our region is growing every year, with one million more people and 850,000 more jobs expected by 2040. Transit will help make the best use of our limited roadways so we can all get around King County better.
Meet increasing demand. More older people are relying on transit and more younger people are choosing it. Metro can serve both ends of the spectrum and everyone in between.
Promote equity and social justice. While many people in King County are prospering, one in four people are living in poverty or near-poverty. Metro will work to remove barriers that limit the ability of some to fulfill their potential. An example is the innovative ORCA LIFT low-income fare program that Metro introduced in 2015.
Connect people to Link. As Sound Transit’s Link light rail system expands, Metro will provide critical connections to Link stations and other regional services.
Reduce emissions. Climate change presents long-term challenges to the health and safety of King County’s people, economy, and environment. Transit is our best tool for reducing transportation-based emissions.
Adopt emerging technologies. Rapid technological changes in communications, fare payment, and vehicles can benefit our customers and community.
What will it take
to these needs?
in Metro service,
from 3.5 million
service hours to
6 million hours
Explore the future we envision
What makes a transit system great?
Frequent, reliable and fast service. Connections to the places you want to go. Easy to use no matter who you are or where you’re going. Customer-friendly vehicles, drivers, stops, information and assistance. Cleanliness and safety. Service that works, all day, every day.
Metro’s vision is to help our region build a world-class transit system that embodies these characteristics. We imagine a system of transportation choices that move people farther, faster, and more reliably to the places they want to go, with easy, comfort, and safety.
To make sure our service provides the most benefits possible, we followed these principles in our plan:
Collaborate. Our vision grew out of a highly collaborative process that engaged our riders, King County cities, Sound Transit and other transportation agencies, employers, and others. Ongoing cooperation will ensure we make improvements the region needs.
Connect to Link. As Sound Transit extends Link, design Metro service in those areas to feed into light rail stations.
Serve more types of trips. If you’re going to count on transit, it has to work for all types of trips—beyond going to work and school. Transit should be easy to use for errands, entertainment, vising friends, and more. Future service will be there when you need it, starting earlier, ending later, and running all day.
Meet today’s needs and future growth. Provide more service where it’s needed today, and work with our cities and partners to make sure we can accommodate growth in a way that meets local priorities.
Allow flexibility. Expand our services to include options that are more accessible, meet local needs, and take advantage of advances in technology to give customers the right tools for every trip.
We’ll measure our progress and report to the public. Our online Accountability Center is a one-stop shop for detailed information on how we’re doing.
Look for Metro’s annual progress report and new performance indicators and data tracking systems.
Results we plan to achieve in King County
Transit ridership DOUBLES, reducing traffic congestion and supporting our economy by helping people, goods and services get where they need to go.
Metro buses arrive at Link stations every 1.5 MINUTES.
The percentage of people close to frequent service more than TRIPLES.
In LOW-INCOME and MINORITY areas, 85% of residents and 75% of jobs will be close to frequent transit service—and the opportunities it brings.
The share of commuters who take transit grows from 14% to 24%
Take 300,000 cars off the road every weekday, King County meet EMISSIONS REDUCTION goals.