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I was pleased to read in the article “Free tourist buses now ply Seattle’s hectic waterfront” that businesses along the waterfront have partnered with the Downtown Seattle Association to provide public transportation while the viaduct is demolished and the tunnel to replace it is yet to open. Transit challenges created by construction in this area and utility work in Pioneer Square, in preparation for the First Avenue Connector Trolley, are exactly what prompted King County Metro to cancel Route 99 last year — the only bus route that serviced the waterfront and the northwest Belltown area.

In response to that decision, I sponsored a motion requiring a report be made to the Council on plans to provide transportation service to the waterfront and northwest Belltown as successive phases of construction are completed. Another motion required Metro to develop a long-term waterfront strategy so residents, workers and visitors will have viable transportation options for years to come.

In September, Metro will present a host of long-term strategies to the Council’s Mobility Committee detailing how Metro can keep this area one of the best tourist attractions in the region, now and in the future, to service residents, employers and employees.


Jeanne Kohl-Welles, King County Councilmember, District 4