Community Post

Save the Ride Free Area! Transit Riders Union public meeting: Tuesday, September 4th

On September 29th, the downtown Ride Free Area will be eliminated. This means longer delays, more congestion, hurting downtown businesses, and stranding low income riders. It’s an all-around terrible decision – that’s what happens when political maneuvering substitutes for transparent public process.

The Transit Riders Union is asking the County Council to reconsider their decision to eliminate the RFA. Visit to learn more and to send an email petition letter to our County Council members and County Executive Dow Constantine (direct link to petition:

Want to learn more? The Transit Riders Union is holding a public meeting and workshop on the Ride Free Area:

Tuesday, September 4th, 6pm

Capitol Hill Public Library meeting room*

425 Harvard Avenue East

(served by Metro routes 8, 60, 49, 10, 11)

*This event is not sponsored by the Seattle Public Library.

3 thoughts on “Save the Ride Free Area! Transit Riders Union public meeting: Tuesday, September 4th

  1. There’s something naively amusing in the Transit Rider’s suggestions to avoid eliminating the Ride Free Area. From their own blog:

    1. they note the county projects to save $2 Million annually by elminating the RFA.

    2. they propose the County and City Council Members, Mayor and County Executive “do whatever is in your power to fund a free downtown circulator that will adequately mitigate the effects of the RFA’s elimination”. (what, pray tell? Do you think they haven’t considered “whatever is in their power” yet? Where should the funding come from? From a sh*tpile of cash they’ve got just laying around?)

    3. They propose a new “circulator” that will provide frequent downtown connections.

    4. They then conclude their own suggestion is too expensive, almost as expensive as the $2 million being saved, so they recommend the RFA be continued. (the RFA that will cost $2 million annually).

    Is this nonsense what constitutes constructive suggestions as alternates to eliminating the Ride Free Area? Did I miss something, or somewhere in there did they make suggestions for funding for this $2 million being lost?

    Talk about circular reasoning (pun intended). What a joke.

  2. The only way to get the $20 CRC through to save existing Metro service was to placate the “our constituents work hard, no one should ride for free” nonsense spewed by some of the Councilmembers. It was a compromise that may not make anyone who uses Metro regularly particularly happy, but it is what it is.

    I’m far more worried about the overall system impact of losing the Ride Free come September. If you want a practical solution for folks who can’t afford to ride around downtown, let’s start talking about free/subsidized ORCA cards for folks who need them. At least that’s a conversation you can build around, and with potential funding sources that, while strapped, are at least more diverse than ‘let’s take money from Metro’.

  3. The substitute circulator they talk about is actually already well down the road to implementation. Metro bought 2 20 passenger vehicles that will act as a free shuttle in more or less the existing RFA (although notably it will include Harborview unlike the RFA). The concern is that the shuttles won’t nearly meet the demand of low income riders and is slated for shorter hours and no weekend service. As such the Transit Riders Union is willing to take what they can get but I can understand why they’re still pushing for retaining the same level of service.