Dow emphasizes the maintenance and improvement of our transportation system as one of the greatest challenges facing King County. He has worked tirelessly over the past four years to make Metro Transit more efficient, keep our buses on the road, expand high capacity rail, and take on the challenge of reversing the decline of local roads systems both inside and outside of our cities.
Regional Transit Task Force – For more than a decade the various regions of the county had been in a political tug-of-war over the allocation of new bus service - or of service cuts. Dow appointed a countywide task force of county and city representatives, transportation advocates, business, labor and other community leaders, and asked them to consider an alternative to the old political power struggles and deal-making. After a year of hard work, the task force unanimously proposed a new system based on productivity, geographic value, and fairness to those for whom the bus is their only option. These principles were converted to measurable criteria and incorporated into Metro’s new strategic plan. This and other reforms have led to the leveling out of Metro’s transit operating costs.
Temporary funding for Metro Transit – In 2011, under Dow’s leadership, King County was granted temporary, two-year funding by the Legislature to preserve Metro Transit service, based on the County’s demonstrated success at cutting costs. Dow then successfully lobbied the King County Council to obtain supermajority approval for the two-year Congestion Reduction Charge, forestalling dramatic cuts in bus service. That funding will expire in the middle of next year. Dow is continuing to work with the Legislature and our regional partners to replace this funding, so that bus riders and our economy do not suffer a sudden and dramatic reduction in transit mobility next year.
New South Park Bridge fully funded – When Dow took office, one of his first tough decisions was to close the dangerously deteriorated South Park Bridge. Under Dow's regional leadership a coalition of businesses, community leaders, and local, port, state, and federal governments, raised $134 million toward the construction of the new South Park Bridge. Although funding the replacement span was once thought to be an impossible task, the new bridge will open in early 2014, facilitating freight movement and helping a diverse, working class neighborhood to thrive.