King County Metro is the largest public transportation agency in the Puget Sound region, delivering more than 130 million rides per year. In 2020, King County was the first in the nation to be impacted by Covid-19, with Metro ridership dropping to 90% below pre-pandemic levels. However, even at the pandemic’s peak, 100,000 trips a day were taken, mostly by essential workers and residents who are typically concentrated in low-income areas with high racial diversity. As Covid-19’s impact on transportation in the County continues to evolve, Metro recognizes that public transit is at the heart of a successful recovery from the crisis.
Given this, Metro is focused on creating a better system for the riders who have needed transit the most during the crisis, including expanding and increasing access to Metro’s business programs. FUSE will build strategic partnerships with businesses and other institutions to ensure more residents have access to employer subsidized transit passes. FUSE will leverage the launch of the new transit pass smart-card system in early 2022 to structurally transform Metro’s intuitional partnerships, facilitating increased access to low-cost transit passes to eligible users, such as workers with low wages or clients of non-profit human service agencies.