Route 271 – Update and Outlook

Date posted: June 17, 2014

Transportation is on the minds of students and staff at Bellevue College. The bus cuts loom over the heads of transit riders, while those in vehicles are facing greater degrees of traffic. Not only do commute times increase but so do the costs – all while transportation alternatives diminish.

Through this haze, the Bellevue College community has been informed and empowered. Bellevue College showed up at two events in May to represent their commutes. Their words were heard by the County Council, which attempted to stall the cuts in hopes of finding additional revenue and efficiencies before November. However, Executive Constantine vetoed the proposal.

Where to go from here?  Bellevue College’s voice in the crowd matters to the Council, so the community needs to remain engaged and voicing concerns about the 271 when the opportunity arises. Moreover, the community can influence how the City of Bellevue recognizes its transit riders.

City of Bellevue has expressed a concern for the students of Bellevue College (2:24:00 – 3:08:00). Their awareness of the College community signals an opportunity for collaboration between the College and City in preserving Route 271. Specifically, the County has allowed the opportunity for municipalities to purchase bus service where the County has cut it. Towards this end, the City will connect with Metro on identifying key ridership figures that indicate which cuts could be purchased.

City of Bellevue, Metro, and Bellevue College have several months to preserve the 271. Cuts will begin in September, but they would not impact Route 271 until November – provided the cut takes place.

Overall, the Bellevue College community owes a big THANK YOU to those students, faculty, and staff who demonstrated and wrote to the County Council and City of Bellevue Council regarding their need for the 271. Without their collective voice and attendance of meetings, municipal and County leadership would not understand the burden of this cut.