King County Council has voted to table consideration of a $20 vehicle license fee to maintain Metro bus service levels until its Aug. 15 meeting.
Five members of the County Council have already voiced support for imposing the temporary "congestion reduction fee," which would stay in place for two years, and stave off proposed cuts to Metro equivalent to 17 percent of bus service system-wide.
The cuts could take place in two waves, with most of the 1,600,000 hours in service cuts coming in 2013. Most speakers at the Monday hearing voiced support for passing the temporary fee. But they failed to convince any of the other four members — including Jane Hague, who represents part of Redmond — to sign on.
The County Council is also weighing the possibility of placing the issue on November's General Election ballot, which would cost approximately $800,000. The council must act by Aug. 15 on a decision to place the measure on the ballot because of a Aug. 16 deadline to place items on the November ballot.
County Executive Spokesman Frank Abe said in a news release that Executive Dow Constantine appreciated the willingness of council members to take more time to carefully consider the merits.
"Clearly the hundreds who turned out to speak with one voice for a rescue of Metro bus service made a difference, and we thank them for their passion and commitment," Abe said. "The Executive looks forward to working with the Council toward an outcome that preserves transit, keeps people moving and helps get our regional economy back on track."