Senators Cantwell and Murray Announce Nearly $400 Million in Transportation Funding for King County from American Rescue Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced $395.6 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act that will be going to King County Metro Transit. These funds are distributed by the Department of Transportation and intended to help transit agencies maintain service and jobs as communities continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As King County continues to grow, it’s vital our transit system is able to keep up. This $395.6 million in federal funding will support Metro’s plans to increase service in 2022, expand its fleet of zero-emission buses and bring new bus rapid transit lines from downtown Seattle to Burien, the International District to Rainier Valley, and Totem Lake to Eastgate,” said Senator Cantwell. 

“The American Rescue Plan continues to work for Washington state – putting federal dollars where we need them most to get our communities up and running,” said Senator Murray. “This money will go a long way toward making sure workers and families in King County can count on public transit to get to where they need to go. This federal support was a priority for me in the American Rescue Plan because better public transit means we can cut carbon emissions, connect communities, and create jobs. I’m going to keep fighting for King County in the Other Washington, and I’m especially proud that we were able to secure the largest ever investment in public transit when we passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will help keep Washington state moving forward.” 

“Metro has always kept King County moving, and today’s grant is an investment in the future of mobility in King County. This funding from the American Rescue Plan will further our mission, connect more communities, and further improve the frequent, reliable transit service that King County Metro is known for,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “I want to thank President Biden, Secretary Buttigieg, our delegation in the House, and our leaders in the Senate - Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell - for delivering this historic investment to King County.”

This funding is part of more than $1.1 billion for Washington state public transit agencies that Senators Cantwell and Murray worked to secure in the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law by President Biden on March 11 of this year. The funding is distributed on a formula basis and can be used for payroll for public transit providers, including private providers of public transportation, operating costs of public transit during the public health emergency, including the purchase of personal protective equipment, and administrative leave for operations or contractor personnel due to reductions in service.

Senators Cantwell and Murray have also worked to secure major investments in Washington state transportation to reduce traffic and emissions through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which President Biden recently signed. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest federal investment in public transit in history and devotes a larger share of funds from surface transportation reauthorization to transit in the history of the programs. Based on formula funding alone, Washington state is expected to receive $1.79 billion to improve public transportation options and accessibility across the state, and be eligible for additional funds from the law through competitive and need-based grants as well.