SHARE/WHEEL, the homeless advocacy group that runs Tent City as well as several bare-bones shelters, received thousands of reduced-fare bus tickets from King County Metro last week—20,000, according to a SHARE representative who spoke at a city budget hearing last night. Metro spokeswoman Rochelle Ogershock is looking into how many tickets the agency provided and at what price. Metro routinely offers low-cost tickets to charitable organizations like SHARE through the county's human services department.

However, a SHARE representative, Dale Hackler, told the city council and Mayor Mike McGinn last night that those 20,000 tickets would only last the group three weeks, after which they plan to start riding buses without paying fare. "When we run out we are going to do what Rosa Parks and so many others have had to do—ride the bus in very challenging circumstances, in our case, riding the bus without a ticket," Hackler said.

SHARE issued a press release last month saying they would resume sleeping on the sidewalk in front of City Council member Tom Rasmussen's house when they ran out of free tickets, which group members say they need to get to and from SHARE's shelters.

Rasmussen was the last council member targeted by SHARE, which is seeking $50,000 from the city to pay for bus tickets. The city offered SHARE the money on the condition that SHARE promises to keep its shelters open through the year in exchange. SHARE doesn’t want to do that, because they say they may run out of money.

SHARE’s protests last year became controversial after its clients told Publicola they were threatened with eviction from their tents or shelter beds if they refused to attend the protests.