Dec 18, 2014
Not only is Dec. 19 a Friday, which is a typically bad commute day, but the weather forecast is calling for rain, and it is the last Friday before Christmas, which could make fo...
Dec 18, 2014
ORCA's website, orcacard.com, is back online as of 4:15 p.m. Thursday, 12/18.
Dec 16, 2014
Construction To Close Stops Between Dayton & Walnut Streets From Tuesday 12/16 to Thursday 12/18, construction will close stops on 5th Avenue S. between Dayton and Walnu...
Dec 12, 2014
Construction To Close Stops Between Dayton & Walnut Streets Construction will close stops on 5th Avenue S. between Dayton and Walnut Streets from Tuesday, 12/16 to Thurs...
Dec 12, 2014
Community Transit buses will not operate on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Buses will be on regular schedule the day before the holidays, and reduced schedule the day after...
Dec 9, 2014
Cold, wet weather and darkness are combining with the holiday shopping season to create heavy traffic in the evenings and on weekends. Expect potential bus delays at these t...
Nov 10, 2014
Community Transit has proposed to bring back Sunday and holiday bus service in June 2015. Thanks to increases in sales tax revenue due to a recovering economy, the agency pl...
Nov 10, 2014
Community Transit is proposing a 25-cent increase on all adult bus fares, as well as a 25-cent increase on all DART paratransit fares. The fare increase would go into effect on ...
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Sunday, holiday service suspended; local bus and paratransit fares up 25 cents
Snohomish County, Wash. – The Community Transit Board of Directors today reluctantly but unanimously approved a plan to suspend Sunday and major holiday service, and to make other cuts to close a $5 million gap in the agency’s budget this year.
The board also approved a 25-cent fare increase for local bus and paratransit service to help increase revenue.
The fare increase takes effect June 1. The service reductions will take effect June 13.
Community Transit, like transit agencies across the state, has lost a significant portion of its sales tax revenue due to the recession. Current revenues are 20 percent less than the agency received in 2007, despite having more service on the road. Community Transit cut $14 million in spending the past two years before considering service cuts.
“We did our best to avoid cutting service for two years, but we can no longer do that,” said Board Chair Dave Gossett, the chair of the Snohomish County Council. “We looked at every alternative to suspending Sunday and holiday service, but the other options were even more painful. As soon and funding is available, we will bring back these important services.”
A major part of the service reduction is suspending all Sunday and major holiday service. Starting June 13, bus and paratransit service will not operate on Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Memorial Day in addition to Sundays. Community Transit refers to these reductions as suspensions because the agency intends to restore this service as soon as financially possible. It is pursuing a variety of funding sources and options that could possibly provide revenue to restore the service.
The board did approve a $50,000 fund that could be used by community organizations to fill the gaps of missing Sunday service for those with the greatest need. Details of how that plan will work are being developed.
The service cuts include cuts to local and commuter bus service. The plan will eliminate Routes 200, 207, 404, 411, 441, 812, 851 and 870, each of which has alternative transit service. Other routes will be consolidated and duplications in service will be eliminated. Some commuter routes will be changed to start at park & ride lots, rather than starting on city streets and picking up passengers along the way to the park & ride.
To further reduce costs, some early morning and late night trips will be cut, including early morning trips to Boeing’s Everett plant.
The plan approved by the board is largely the one Community Transit took to the public in January and February. After public input and recommendations from the board of directors, further changes were made to the proposal regarding Routes 101, 105, 106, 120, 121, 227, 247,412, 414, 424 and 477, mostly restoring service.
Details of the approved plan will be available at www.communitytranist.org Friday, March 5.
The suspensions and cuts total about 80,000 hours, or about 15 percent of the service Community Transit provides. These changes will result savings of $5 million in 2010 and $11 million in 2011, which allows the agency to balance its budget.
“In my 18 years as an elected official, this is the hardest vote I’ve ever had to take,” said board member and Lynnwood City Council President Ted Hikel. “I don’t know anyone on this board or this staff who likes this, but there are realities out there – there just isn’t any money.”
Community Transit is committed to improving our region’s environment; helping the public think transit first is just one effort. From retrofitting its entire fleet to reduce emissions by 90 percent to virtually eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals in its vehicle maintenance shops, Community Transit strives to make our communities greener and more sustainable. Call Community Transit at (425) 353-RIDE or (800) 562-1375 for bus information, or (888) 814-1300 for carpool or vanpool information, or go to www.communitytransit.org.