Sunday bus service starts June 7; adult fares increase 25 cents July 1
Snohomish County, Wash. –In its most significant action affecting customers since the service cuts of 2010 and 2012, the Community Transit Board of Directors today approved a plan to bring back Sunday bus service in June.
The board approved a service expansion package that will not only return bus service on Sundays and six major holidays, but it will also increase trips on weekdays and Saturdays, mostly in off-peak times.
In response to public input, the board rejected a plan to alter Route 222 service to the new Walmart store on Highway 9 in Marysville. The board also rejected a plan to drop a small loop on Village Way in Monroe. That loop serves the Monroe Boys & Girls Club, library and senior center. A proposed adjustment to Route 280 serving Boeing from Granite Falls and Lake Stevens was approved.
The board also approved a 25-cent fare increase that will go into effect on July 1. The fare increase affects all adult bus fares and DART paratransit rides. Youth and reduced fares will be unchanged.
Full details on the service and fare increases are available at www.communitytransit.org/2015changes.
Economic recovery fueling service increase
In June 2010, Community Transit suspended all Sunday and holiday service as the agency responded to the recession’s toll on its sales tax revenue. Through two rounds of service cuts, the agency eliminated 37 percent of its bus service and a third of its workforce.
As the Snohomish County economy has improved, sales tax revenues have increased and Community Transit is investing those funds in added service. The agency added 7,500 hours of new bus service last September and will add 27,000 hours of service in June 2015 (18,000 hours for Sunday/holiday service and 9,000 hours the rest of the week).
Altogether, the 2014-15 increases represent only about 22 percent of the 160,000 hours cut during the recession.
To bring service levels back to where they were before the recession, and meet the growing demand for transit service in Snohomish County, Community Transit is seeking approval of a “local option” bill in Olympia. House Bill 1393 had a hearing yesterday and will be voted on Monday in the state House Transportation Committee. That bill would allow Community Transit to seek voter approval of more funding for transit service, up to three-tenths of one percent sales tax increase.
Currently, Community Transit is at the state maximum nine-tenths of one percent sales taxing authority.
Increased funding would help pay for a second Swift bus rapid transit line between Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field, more commuter service to Seattle and UW, increased frequency of bus trips throughout Snohomish County and longer daily service hours.
More bus drivers
The June service expansion was carefully crafted to not require more buses, which would require a larger financial investment. However, more drivers will be needed to drive the extra weekday and Sunday trips. Community Transit hired 49 new drivers last year and is looking to hire another 34 drivers before June.
Information about how to apply to be a Community Transit driver is available at www.communitytransit.org/drive4us.
Community Transit is responsible for providing transportation options for Snohomish County residents, including bus and paratransit service, vanpool and ridesharing options. 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. You can also read our blog at www.communitytransit.blogspot.com, visit our Facebook page or see us on YouTube. Support local businesses and Community Transit when you Buy Local for Transit; read more at www.communitytransit.org/buylocal.