Snohomish County, Wash. – As part of its ongoing service expansion, Community Transit will be in construction mode throughout 2018, building 34 stations for its new Swift Green Line bus rapid transit route, a new Seaway Transit Center near Boeing’s Everett plant, and road improvements to ease congestion and help buses stay on schedule.
The Community Transit Board of Directors today approved the agency’s 2018 budget, with operating expenses of $142 million and capital expenses of $59.5 million. The budget projects a 3.5 percent increase in service next year while preparing for a major service increase in early 2019 when the Swift Green Line opens.
The 2018 budget also includes first-year funding for a new three-year contract with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) for transit safety and protection services. From 2018 through 2020, the agency’s Transit Police Unit will add seven deputies, increasing the unit to 20 members.
Staffing for the Transit Police Unit will include a half-time lieutenant, two sergeants, two master patrol deputies, 14 deputies and an administrative position.
Transit police are regular SCSO deputies who patrol Community Transit buses and facilities, and respond to calls when needed. Because the Transit Police Unit is a dedicated unit within the SCSO, its deputies can call non-transit deputies for backup in a transit security situation, and can respond to general security issues in their patrol area.
Community Transit and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office first created the Transit Police Unit in 2003 with 10 positions.
“Our customers and employees deserve to feel safe and secure on our service and in our facilities,” said Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath. “Uniformed deputies with full authority to enforce the law are a great deterrent to misconduct. As our service expands we want to make sure that our safety and security detail grows along with our service.”
Overall, the 2018 Budget projects a 9 percent increase in sales tax revenue over 2017 while expenditures will grow at 5.5 percent.
Funding will go toward:
New bus service, more buses, and more employees to drive and maintain those buses.
Construction of 34 Swift Green Line stations and three road improvements projects.
Purchase and delivery of 32 new buses, including six Double Talls, as well as 84 vanpool vans (54 replacement, 30 expansion) and 15 DART paratransit replacement vehicles.
Work to upgrade the agency’s wireless communication system.
$10 million set aside for future base expansion to meet service expansion needs.
Community Transit is responsible for providing bus and paratransit service, vanpool and alternative commute options in Snohomish County. The agency is building a network of Swift bus rapid transit lines, with Swift Blue Line along Highway 99 and Swift Green Line between Canyon Park/Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field coming in 2019. Learn more at www.communitytransit.org, visit our Facebook page or follow us @MyCommTrans on Twitter.