Community Transit targets improved reliability with spring service change

Community Transit targets improved reliability with spring service change

Feb 23, 2022

Reduced bus service reflects labor and ridership realities

Snohomish County, Wash.– Community Transit today announced a spring service change that will adjust service levels to provide more predictability and reliability for riders. This service change will go into effect on March 20 and affects weekday bus service only.

These changes are due to a current labor shortage as a result of the pandemic, but reflect current levels of ridership which have also been impacted by the pandemic.Community Transit Bus serving Route 130

“We are consistently focused on providing reliable service that meets community needs,” said Community Transit CEO Ric Ilgenfritz. “These changes will ensure we are able to operate all service scheduled and provide the right level of service for the current level of ridership.”

Ridership on Community Transit services is at 55 percent of pre-pandemic levels. The agency anticipates a continued steady, but slow growth in ridership. Through surveys, many former riders have told the agency they will return to using transit when their employers call them back to the office.

At the same time, transit agencies locally and nationally have faced a shortage of drivers, causing many to cut service. Community Transit is stepping up recruitment efforts to put itself in position for steadily increased service as light rail comes to Snohomish County in 2024.

March service changes

Community Transit is reducing weekday bus service to increase reliability and meet current demand. Service cuts were designed for minimal impact to riders, specifically targeting trips and times of day with low ridership.

In order to maintain essential local bus service, most of the changes are on routes serving King County.

Service to and from the newly opened Northgate Station will see the greatest changes as ridership to the northernmost light rail station remains low. This will also affect Sound Transit’s Routes 511 and 512, which Community Transit operates.

The Swift Green Line between Seaway Transit Center in Everett and Canyon Park in Bothell will be reduced from a bus every 10 minutes to a bus every 12 minutes. This change eliminates 28 trips a day with a small impact to riders.

Other reductions are spread out among different routes and times of day when ridership is generally low.

Details about Community Transit’s service change are available at
communitytransit.org/servicechange.

No print schedule book

New schedules will be posted at bus stops over the next few weeks. Preview schedules will be available at communitytransit.org/schedules the week of Feb. 28.

Community Transit will not print its Bus Plus schedule book for this service change. Riders can request a printed schedule for their route by calling (425) 353-7433 or emailing riders@commtrans.org.

“The situation in our community is constantly changing and we need to remain flexible,” said Ilgenfritz. “If we see ridership demand picking up and we have enough drivers, we may decide to add more service.”

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 and is redesigning its bus network to connect with regional light rail in 2024. For employment information, visit communitytransit.org/jobs.