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Snohomish County, Wash. – Community Transit’s Proposed 2021 Budget will continue to prioritize safe travel for Snohomish County residents and includes an increase of approximately 4,000 hours of new service in 2021, a more moderate expansion than in previous years. The agency is seeking comment on its proposed budget through Friday, Nov. 6.
The modest service increase corresponds with the “Slow Recovery” economic projection described in the agency’s draft Transit Development Plan (TDP). It also follows a recession-related service reduction in 2020 as transit ridership and revenues fell due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposed budget will continue to prioritize the health and safety of riders, employees, and their families. The transit agency has put in place many additional safety measures on vehicles and at bases to ensure a safe ride and a safe working environment for its employees. The 2021 budget includes funding for nightly disinfecting of buses and thorough cleaning of the agency’s operating bases, as well as personal protective equipment for employees.
Providing access to Sound Transit’s Link light rail is also an agency priority to provide Snohomish County communities improved regional access to jobs, services and schools. In 2021, 800-series bus routes that currently serve the University District will be routed to Northgate to connect with Link light rail when the Northgate Link station opens. This change will shorten the notoriously inconsistent commute times to the University District and Downtown Seattle.
Community Transit recently refined its organizational Mission and Vision and Core Values to reflect the evolution of the service the agency provides.
“Our commitment to our Vision, Mission, Core Values, and Agency Priorities has not wavered and we remain focused on supporting the evolving transportation needs of our growing county,” said Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath. “We are listening to our customers, seeking collaborative solutions, and are deeply committed to adjusting and innovating to make travel easy and safe for all.”
Budget Funding and Projections
Community Transit’s Proposed 2021 Budget projects sales tax revenue may decline by up to 21.2%, roughly $32.7 million, from the adopted 2020 budget. The major factors affecting sales tax revenue are decreases in consumer and business spending in Snohomish County as a result of the pandemic. Operating expenditures will decrease 6.9% from the 2020 adopted Budget. Funding for additional expenditures will come from a combination of federal grants and reserve funds. The budget proposal assumes operating expenses of $159.2 million. Capital expense investments will total $96.2 million for new projects. The capital program will fund the modernization and expansion of base facilities to support future growth and develop solutions that will allow travelers to access Link light rail, which is scheduled to reach south Snohomish County in 2024.
Funding will go towards:
The Community Transit Proposed 2021 Budget is available online at www.communitytransit.org/budget.
The public can submit comment through Friday, Nov. 6.
Comments can be shared by calling (425) 353-7433 (RIDE) or sent to:
People can offer their comments before the Board of Directors at a virtual public hearing at 3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5.
Visit www.communitytransit.org/meetings for details on how to participate in this virtual meeting. For more information or to inquire about special needs arrangements, call (425) 353-7433. The board is scheduled to act on final budget proposal on Dec. 3.
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, the Swift Green Line between Canyon Park/Bothell and Boeing/Paine Field, and the new Swift Orange Line coming to Mill Creek and Lynnwood in 2024.
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