In sync with the raising fuel prices, Community Transit is increasing fares upwards of 75 cents for it’s popular commuter buses.

This increase in fares may benefit Sounder now that the time and fares are equal to each other. With the new parking garage coming online early next year, the increase may be even greater. While one could argue that the parking garage would be a bad thing, however Community Transit or Everett Transit unfortunately does not have the service capacity or ability to serve the rural communities – At least from what I have seen and heard from many people I spoke with.

25 Replies to “Community Transit to increase fares by 75 cents”

  1. According to Martin, the rural communities are going to be slums soon anyway, so why would we want to invest in a parking garage OR expanded capacity?

  2. If poor people live there, all the more reason to serve it with transit.

    And wouldn’t say it would be “soon”.

  3. So then following your logic, we should shit-can all the talk about the viaduct, EastLink, 520 bridge, streetcars, etc, and instead, focus on providing better transit to the outlying areas where the need a) exists already and b) per your own admission, will be where the need is years from now.

    The super-intelligent city dwellers can, you know, just walk wherever they need to go now anyway. Since they too made wise lifestyle decisions when they chose their homes.

    Don’t cry about the stupid, soon-to-be slummy neighbors to the east (and north…and south), when those same tear ducts are flowing over the fact that most of you in the city can’t walk to work, the grocery, the zoo, etc yourselves without having to drive or take transit.

    And Daimajin should do what? Swim across the lake everyday?

    Let’s just have a big transit doughnut. Metro can take care of you smarties in the city, and Sound Transit can take care of the dummies in the slums. We can share the costs of transfer stations on the city limits.

    This looking-down-your-nose attitude coming from some of you is insulting.

    ST2 or whatever it is gonna be called has absolutely nothing to offer me. Now considering your arrogant city views, why should we dumb people in the ‘burbs vote for it?

    This is exactly how you will lose the election this fall.

  4. I think I’m a bit confused by the statement that Community Transit doesn’t serve rural communities. They serve Stanwood, Granite Falls, Sultan, Gold Bar, and even Darrington. How much more rural can it get? Keep in mind that WSDOT doesn’t allow in-lane stops on state routes (e.g. Highway 2), which means that CT can’t stop anywhere that doesn’t have a pullout (not cheap and requires coordination with WSDOT which is NOT EASY) or a sidestreet that can take bus traffic and has sidewalks that are ADA compliant.

    I’m also not convinced that CT’s rural service is any worse than Metro’s. For instance, Carnation has much less service than Stanwood or Gold Bar.

    Having said that, the increasing CT fares and the new ST garage may encourage people from closer-in places like Lake Stevens and Snohomish to make the drive into Everett for the train. Marysville is a little iffier, in my opinion, since there are many more 421 than Sounder trips, and since the bus trip through Everett can take advantage of the new HOV lanes, while driving into Everett Stn. in the regular lanes requires sitting in some pretty horrible I-5 traffic. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  5. Right on sahctu-

    Some of these regional transit experts actually need to get out and see experience the region, rather than sitting in their smartly-chosen homes in their walkable-to-everything communities and make up stuff.

    CT has an elegant system on US2 and they invest a LOT of money to build it. And you are right, Gold Bar has much better service than even Redmond Ridge, which is part of the city of Redmond, and yet is constantly hailed here on this blog as having gotten on board with TOD.

    Get out and see the things you are writing about. Please.

  6. Hey brad, I think the only mentions of redmond ridge on the blog have been in the comments – and the only one from one of the bloggers was Daimajin saying that Redmond Ridge was the last master planned development that King County was going to permit – we’re putting a stop to that.

    Can you point out anywhere that we’ve hailed Redmond Ridge as having gotten on board with TOD?

    sahctu, is it any cheaper to take a CT bus to Everett station than to take it downtown…?

  7. Brad,

    I can understand that now you appreciate your quality of life and aren’t going to move just to take a bus, but when you live in rural Redmond you have to recognize there isn’t the demand for transit that there is on Capitol Hill. You know as well as I do that it’s hard to have good transit coverage in rural ares because everything is so spread out.

    This is analogous to how parking for me is either a complete nightmare or an expensive proposition. Except I don’t ask King County for a parking spot. :)

    You point out examples of CT’s coverage, but of course their coverage is great if you live on a road that has a bus drive by it. For example, if you live near US2 yeah maybe catching a bus is much easier but you still have to drive there. And you better be going to Everett or Monroe.

    Should King invest millions in highway 202 to better serve you? Well, I guess your answer will depend on how close you live to 202 which very will illustrates the problem with rural transit. When people are spread so thin and when neighborhoods don’t have a grid pattern to serve, it makes forming a transit network difficult and costly.

    You say that need is there, but I don’t think that there are enough rural riders to sustain routes to all their various locations, but I truly don’t know the numbers anymore than you or Martin do. Feeder routes to the Redmond Transit Center would be great, but are that many rural riders really going to transfer? Maybe King County should study it and implement more service, but I would think they would have looked into most avenues to expand ridership already.

    You should approve ST2 because it’s a smart investment for the region, and I think you know better than to think that express bus service or light rail are anything near feasible in low density rural or exurban areas. Of course, smart regional decisions sometimes mean more than “what does the plan do for me?”

    And when your children are of age and decide, “You know, I love my life but it’d be kind of neat to live in a city like Seattle or even Downtown Bellevue,” they’ll have the choice to have a real commute option besides driving if they want to.

    Hey, maybe my son the city dweller and your daughter the rural will end up dating and he’ll show her the dark side of life: walking to QFC, taking light rail to get sushi in the International District, smoking crack — you know, all the stuff us city dwellers do with abandon.

  8. (I had once argued that Downtown Redmond was transit friendly and I believe brad disagreed — he could be thinking of this when talking about Redmond Ridge.)

  9. CT’s route to Granite Falls Route 280 has 30 min-40 min headways in morning rush hour and than hourly service the rest of the day going to Everett through Lake Stevens stopping at Everett Station. Total time about 1 hour.

    Route 230 to Darrington has service only in the morning and afternoon, 3 buses going each way with 1 hour and 10 min headways.

    I dont know about Stanwood and Gold Bar and didnt want to provide a comprehensive list. Just go to CT’s website and click on each city to find out the routes.

    The irony of this is that Darrington used to have a rail line that went straight west to Arlington through to Marysville and linked up with the mainline BNSF tracks.Its since been torn up and turned into a trail. The Arlington to Marysville line is still active, mostly to serve the industrial areas by the Arlington Airport.
    If possible the taxing authority should be expanded and Sounder should be expanded to Stanwood and Arlington. If it was possible to do we could have every other train split off at Marysville, one to Stanwood and one to Arlington.
    But as Ben stated, with what money..:(

  10. I don’t know exactly how far off redmond ridge is, but I know that most of redmond isn’t the sort of far-away suburb that will turn into a deep slum. Places like Spanaway, Monroe, and Carnation likely will have problems though.

  11. If you think about redmond to monroe, that is about four times the distance from redmond to Seattle, and more than ten times the distance from redmond to downtown bellevue. Also, Redmond itself is a huge job center.

    Redmond will be fine, as will most of the eastside. The far-off places are just going to be very difficult places to live when gas costs $12 a gallon.

  12. Whoa, this discussion is all over the place and I don’t have time to comment on all of it. I do want to say just one thing: The reason rural voters should vote yes on ST2, whatever package it may be, is that the more service Sound Transit offers, the more service dollars Metro and CT (and probably Pierce, too, though I’m not as familiar with them) can divert to currently underserved areas. For instance, if ST2 eliminates the need for Metro route 41 (with Link to Northgate), then Metro can use that funding to serve Shoreline or Redmond Ridge or wherever. If ST2 eliminates gets Link to Lynnwood Transit Center, then CT can use all the funding for route 402 (and possibly other routes that might just feed light rail instead of going all the way downtown or to the UW) to improve service in other areas in need of it. This is a huge benefit, not just for people who live close enough to walk to Link stations, but for everyone in the greater Puget Sound region.

  13. sahctu that’s a good point that I wanted to bring up in my massive comment, but removed after I realized it was getting too long. But yes, beyond the “investment” part of it there will be more operating costs to go around.

  14. Just an FYI..

    I don’t live in a cushy location or anything like that, especially now since I moved recently. I do have 3 bus lines but the nearest is a ways walk (which I don’t mind but come winter..)

    Secondly – I have been ALL OVER Everett and Community Transit’s systems. From Sultan to Stanwood, even using the Connector this Friday to Mt. Vernon and the Cascades back into Seattle.

    I have tons of friends who live MILES from the nearest transit stop and I don’t mind walking the distance at all. It’s fun and great exercise.

    I’m sorry that my comment bent some people out of shape but I am calling it just the way I have seen it, been on it, and noticed.

    Not everyone can be served by transit, we all know this, BUT if they WERE served by transit, even if it is a 20′ Champion Van Coach, it would be better than nothing at all like their is now.

  15. Martin Mungia emailed me the following comment:

    I just want to throw out a clarification on the Community Transit fare increase, which is discussed here but not really talked about.

    Our proposal is not to raise fares “upwards of 75 cents.” The Seattle Times headline makes a big deal of the 75-cent increase, but that is only on five commuter routes from north of the Snohomish River (Lake Stevens, Marysville, Snohomish, Stanwood) to downtown Seattle and the UW. Those routes use a lot of gas, so the increase is commensurate with the high cost of fuel. The other 26 commuter routes would see a 50-cent fare increase.

    Would this encourage people to ride Sounder instead? Who knows? Information I hear is that people like one-seat rides, so is taking a bus to Everett Station then transferring to a train worth not paying an extra 50 or 75 cents…?

    All local routes would see an increase of just 25 cents. That means you can ride from Darrington to Arlington then transfer to Everett or Lynnwood for $1.50. ($1 for youth, 75 cents for seniors.)
    So it’s just the longest routes that have the highest increase, which makes sense.

  16. To aid with your confusion:

    REDMOND RIDGE IS REDMOND.

    City limits, blah, blah, blah.

    If you thought Redmond was getting on board with transit, you were wrong. Redmond Ridge is a clusterfrack.

  17. Brad, downtown Redmond will be fine. Those living within walking and biking distance of downtown, up education hill, will also likely be fine (depending on where they work). There’s a lot of space in downtown Redmond that can easily be dramatically redeveloped, and with the 545 and future light rail service, I think they’re well positioned to become a more dense suburban core.

    I don’t know exactly where redmond ridge is, but because you were saying “redmond ridge”, not “redmond”, I assumed that’s what you meant!

  18. Brad, you should really tone it down. There are political differences between us, but let’s leave it political. :)

    I really don’t understand your undercutting of Redmond and Bellevue. Both city councils have moved more and more toward infill and supporting transit. Downtown Bellevue is a great, dense employment and living center. Downtown Redmond is walk-able while still supporting a vibrant residential community with strong access to bus transit.

    In terms of the failures of those cities, everyone agrees that Redmond Ridge was a complete mistake including members of the Redmond city council. The King County 2040 vision outlaws the creation of “urban villages,” as you correctly note they end up sprawling more than helping.

    I don’t understand what you’re getting at here — Redmond city council screwed up with Redmond Ridge, Bellevue is being developed completely wrong, and rural bus transit needs to be a renewed priority… I admit that these are in separate comments, but what is your overall thesis here? Are you just pointing out that a lot of the common wisdom on this blog is wrong?

    I think you need to break things down and make some clearer points, because you can’t just point to Redmond Ridge as a signal that Redmond isn’t transit-friendly while in the same thread pointing out that rural Redmond needs more transit and expect everyone to be convinced. :)

  19. Simple points for simple people:

    1) The Puget Sound area will never build a decent transit system without the help of the outlying areas.

    2) The underlying theme on this blog of “you are dumb if you don’t live in the city and own a car” is fucking insulting.

    3) Insulting the people who can make or break the next transit referendum is stupid.

  20. Calling everyone here arrogant and simple is not constructive. I don’t care where you live, brad, I’ve been discussing your points thoroughly and your reply is to call me “simple”. It seems I’m more willing to discuss the issues that you have than you are!

    Of course outlying voters will hopefully vote for ST, but there is an “impossibly small” amount of folks who read this blog and have the chance to get offended regarding the discussions of density. If we lose ST2.1, it won’t be because this blog.

    Vote and live however you want, brad. I’ll be voting Yes on the next ST plan, not because it’s the best for me or because I plan on living in Seattle in 12 years, but because it’s best that the region start developing this infrastructure as soon as possible so future generations have an easier, greener life. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with how I much I like to walk to Whole Foods or drink $10 lattes. :)

    Will you stop mocking people here? Some people have political differences with you but no one has called you stupid, simple, or arrogant. This is basically a transit & density blog, so cars & rural living are going to be talked down of course. This is one of the few gatherings in the US where car culture isn’t thriving and suburban living isn’t a dream, you don’t have an uphill battle for acceptance or anything. However, you continue to lose the respect I formed months ago when I first spoke to you on this blog. In that conversation, you weren’t demeaning and I understood the sacrifices it took for you to use transit.

  21. Tacitly cheering for the downfall of the suburbs, with the underlying tone of “they’ll get what they deserve” is about as devisive as it gets.

    Talk down cars all you want. It’s the easiest way to get the next ST proposal defeated.

    Perhaps there is another way. Not just the ‘we get it, you don’t’ approach. (Just do a search on this site of the phrase ‘they get it’ and you’ll see what I mean.)

    Don’t lecture me on respect. Posts like “Suburb Slum Watch” and elitist phrases like “they get it” are entirely disrespectful.

    And I don’t need your respect. I have plenty of respect in my neighborhood, slummy as it may become.

    My point to you is this: As a PCO, I’m not just one vote. So we don’t really cancel each other out, do we?

  22. I tried searching for “they get it”, and got one post about double-decker bus fuel efficiency.

    Brad, what are you talking about?

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