To plug a $11 million budget gap, Community Transit is proposing a 25-cent fare increase along with service cuts and suspensions. The biggest blow to riders is a proposal that would effectively suspend Sunday and holiday service. For the past two years, the agency has been limiting budget cuts in non-service related areas with the exception of a 75-cent fare increase back during the summer of 2008 when fuel prices peaked. If approved by the CT Board, the changes will go in effect in June.
Nearly all of Community Transit’s 64 local and commuter bus routes would be affected in an effort to eliminate service that is duplicated by other providers, streamline routes and make existing service more efficient. The agency is also proposing to suspend all service on Sundays and major holidays, including DART paratransit service and Swift bus rapid transit. By closing its base on these lower ridership days, the agency achieves 47 percent of the proposal’s savings with only 35 percent of total service hours cut and an impact to fewer customers.
The proposed fare increase would raise local bus and DART fares by 25 cents for all fare categories: youth, adult and reduced fare (senior/disabled/Medicare). Even with the proposed fare increase, Community Transit’s local bus fares would be comparable with other local transit fares in the region. The proposed fare increase would raise about $250,000 in the second half of 2010 and $500,000 in 2011.
Community Transit has a page up for exact route-to-route cuts and suspensions as well as more information on the fare changes. The agency is also holding five public meetings over the course of January to keep its riders informed about the changes.
Jan. 12, 5:30-7 p.m.
Snohomish County South County PUD office, 21018 Highway 99, Edmonds
Jan. 14, 6:30-8 p.m.
Marysville Library, 6120 Grove St., Marysville
Jan. 19, 10 a.m.-noon
Everett Station Weyerhaeuser Room, 3201 Smith Ave., Everett, on the fourth floor
This meeting will focus on impacts to DART paratransit customers.
Jan. 20, 5:30-7 p.m.
Monroe School District Administration Building, 200 E. Fremont St., Monroe
Jan. 26, 6:30-8 p.m.
Mountlake Terrace Library, 23300 58th Ave. W., Mountlake Terrace