Beginning Saturday, Community Transit implements a broad package of service cuts including frequency reductions and the complete cessation of Sunday and Holiday service in order to help save $16 million over the next two years.
Between 2008-2013, Community Transit estimates it will have lost as much as $180 million in anticipated sales tax revenues due to the recession. Aside from the service cuts, the agency raised local bus fares on June 1 to help bring in additional revenue.
According to Community Transit, they plan on restoring the suspended Sunday and holiday service as soon as funding is available. The agency is exploring new state and federal funding to allow for service restoration before the economy recovers. From the press release:
Bus riders are being advised to make their own transportation plans for Sundays, or call the North Sound 2-1-1 social services hotline for assistance. Everett Transit, King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit will continue to operate on Sundays.
Service cuts are as follows:
- There will be no Community Transit bus service this Sunday, June 13
- Community Transit is suspending all service on all Sundays (including Swift BRT service)
- Service will not operate on the following Holidays:
- Independence Day (04JUL & 05JUL)
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
- New Years Day
- Memorial Day 2011
- Reducing commuter service to Seattle with fewer early morning and late night trips, and revised routing that eliminates some neighborhood loops
Other changes from the press release:
Route 101 between the Mariner Park & Ride and Aurora Village Transit Center via Highway 99 will see frequency reductions … from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes. Swift bus rapid transit will continue to operate its frequent schedule on Highway 99 at 12 stops between Everett Station and Aurora Village. Swift is funded through other sources, so the only change it will see is the loss of Sunday service…
- Elimination of the Route 115 shuttle, and Routes 200, 207, 404, 411, 441, 812, 851 and 870. Most of these routes are covered by other service.
- Major trip reductions on Routes 106, 121, 230, 247, 277, 402, 414 and 810.
- Major routing changes on Routes 105, 106, 115, 118, 119, 120, 121, 190, 406, 408, 415, 416, 421, 422, 425, 477, 810, 821 and 855.
- Minor changes on most other routes.
Complete schedules for service after June 13 are available at www.communitytransit.org and in the new Bus Plus schedule book on board buses.
23 Replies to “Community Transit To Cut Holiday and all Sunday Service eff. June 13th”
Why does Community Transit contract out to First Transit for their Seattle Express services? It seems like they could save money by running those services in-house.
Other way around. CT pays FT a flat fee and it gets taken care of. CT pays its own drivers wages + benefits etc which ends up costing more, plus it allows CT to be much more flexible with its staffing.
But FT has to pay its drivers wages plus benefits. So why not cut out the middleman?
First Transit pays its drivers about 1/2 of what Community Transit does, and their benefits are much less generous, private sector’s vs. public sector’s. That’s why Community Transit contracts out most of their contractor commuter service as well as has First Transit provide Sound Transit’s commuter service.
FT drivers are not paid 1/2 of CT drivers. They get around $18hr. The HIGHEST CT drivers are at about 26-27 hr. most are much less.
That sounds about right. I don’t think you can get a qualified driver (someone that’s not going to wreck the bus) for less than $15-16/hr. But I’m guessing the FT drivers are mostly if not all PT and receive nothing close to what the CT drivers get in benefits.
Doesn’t it seem that, when an entire county winds up with no public transit 59 days a year, it might be time to re-evaluate relying on sales taxes as a primary source of funding?
I believe most counties in Washington have no Sunday service. It’s been that way for a while.
But most counties do not include hundreds of thousands of people in inner suburbs of a major city. I agree, we need to look at new funding mechanisms. Although we’ve all been saying that for a while now.
The state won’t give the counties the authority to raise other tax sources for transit. They’re pretty much anti-transit down there.
I know. I’m pretty tired of my representatives being beholden to Democratic Party leadership that is openly hostile to urban interests (and possibly anathema to actually “leading” anything).
I think it’s time for urban Democrats to start withholding their support on other matters until we cease to be the whipping boys for swing-district Democrats fearful of upending suburban dominance. (As long as the Republican party continues to trend toward the psychotic, the Dems won’t lose their majority in Olympia; it’s time to start demanding they use it for good rather than for stasis.)
The problem is that “urban Democrats” in the legislature, in general, don’t care about transit.
While 59 days out of the year sounds like a big number (16% of 365) the logic is well explained in this post, Holiday Bus Ridership, on the Community Transit Blog. Sunday and holiday ridership is only 20% that of a weekday. By eliminating service on these days they’re able to plug half of the budget hole while affecting less than 4% of their ridership. CT wants to restore service when funding becomes available (although you have to believe much of that service is nothing but a huge drag on the effectiveness of the system) but until that money exists cuts have to be made and this certainly seems to make the most sense.
Why doesn’t CT think about merging with Everett Transit at this point. They both can save money by combining resources?
Everett Transit would never go for it, they aren’t enduring as huge cuts as CT, but they would have a lot of their service cut if they combined with CT.
Following the WTA debate over elimination of Sunday service vs some of the other options it seems that the major reason the transit agency wants to take this step is because of the cost savings of completely shutting down for a day. When you add in the overhead to what are generally lightly used routes it starts to be a two’fer with respect to service hours per dollar. You end up having to cut way more hours on higher demand routes to make up for the Sunday service.
Since CT already has an established policy of contracting some service would contracting Sunday service be a way to maintain some minimum level of service seven days per week? Also, Sunday ridership is sparse so this might not be cost effective but what about raising fares on Sunday special service routes?
Makes sense to me.
Maybe a pure focus on work transportation rather than entertainment and late night (when traffic is low) would make our systems less costly and more effective.
Yes, because every great metropolis only exists from 9-5 on weekdays.
…and because those of us who ride to or from school at night, to or from retail at night, and to or from the large percentage of jobs that aren’t 9 to 5, monday to friday, don’t deserve transit as an option, eh?
Sorry, but the buses i ride at night are pretty bloody full.
Y’know, John? Come down to 4th and Pike ANY evening at 2100 or 2130. You’ll see plenty of seats taken on any number of routes heading in all directions. A lot of us chose to live in the city and commute by bus, and we don’t all work 0900-1700. I DO NOT PAY sales tax and bus fare to be denied service because I don’t fit YOUR pre-conceived notion of when transit service ought to occur. Would you deny people fire protection in the middle of the afternoon because most fires happen at night? Get real, pal!
The http://www.communitytransit.org link at the bottom of the post is busted.
Is it too soon to at least begin thinking about some sort of consolidation of transit authorities, here in Puget Sound country?
If someone were to draft a good bill for the Legislature, what would it look like?
In the long-run, this would make the ridership experience better and cut a ton of overhead. Unfortunately, government agencies often only think in the short term (i.e., if there’s no immediate benefit, then they don’t want to consider it).
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