Monday, January 25, 2010

Proposed Service Changes -- Let's Chat!

Welcome to the Community Transit Blog!

On this site we plan to provide information about Snohomish County’s public transportation agency and let you drive the conversation. Not only are your comments welcome, but without them this blog won’t work.

About three weeks ago, Community Transit announced a proposal to cut service in June, and also to raise local bus and DART paratransit fares 25 cents. If you’ve been to any of the community meetings on this topic, you know there’s been a fair amount of community discussion around the proposal.

You can see the details on the agency’s website, but the gist of the proposal is:
· Suspension of all Sunday service, including DART and Swift
· Shortening of the work day by two hours, so buses start service at 5 a.m. and end at about 1 a.m.
· Elimination of 12 routes, most of which will be consolidated into other routes
· Truncation of many routes to eliminate loops and deviations, as well as loss of some trips

As with any service cut proposal, riders want to preserve their ride. That’s completely understandable. The idea behind this plan was to keep the bulk of frequency during the week when there are more riders. This doesn’t help early morning and Sunday riders, but from a macro perspective, there is less impact from this plan than from a plan that reduces service all week long.

There are a couple videos on YouTube (Part 1 and Part 2) that explain the agency’s economic situation and outline the service proposal.

So, tell us what you think!

This blog is for conversation on this topic. If you'd like to submit an official comment for Community Transit's Board of Directors to consider, please send your comments to 2010servicechanges@commtrans.org.

55 comments:

  1. If the 414 buses are cancelled, I have no way of getting home from Seattle in the middle of the day, nor to work if I have a doctor appointment in the morning. Mountlake Terrace has no other option in non-peak hours. Many people walk to the bus stop and have no car. If I make a doctor appointment in the morning, there is no parking in Lynnwood so no option to take the 401, 402 or 511 to Seattle. We need the 414 - please don't cancel it!

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  2. Can you please tell me when the Canyon Park Park and Ride will be expanded? The lot continues to fill beyond capacity before 7AM weekdays. I've been patient for years but a solution seems no where near implementation.

    Oh yes, can someone please tow the large blue 4 door that has been parked there since before Christmas with broken windshield and rear passenger door open? Seems like a wasteful way to store stolen vehicles at the expense of commuters...

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  3. I'm wondering if it's been suggested to move the change back to July if at all possible for students. Having to renegotiate scheduling with less than a month left of school would be hectic at best. Then fall quarter students will have a better chance to plan their schedule into something that works with the bus system.

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  4. So I have to say I'm a bit disappointed in CT's proposal to cut service. Recently there have been many capital investments that in my opinion should have been put on hold or cancelled. I realize the capital projects are frequently funded from the government and not out of the CT operating budget however, major initiatives such as Swift which no doubt increased operating costs beyond their initial development is the kind of thing that's a slap in the face to riders who are now impacted by proposed cuts.

    To be honest, while I initially thought Swift was neat and cool, I now find myself asking "What problem did Swift solve"?

    In addition to the investment in Swift, bus shelters have been installed in our neighborhood (Silver Firs) where you now propose to cut local service. I'm betting if you asked the riders in that area, they would have foregone bus shelters in order to help continued funding of the 412 through Silver Firs.

    Rather than cutting neighborhood service which keeps many cars off the road and out of already crowded park-n-ride lots, I counter propose that one run per day be eliminated. In the long run I would think this would save the organization more money than simply eliminating an 8 minute run through a neighborhood.

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  5. Society wants us to "go green" and commute. Yet you provide primitive buses with no ameneties (a/c often breaks down in the summer; exposure to exhaust fumes in the cabin, breakdowns on the freeway due to maintenance problems etc.). Now, you reduce service, increase drive times, and create a very unsafe condition with additonal riders who will be required to stand from Seattle to Marysville because of the integration of Lynnwood passengers. Years ago, Community Transit was a "class act" with beautiful busses. Now it is a third country joke that provides an abusive experience to commuters. I'm profoundly disappointed.

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  6. Okay so people losing their jobs because they can't get to them has less of an impact than anything else? Please explain this to me as I don't understand how my being unable to support my kids because I can't get to my shift less of an impact. There most certainly others in this predicament. Not everyone can drive and not everyone has a two adult household.

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  7. The idea of taking bus 422 and make a transfer at I-5 doesn't seem well thought out. It may be a hassle, but workable, on the way to work, but on the way back, bus 422 actual times are very unpredictable due to traffic conditions from Seattle. I don't think there would be many willing to stand around for 30 minutes or more stranded until 422 passes by.

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  8. This is what I submitted to '2010changes@commtrans.org', repeated below for lively discussion.

    I ride bus 247 from Stanwood to Everett Boeing. Here, I detail the impacts that the proposed cancellation of the route would have on me, and I propose an alternative for your consideration that could also meet your business needs.

    1st, there are four runs in the morning and four in the evening, one every 30 minutes. The volume of riders is high in the first two runs that use articulated buses. The following two have fewer riders. To maintain a high density of ridership, my proposal is to cancel the 3rd run. This will divert riders to the 2nd run or 4th run. I believe that riders would use the other runs because making a connection consumes approximately 45 minutes.

    2nd, my review of your information indicates that about 25% of your revenues come from fares and 75% from tax revenue. Although the rise in ridership have increased your fare revenues from 2008 levels, I understand that the rise in fuel prices and drop in tax revenues has put Community Transit in an economic crisis. To make up your shortfall in tax revenue, I believe the market would support a fare increase from $1.50 to the commuter fare level of $3 or $4 without a significant drop in ridership. This is the case because the route is one of the longer ones, the alternatives are more costly or less flexible, Boeing subsidizes bus and vanpool riders, and Boeing has good paying jobs. This doubling of fares should make up its share of your 25% drop in sales tax revenues.

    3rd, on a more personal perspective, I work during my commute. Working during my commute saves me 2 hours per day. Because possible connections are not yet known, using bus 422 and transferring along I-5 has the potential to increase my commute time 30-45 minutes each way. If I am unable to use this as compensated time, having a direct route is worth to me several more dollars than the $3 to $4 commuter fares.

    I also understand that fare collection costs leave very little for operations. To improve this, the more costly collection methods should be abandoned. The ability to pay fares in cash, through tickets, through a monthly pass and through an ORCA card make the system too complex and expensive.

    Should you not pursue the proposal to cancel only one run of bus 247, it is imperative that any connections from bus 422 or Island Transit route 412C onto bus 227 be as efficient as possible. An efficient connection of no more than 10 minutes may be quite satisfactory, although I do not know whether the exiting capacity on buses could actually accommodate the riders from route 247, I expect that Community Transit would manage the rider density per bus as necessary.

    It is important to note that Island Transit waits at the Stanwood Park & Ride for riders leaving buses 422 and 247 no matter how late they are. While I understand that it is not feasible for Community Transit to wait indefinitely for a late 412C Island Transit bus or 422 bus, it is crucial that there be some coordination between connecting routes even if from different transit agencies such as a policy in place for the receiving Community Transit bus to wait 5 minutes for a connecting bus as well as the ability of the receiving Community Transit bus driver to communicate with the connecting bus driver. Also, in the event that the connecting riders arrive too late for making the last connection of the day, there must be a policy in place to prevent having riders stranded between connections. For example, bus drivers should be able to call, while still in transit, the emergency ride hotline that support Boeing workers to get them to work.

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  9. I live in The Falls and take 412 to work and back. I am upset abut the proposed plan to have 412 cease its loop through Silver Firs, Gold Creek and The Falls. I do not see how eliminating that part of the route will appreciably save fuel and/or time. At least ten to fifteen people get on in that loop when I'm riding. If the proposed plan goes through, these riders will have to either walk to the Safeway to catch the bus or drive their cars. It's doubtful that Safeway or the businesses that share that parking lot will want commuters parking their cars there. The alternative for those commuters will then be to drive to work or to drive to McCollum Park and Ride - neither of which is a very 'green' solution. I certainly wish someone at CT would reconsider or show exactly why this is such a good idea

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  10. please dont cancell the buses on sundays people need to get to work their houses of worship or family get togathers or even family recreation time alot of people depend on the b uses 7 daYS A WEEK AND CELLING SERVICER on sunday woulkd be devistating thank you

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  11. These unprecedented economic times and drops in revenue certainly make painful cuts a necessity. A fare increase is preferable to elimination of needed and sometimes NECESSARY service. My local neighborhood route is the 120/121, a leg of which is proposed to be totally eliminated through my neighborhood. This means I now have NO bus service options, in fact no independent travel options whatsoever. I am quadriplegic in a power wheelchair and I do not drive at all. Using a local park and ride is not an option for me. I absolutely rely on my local neighborhood route to go ANYWHERE! Without my neighborhood bus, even more of my mobility and independence is taken away from me beyond that of my paralysis. I will happily pay more to maintain the bus service that is fundamental to my quality of life.

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  12. Additional money can be made by charging for carrying bikes on the buses. I think it's fair, plus it will limit the number of bikes on the bus. Some people carry them only because they are affraid to leave them on the parking lot taking this way space that other people need for their bikes. Some people really need their bikes in Dontown Seattle and some ride them one way after work.

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  13. I understand the need for CT to reduce costs during this economic downturn. That said, adding Lynnwood passengers to the mix on the 421 service will more than likely end up in a reduction of passengers from Marysville. Who knows, that may be your goal. Don't make us compete with Lynnwood riders for a seat, or even a spot, on the bus to get home in the afternoons. The buses are already fairly full and coming from Marysville, our days are already longer than commuters' days coming from further south. We don't need to extend our days further by having to wait for the next bus in the afternoon because it is full of Lynnwood riders. Additionally, by adding extra time (CT says 5 minutes, but I know from the few times I rode the 510 it'll be more like 10 mins.) it'll mess up many different connections riders make when the arrive in Seattle in the morning. Really, if you want to drive loyal 421 riders away, just cut the service all together! I've been riding this bus for over 12 years and there are already number of us discussing alternatives to spending our money for seats we won't have on the bus due to the Lynnwood mix.

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  14. HORRIBLE... Do not cnl the 414... really..

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  15. This so called proposal is atrocious and it is NOT the answer! Last I heard, CT was a SERVICE based company so why would Service be the first to go? Why aren't you cutting from other places, like a TOP HEAVY MANAGEMENT and Admin Support Staff! Nobody in those departments are getting laid off, just the worker bee drivers and a few mechanics. Why no mandatory furlough days like the City of Seattle, Metro and now possibly State employees? Why no paycuts for executives? They keep saying they have cut 12 million from their Admin budget. Where?!! There are other options besides cutting service and the 50 drivers who provide that service! Cut management, admin staff, mandatory furlough days, DON'T go ahead with Capital Projects (as in a 10.4 million remodel of Kasch Park base), APTS can be put on hold since its not necessary. Instead of buying 22 double deckers, buy 11 (yes, I agree some of the old artics need to go) What IS necessary is to keep people working and preserve service. The last thing we need is more people on the unemployment line and more cars on the road!

    Funny how management is all for this proposal; none of their jobs are on the line! Oh, and Admin will have a nice, newly remodeled fitness room too. Yes, a remodel is happening right now. How many thousands of wasted dollars did that cost?!

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  16. I've asked drivers and emailed customer service, but have yet to get an answer. I'l try here.

    Route 280, Granite Falls. The proposed changes talk about the Boeing routes being changed and in another spot it talks about route 280. My question is will route 280 continue to service Granite Falls or will it only go to the Lake Stevens Transit Center?

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  17. A small fare increase seems preferable to these cuts in service, routes, etc. Also, at a time when there are more and more unemployed, each driver that you lay off will represent the loss of other jobs and revenue in the community.

    Why doesn't CT management use their "expertise" and lobby the state and the federal government for some emergency "bailout funds" just like WALL STREET got? I'm serious. Put the screws to the politicians and tell them to do what is necessary to keep drivers in the drivers' seat and the CT riders on the bus.

    Afterall, Jay Inslee is all about cleaning up the environment, halting pollution, mass transit, etc. -- CT management, including the Board of Directors, work for The People. PROVE IT!

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  18. What's so great about the lively discussion we're having here is that I know you are all passionate about transit. There are many great suggestions and comments here.

    A couple things...
    The proposal that is out there right now is a proposal to the board of directors to save a certain amount of money ($5m this year, $11m next year).

    Staff did look at other scenarios for cuts but recommended these because they saved the most money while impacting the fewest number of riders.

    The public comment process is to gather input for the board members to consider before they make a decision on what to cut. There will be a public hearing before the board on Feb. 4 at 3 p.m.

    The board will direct staff to make any changes to the proposal, if they feel that is the direction to go. Then the board will vote on a final service plan March 4.

    If you have not submitted a formal comment, you can do so at 2010changes@commtrans.org.

    To address a couple specific comments...
    Community Transit is working every local, state and federal angle it can to get more money. That is not apparent to riders, but it is very active behind the scenes. In fact, Joyce Eleanor will be testifying before the House Transportation Committee on Thursday in favor of a bill that could allow transit agencies in dire trouble to get a temporary hike to license tabs.

    As for Route 280, under the proposal the Boeing trips would only travel to and from Lake Stevens, but the other trips would continue to serve Granite Falls.

    I think we'll soon create a post specifically about Swift, but fyi Swift is 90 percent funded through grants, partnership funding and fares through 2012. As the first BRT route in the state it was eligible for funds that other routes aren't. Already, Swift is the second highest ridership route in the system and people who ride it are very happy with how that service works for them.

    Keep the comments coming!

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  19. I must fully agree with the posted comment from January 26, 2010 7:59 AM.. That writer has hit the nail right on the head. The way they are proposing to save $$$ is not at all in the best interest of riders or the drivers that will be unemployed. Yes some routes that service the same area (Ex. 115/116from EDCC to Edmonds) could be changed so that only one route would do that part of the trip etc. What about having the 221 end at Lk Stevens Transit then they could all hop on the 280 if they want to continue to downtown Lk Stevens.
    What does the word "Community" mean in Community Transit anyways? I seriously think the people who sat down and made this proposal were just thinking of a way to keep their jobs. There are a lot of other ways that can help with the budget that are not addressed in this proposal.
    Doing away with paper transfers was a good idea to bring in more $$$, which I think should of been done away with before bringing SWIFT on board. That way people wouldn't of been against it in the beginning. Heaven forbid they figure out its easy to get and ORCA card and then they could of had the transfer they so badly wanted.
    I think the CT staff needs to sit back down and take all the comments and suggestions that the community is giving them right now and come up with a new proposal that would better service the community. Cutting service entirely in neighborhoods and stranding people (like for the man that posted that lives on the 120/121 route that is in a motor scooter)is just not the way to go. They need more time to do this the right way. Not just think.. Lets cut service and layoff drivers. That will save us all we need. Think about what each worker in admin really is doing and are they all really a necessity. I can bet NOT. Besides, with less drivers, less routes, less days of service etc like you are proposing to do now, you will NOT need to have so much Admin support staff etc. Because there will be less of everything to support.
    Get real CT and go back to your roots. And try to remember what the word "Community" really stands for in your name.

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  20. Why cut the route to Microsoft (441) when there are thousands of contract employees who are not eligible for the suggested solution of the Microsoft Connector. Microsoft is the second largest employer in the state of WA and now there will be no direct/express route from Snohomish county to Redmond. This does not provide realistic solution to reducing cars from Snohomish county.

    The alternate route of using Sound Transit is also not an option as it requires at least 2 transfers.

    A better solution should be found to provide options for Snohomish county residents to get to the Eastside.

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  21. Any official comment from CT with regards to the lack of space at Canyon Park Park and Ride this millenium???

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  22. Yes, Canyon Park Park & Ride is at capacity. The agency has tried for several years to negotiate more parking spaces (park & pools)with local businesses in the area, but that has not worked.

    Right now we do not have funds to build more parking capacity at that site. There is a possibility that the Sound Transit 2 package approved by voters two years ago contains funding that could possibly be applied for a project here.

    That is something we, and you, could pursue with Sound Transit.

    Our agency has been encouraging riders in that area to take local buses to the park & ride to catch the commuter service.

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  23. In the proposed June 2010 Bus Service and Fare Changes, for 401 and 402, it states "Travel Options: Add service to Lynnwood Transit Center by having all 32 trips on Route 421, 422 and 425 stops there, resulting in a net gain of 20 trips between Lynnwood Transit Center and Seattle".

    This is not entirely true.

    If people look at it carefully, only #422 is on the same route in downtown Seattle as #401/#402. #421 and #425 are on different route in downtown Seattle. Therefore, riders to Lynnwood Transit Center do NOT get fully benefit of this "32 trips". In face, #401/#402 riders actually loss 6 trips over all (loss 12 trips and gain 6 trips from #422).

    The problem here is that no one can possibly be on 2nd and 4th avenue waiting for buses at the same time.

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  24. What were the other options that were turned down before the current proposal was put out there?

    What I would like to know is why the Board Members are not at the public meetings (tonight at 6:30 at Mountlake Terrace Library! Be there!)to hear the comments from the very people this terrible Proposal is affecting? Do they not want to see the human toll? Not only drivers will lose their jobs but alot of our riders will lose theirs because they can't get to work due to route eliminations. I think they might want to remember that they are ELECTED officials and the people are SCREAMING for them to do the right thing. They might remember that at election time.

    If CT is waiting for the economy to get better, we need to keep people working so they can BUY things to up the sales tax numbers! At last check Snohomish County unemployment was 10.3% so by all means, lets add to that number so management can keep thier jobs.

    As for the suggestion for Boeing people to use Vanpools is absurd. How many vans will it take to take the place of a FULL 60ft bus? I thought CT was supposed to be on the side of the environment?

    I truly think that if this gets approved, its proof that the Board and CT management are in each other's 'pockets'.

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  25. Eliminating the 404 and 406 pickup prior to the Edmonds Park and Ride is absurd. All this will do is bring gridlock to 212th and there are not that many additional parking spaces. I thought the idea of the bus was to limit people driving on the roads. You're penalizing us that live west of the Edmonds park and ride.

    I and I'm sure there are others would much rather see a fare increase than loose time, standing in the cold, windy, rain waiting for the stupid transfer bus to take me home.

    The week of 1/18 the Sounder Train was down - CT brought in additional busses on the 404 route to get the train commuters to downtown Seattle - what will happen the next time the train's down? Why can't you have shuttles?? Waiting for a local bus to get home from the Edmonds Park and Ride will add an additional 30/45 minutes of commute time - standing and waiting.

    I cannot believe any community would cancel ALL their transit service on Sunday. So much money was spent on "creating" SWIFT and now it's not going to be used. What about people from King County coming into Snohomish County - that's not going to happen on Sundays!!!

    PLEASE RE-THINK THIS PROPOSED?? PROPOSAL..

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  26. This company wastes millions of dollars a year on a fat overstuffed managment team. By the way, this is the tax payer's money. CT needs to be restructered from the top down, bottom line. They need a leader that cares about the public, who pay her salary, rather than being someone who cares more about name recognition, ie, swift and double decker buses. Of course Swift has the highest ridership, it runs every 10 minutes.

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  27. Hey anonymous at 7:59 a.m. Jan 26, as long as your talking about things to cut, how about the raise drivers are getting this year? I heard no one else at CT is getting a raise this year, but I heard drivers are getting a 4 percent raise! How many jobs and service would that save?

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  28. And just how long did it take to get that raise? CT screwed around for 2 years before drivers got a new contract. So that raise is long overdue. And I can tell you right now, that all the admin staff make WAY MORE than the drivers do.

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  29. I would GLADLY take a paycut to keep my job. After 2 yrs of fighting with CT, I doubt the Union will allow that concession. I know alot of drivers (including senior drivers) who would take voluntary furlough days. We were told we can't do that since another driver would have to take the shift and probably at OT pay. So, thats impossible. Explain why no layoffs are happening anywhere in the Admin department? In 2005, there were 5 Directors, now there are 14 and all with Support Staff. Can you say TOP HEAVY? Metro and City of Seattle made alot of cuts in Mid management and saved millions, yet CT doesn't see that it has to be done. Theyre living in a glass house.

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  30. I went to the meeting in Mountlake Terrace last night on Jan 26th. Joyce the CEO was there talking about this "PROPOSAL.." and I have never
    seen a more DEFENSIVE person in my life. Every time a person would ask a question she would say that exact same thing. As far as I have heard and seen this is NOT a "Proposal" as CT has been saying THIS IS GOING to happen! Why is there a board meeting at 3 in the afternoon??
    Why can't this meeting be changed to 630-? Are the board member so afraid to actually see and hear about what the public has to say? Why wasnt their phone numbers and email address handed out to the public that attended the last meeting?
    We voted in these "board members" to their postions why hasn't ONE board member attended these "Public Meetings"? I agree to the previous statement that this company should be and has to be audited.Does CT really need to sound proof a wall when peoples lives are in their hand? Do they really need to remodel the gym that nobody use's anyway? That is a complete waste of money!

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  31. Does anyone know which afternoon route 424 Seattle to Snohomish is being considered to be eliminated? I cant find an answer and only an auto-matic unrelated reply form CT.

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  32. The afternoon Route 424 trip that would be cut is not decided. It would likely be based on ridership, but if riders state their preference that would be taken into consideration.

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  33. Anonymous: about the board address and phone numbers. It's ironic that you want to be given their phone numbers and emails when you don't have the courage to put your name on a post here.

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  34. Community Transit has forgotten what their name is all about. Its "COMMUNITY" that is being taken away and forgotten. And if they think for one minute it is doesn't have anything to do with SWIFT, that is bull. You can see in their proposal that almost every bus route is being directed towards SWIFT, to make us passengers use it. They say this is funded for two years, but who will pay for it after that? If they are receiving federal funding to run swift, how can they propose to do away with service on Sunday. That should already be "funded" and paid for. And besides, where does the government get that money? It is our tax payers money that funds it. This is just another way for you to raise our taxes. Somebody needs to go into that company and start cleaning house from the top down. I am sure there is a way better way to save money than cutting service and worse yet a whole day of it that will greatly affect this community. People in the community will lose their jobs if they can't get to work, there will be many more cars on the roads which will affect everybody that already drives. Drivers will be out of work etc. Sadly because they are the ones that get us where we need to go. They are the ones that deal with us in the public daily (and I have seen some not so nice passengers they have to deal with) and they are the one's that represent the company to the public. Funny how this whole proposal is not going to affect the people making it. It will only affect us the passengers and the drivers that will be laid off. Up until this year, I have always thought of CT as a good public company, but I can tell you now that I have no respect for the administration staff and no confidence in their decision making. CT no longer knows what Community means.

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  35. I still think you should somehow send the SELDOM USED new SWIFT buses downtown to be borrowed(ie: get some money from metro for loan) by METRO, thus they sharing MONEY with CT so CT not have to cut routes out, and METRO get help on over-crowded, standing-room-only buses from Seattle North and South!

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  36. Gary Goldbaum, MD, MPHJanuary 29, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Is there any possibility of restoring the triple bicycle racks to buses? Especially with nicer weather approaching, more people may consider intermodal commuting (combined bicycle & bus). I suspect that the investment in equipment will eventually lead to more people considering this option, thereby increasing ridership (and revenues) over time.

    Another writer suggested charging for bicycles. That is reasonable for full-size bicycles allowed on the bus (because of the space displaced), but could prove a serious disincentive for those who place bikes on racks or who bring folding bikes onto buses. From a public health perspective, we want to encourage broader use of mass transit because it can get more people to walk and bike, helping to address the epidemic of obesity (and its complications such as diabetes and heart disease).

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  37. Route 425 to Seattle from LS in the mornings. If you cut the first route of the day, will thh new first route (5:43am) be switched to an articulated bus to ahndle the ioncreased riders?

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  38. Why is the hearing at 3pm?? Why not in the evening so those of us who have to work can attend.

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  39. Why is the meeting location suddently being changed? Didn't CT anticipate a large turn out from the community with this type of proposal? I think the location was changed so it would be more difficult for people to attend....especially for commuters and those employees just getting off their shift and beginning their shift later in the evening. This change will certainly deter some interested parties due to convenience factors. Are you really listening to the community....or are you doing this as part of a checklist to cover your bases....

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  40. The board meeting is at 3:00 so that you would have to take time off work to make your voice heard. They could not handle the crowds and passion of an after work meeting.

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  41. I've been riding the 404 for over 15 years, a taxpayer in Edmonds and I'm very upset and disspointed that you are planning to cancel route 404 and and I'm sure others are regarding the 406 prior to the Park and Ride. The Edmonds Park and Ride does not have that many additional parking spaces. I thought the idea of the bus was to keep cars off the road - this will be adding many additional cars polluting the Edmonds air. You are penalizing the riders west of the the park and ride - who there are more of than east, on the way to the freeway. The busses are almost full before the park and ride. Sometimes there are more riders at my stop prior to the park and ride than AT the park and ride.

    I understand if ridership is down, then cancel a number of routes, use smaller busses, or increase fares; it will always be economically wiser for us riders to commute via the bus........I have been riding busses to work over 35 years and have never ever seen any community cut so much as you - I know it's economically the thing to do, but what about putting back chances to increase the economy in the city of Edmonds - you put so much money into Swift and now, you're canceling it? And if this proposal is for sure, which I hear it already is and it doesn't matter what we say, then shame on you - you evidently need to get some advice from King County Metro.

    And why would you have a meeting at 3/4 in the afternoon when anyone who this affects is hard at work and can't get there becuase the busses don't run at times to get there!!!!!

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  42. THIS PARTICULAR THREAD HAS A LOT OF COMMENTS, BUT BE SURE YOU MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD SO THAT SOMEONE MIGHT PAY ATTENTION:


    The public comment period remains open through Feb. 8. Send comments to 2010changes@commtrans.org (blog posts are good disucssion, but not part of the official record).


    After the hearing on Feb. 4, the board of directors may direct staff to make changes to the proposal. Then the board is expected to vote on a final service plan at their March 4 meeting. Approved service changes would take effect June 13.

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  43. Just so everyone knows, the Planning and Development Director and his cohorts, who came up with this so-called 'Proposal' makes:
    Salary: $50.74 - $76.11 Hourly
    $4,059.23 - $6,088.77 Biweekly
    $8,795.00 - $13,192.33 Monthly
    $105,540.00 - $158,308.00 Annually

    The wages are posted on the website and public knowledge. Remember, everybody in Admin is keeping their job. There are quite a few salaries at this rate yet no furlough days, no pay cuts, no layoffs in Administrative Staff. But, they can't think of anything else to do but cut service and lay off the drivers? Thanks CT, looks like your earning every penny.

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  44. The Community Transit Board meets the first Thursday of every month at 3 p.m.

    The meeting usually takes place in the Community Transit Board Room. The reason this week’s meeting was changed is because the board room fits about 60 people max. We anticipate there will be more people than that who want to share their concerns about the proposed service change with the board, and people would not have been happy if they had to wait outside for their turn or could not hear what others were saying.

    There was a location change only because if the time or date had been changed it would have required a new legal notification process, and this would have delayed the hearing two weeks.

    Four of the five community meetings in January were scheduled at night specifically to allow people who worked during the day to attend. All comments that are received through the 2010changes@commtrans.org email, via snail mail or on comment cards are being compiled for every board member to review.

    Remember, the dialogue in this blog is for public discussion, but if you want your comment to make it to the Board, you need to submit it through one of the official channels. Use the email address above to submit official comments. Thanks!

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  45. The way I'd get to Mountlake Terrace mid-day (if this proposal becomes reality) is to take King County Metro to Aurora Village: #358 from downtown or take a #41 to Northgate, then a #346 to Aurora Village. At Aurora Village, I'd transfer to a Community Transit #130 to Mountlake Terrace. All of these routes have frequent service, every 1/2 hour or better.

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  46. The Metro #347 also goes from Northgate to parts of Mountlake Terrace, although not as often.

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  47. It seems that forward thinking would have at least lessened the magnitude of this proposal, but they waited too long. It's like a business that expands too fast and then has to drastically cut back, but here they were hoping that the economy would turn around as quickly as it normally does. Some parts of "the proposal," the route consolidations and shortenings, could have been implemented a couple of years ago, when the economic downturn was obvious to the financial types, with the savings realized starting then and today's impact much less. But, the potential financiers (legislators) wouldn't have been listening to a much less dramatic request today! The park and rides I've seen the routes directed towards are the most underutilized around with the exception of Lynnwood's, so this seems wise.

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  48. Another way to Mountlake Terrace from downtown would be to take the Sound Transit #511 to Lynnwood, then take the #130 back to Mountlake Terrace. The Sound Transit buses have a couple of stops at freeway stations mid-day (University and 145th), but that's it. I find their buses much more comfortable than Community Transit's or Metro's!

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  49. A couple of observations. The passenger-counting element of APTS is a good investment if you’re interested in serving the most people once a route’s been established, as if the data is analyzed, they will know where people get on and get off the bus instead of just the total number of people who ride a route. On the other hand, I’m told it consumes a significant amount of staff time. Double deckers add capacity without increasing the number of drivers. It’s my understanding that they’ll replace articulated buses and that they won’t reduce the number of total buses. If so, this means that capacity will be increased for all of the lines the double deckers are put into service.

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  50. Just remember everybody that everyone on the Board of Directors that is going to vote on this PROPSED SERVICE CHANGES are, our elected afficials that we the voters/taxpayer put into office and the sweet things is when there term is up we can vote them out of there cosy little seats of office.
    Oh yeah, SWIFT may have the 2nd HIGHEST RIDERSHIP, but actually how many people pay to ride it.....when i am at the Everett Station i just stand there and watch as people by pass the paystation and just walk on the bus. I also don't think that Swift has the rider ship you wished it had....when I see Swift go by my office window never have seed the bus full, you can't full me on that one....

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  51. The economy for the last 2 or 3 years is the revenue half of the problem, but it looks like there’s an expense problem, too. By approving the additional nine directors in 2005, the board added about $6,000,000 in costs so far. The salary ranges posted for directors compare well to the 2007 salaries of the chief executives of Metro ($158,821) and Sound Transit ($187,949). During this recession, I'm told that four temporary buildings were trucked in to house temporary employees in their own private offices. The employees are now gone and their buildings are mostly vacant. Last year, despite recession and probably falling ridership, drivers were hired, and now soon will be let go. More managers were hired as well. They're staying. What matters is that the board of directors has consistently endorsed this interpretation of managing public resources.

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  52. I think everyone is trying to do their part and avoid these cuts. It is apparent that many, if not most, of the people who have posted have a personal agenda and have blinders on. Administrative staff IS being laid off, cuts within departments - from the information I have asked for and received - are deep.

    What I find amusing is, that operators have refused to entertain suspension of their pay increases - and in fact, choose to eat up what little flux in the budget there is - by creating grievances and insisting on being paid for time not worked. I understand the grievance process, but, to be paid a full days wage because someone else make a genuine mistake in this environment is just plain wrong.

    I would like CT to take a look at what they paid in overtime to Supervisors (ehem... at $50+ an hour) Dispatchers (who are famous for getting paid for time not worked), Operators (again, maybe if some of them would actually COME TO WORK the OT would be less) and Mechanics (well, at least the tires are staying on). Why doesn't CT make what they pay out in grievances public?

    Top heavy management? Perhaps. Top heavy Admin staff... probably not. Because, after all, who is going to run paychecks, deliver the mail, maintain the grievance and attendance files that keeps a good lot of them busy, and otherwise try to fill the holes and mend the loop holes that operators, supervisors, mechanics, and dispatchers create. Afterall, the good operators, supervisors, dispatchers, and mechanics are not grown up enough to work faithfully and honorably on their own without the increased supervision it takes to monitor their shenanigans.

    But I digress. Cuts are here. Let's make them the least painful... nip a vein, instead of an artery. If you need to go to your place of worship on Sunday, why not call someone from your church. Isn't that the Christian, Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Hindu, Muslim, Unitarian, Religion-Flavor-Of-The-Month, thing to do? If you need to work on Sunday, why not a van pool, or car pool with some other poor sod who also has to work that day. Ever heard of FlexCar? Everett Transit, as I understand it will still operate. Taxi cab. thumb. There are ways. Use them.

    Use your brain, get over yourself, spend some money to generate taxes, and quit complaining.

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  53. Anonymous at 3:17pm

    Drivers 'shenanigans'? What about Managements shenanigans of mismanagement over the past couple of years? They were told the numbers, saw the sales tax revenue go down yet they kept spending like its no tomorrow!

    If you have actually talked to drivers, then you would know that some of the senior drivers would take a voluntary layoff, others, including me who is on the layoff list, would cut their pay and refuse pay increases if it meant keeping their jobs! We haven't refused anything, management is REFUSING to deal with the Union who has suggested several different scenarios to help keep layoffs at a minimum. Management doesn't want to hear it because they are railroading this proposal down everybodys throat.

    The question is, why aren't the Directors who make up to $13,000 A MONTH, not taking mandatory furlough days, taking a pay cut, etc. Management keeps saying they have cut 12million from the budget; I'd like to know from WHERE?! Where are the documents showing where these 'savings' are coming from? CT management is not on the up and up and trying to cover their a**!

    You need to get 'over yourself' and get out of your glass house.

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  54. Anonymouse @ 3:17PM is typical of the "blame the unions" mentality. They are everywhere, and they don't realize that it's the Union Movement that gave them a 40-hour work week, better working conditions, a "weekend," and better than slave wages.

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