The Community Transit Board today adopted a service plan that will suspend all bus and paratransit service on Sundays and major holidays, as well as cut overall service by 15 percent. The service cuts will take effect on June 13, 2010.
In addition, the board approved a 25-cent fare increase on all local bus and DART paratransit trips, effective June 1, 2010.
The service cuts and fare increase were made in response to continually declining revenues from sales taxes. The latest monthly figures show a decline of nearly 21 percent in sales tax revenues from the same period in 2007.
The service cuts were largely similar to a proposal announced two months ago. However, the board today adopted several changes to that proposal that restored some service to certain routes. Details of the changes will be posted on the agency's website March 5, and this blog will be updated to reflect and link to those details.
Board Chair Dave Gossett, the current chair of the Snohomish County Council, opened discussion on changes to the service proposal by proposing to reduce weekday daytime frequencies on Route 101 from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Route 101 serves 128th Street/Airport Road from the Mariner Park & Ride east to Highway 99, then Hwy 99 to the Aurora Village Transit Center.
That proposal set an upper limit of savings that could offset other service restorations that were to come. The Route 101 amendment was passed.
Other amendments that were passed to restore service from the original proposal included:
Route 106 - Two southbound morning trips and two northbound evening trips through the North Creek Business Park area loop in Bothell between Canyon Park and UW Bothell were restored. Exact times of those trips is still to be determined.
Route 121 - Two northbound morning trips and two southbound evening trips serving the link on 23rd Avenue SE in Bothell between Canyon Park and UW Bothell were restored. Exact times of those trips is still to be determined.
Route 424 was restored to its current routing through Snohomish on all trips.
Route 477 will continue to serve Brier, but with modified routing between the Brier Park & Ride and the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center via 236th, 44th and 228th. This routing will be revisited in February 2011 when the Sound Transit I-5 flyer stop is scheduled to open.
Also, Gossett proposed a $50,000 fund be set aside to help mitigate the Sunday service cuts. Details on how this would be used are still to be worked out, but it may involve using community organizations who would provide transportation that is reimbursed through this fund. The intention is for this money to be used on trips that individuals need to make to get to work or church and who have no other transportation options.
The board adopted this revised plan unanimously.
Still under consideration are possible changes to Route 277 from Gold Bar to Everett, and Route 247 from downtown Stanwood to Everett. Additional information needed to be gathered to assess the cost of proposals to restore those services, so Gossett suggested that these two items be revisted at the April 1 board meeting.