Community Transit staff have been out at park & rides and on board buses reminding riders that a major service change will take place on Feb. 20. Many people are aware of this, and many have gone online or read the Guide to Service Change to see how their travel will be impacted. But there are still quite a few people out there who think these changes are negotiable and may not realize they are going to happen, soon!
To date, we have spoken to more than 1,700 riders about the upcoming service change. We get that number by adding the number of conversations we've had to the number of people on buses that we hop on and make an announcement. In some cases, we may have a five- or 10-minute conversation with someone waiting for their bus; in others there is a 25-second announcement that the changes are coming Feb. 20 and all the details are in the Guide to Service Change and on our website.
Given that we have about 40,000 boardings a day on our buses, that comes down to just south of 20,000 actual daily riders. We hope to speak to maybe 3-4,000 in person before the service change, and those people may talk to others. Through this blog, our electronic alerts (13,000+ subscribers), our website and our Facebook page, we hope the word is getting out to more. And, of course, everyone who rides the bus has a chance to see the materials on board.
But again, not everyone pays attention or realizes the urgency. Even on these pages we see commentors suggesting alternatives to the changes. It's always great to get feedback, but the public comment period for these changes took place last summer; these changes are final.
Maybe that fact will sink in when the printed Bus Plus schedule books arrive on buses later this week.
The changes are not perfect. Service cuts never make people happy. But nearly everyone should be able to still use our service with some adjustments. And we'll be making adjustments later this year. If a connection just is not working out, or trip times need to change, we can do that. For now, we are trying to make people aware that changes are coming, soon.
We'll be out by the Albertson's in Mukilteo, at the Ash Way Park & Ride and the Lynnwood Transit Center this week, and at Mariner Park & Ride, Boeing and Everett Station next week. What question will you be asking?