Friday, January 29, 2010

Public Hearing Location Change

The Community Transit Board of Directors Public Hearing on proposed service and fare changes has been moved to a new location. The hearing will take place at 3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4 at the Future of Flight, 8415 Paine Field Blvd., Mukilteo.

The regular Board of Directors meeting will take place at that same time and location. The public hearing will be the first item on the agenda.

People who are transit-dependent can call (425) 353-7433 or (800) 562-1375 for assistance with transportation options.

This change is being done to accommodate those wishing to testify before the board in a facility of adequate size.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Public Process FAQs

Community Transit hosted five public meetings on our service change proposal this month. Attendance grew to 101 at the final meeting last night, with about 340 people overall. Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor facilitated each meeting and answered questions. We’ve compiled a running list of answers in our Proposed Service Change FAQs (and we are continuing to update this list).

Service Planning staff were also at each meeting, and they are compiling the more than 500 written comments we’ve received so far, as well as a petition and video comments. All those comments will be made available to the board before the public hearing next week.

The public comment period remains open through Feb. 8. Send comments to (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.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cutting “My” Bus Route

I work in Communications for Community Transit, but I am also a bus rider. The current service change plan proposes to cut one of the routes I take every week: Route 207.

Change is a theme in transit, as in life. This won’t be the first time a route I ride has been cut. In 2000, after Community Transit lost car tab money from the state, “my” Route 250 between Marysville and Lynnwood was eliminated. I call it “my” route because a lot of us get possessive about our service and take it personally when things change. I also call it “mine” because I was often the only one on the relatively new bus route for its entire length. I saw that cut coming, and as a taxpayer, I couldn’t complain.

With the change, I switched to taking a combination of Routes 210 and 610 to work once or twice a week. It took a lot of travel time, but I did read “Moby Dick” along the way. Then in 2003, Community Transit restructured service in Everett, and the 210 became the 200, 201 and 202.

That 201 between Lynnwood, Everett and Marysville is sort of proof that sometimes a little change or a little time can make all the difference in the success of a route. The service planners who had tried and failed with “my” Route 250 hit a homerun with Route 201, which is now one of our top five ridership routes.

With the public comment period still open ( and the board yet to make a decision, we don’t know for sure what Community Transit routes will change this June. But change must happen, to balance our budget and in the long run, to continue to provide Snohomish County with the best transportation options possible.

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