Wednesday, March 23, 2011

State House, Senate Transportation Budgets Released

Both the state House and Senate transportation budgets were released this week. While neither contains a comprehensive plan for funding transit, there was a key difference between the two.
The House included funding for a Regional Mobility Grant application submitted by Community Transit to bring back a minimal level of Sunday service. The Senate budget does not include this funding.

Altogether, the grant request is for $4.3 over four years and would allow Community Transit to operate about 30 percent of the service that it had before Sunday service was suspended in 2010.

The House Transportation Committee held a hearing on its transportation budget Monday, but is discussing the budget in executive session today.

The Senate Transportation Committee is holding a hearing on the transporation budget at 3:30 p.m. today.

One item that is included in both budgets is continued Regional Mobility Grant funding for Swift operations. This grant was approved by the Legislature last biennium, but since the grant runs into the new biennium, funding is up for approval again. This grant provides $1.25 million annually for Community Transit to operate its Swift bus rapid transit line each year through the end of FY2012.

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