Friday, April 8, 2011

A Bad News Day

It was a bad news day for CommunityTransit, and our riders. CEO Joyce Eleanor hosted a press conference yesterday to describe the agency’s financial situation and the necessity for significant budget cuts in 2012.

You can read her full speech on our website – and probably saw parts of it on the evening news.

This is just the beginning of a long process to develop service alternatives (going on right now), get public input on them in June, host a public hearing before our board in July and get a final decision from the board in September. The cuts themselves won’t take place until February 2012.

Other transit agencies in Washington are facing similar financial woes due to the recession.

King County Metro and Sound Transit have raised fares and face large cuts and budget shortfalls in the near and long term.
Pierce Transit hosts its first hearing on service cuts on Monday. The agency is already operating reduced service due to a fire earlier this year.

Down in Vancouver, Washington, the C-Tran board considers on Tuesday when it will put transit funding proposals on the ballot.

There’s better news at Whatcom Transportation Authority, where Bellingham voters supported a new tax to restore Sunday service, and at Intercity Transit, where Olympia voters approved a sales tax increase to fend off cuts and modestly improve service.

But generally, it's safe to say there's bad news all over. And that's not good.

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