Thursday, June 23, 2011

Don't Expect Others to Comment for You

More than 1,250 people have completed our Online Comment Form to provide input on our three system change alternatives and almost 100 people have attended a 2012 System Change Open House. This high level of participation shows that riders have been engaged during this process.

But even with that much engagement, we have not inspired everyone to comment.

Of course, if you used to be a Sunday bus rider or the existing public transportation system doesn’t work for you, you might not be aware of this process. That is why we've worked with the media to get the word out (there has been coverage on TV and in local newspapers).

We held five community open house meetings for those who might not have easy Internet access and might not have been able to review the alternatives online.

Some people might still be unaware or might think it’s just not worth it.

But we want to hear from everyone, from people who have a car but choose to ride the bus to those who don’t have a car or can’t drive. We want to hear from local bus riders and commuter bus riders, because everyone will be impacted by these changes and nobody else is going to speak for you.

One rumor we have heard is that because we're considering some Sunday service, we are definitely going to bring it back.

That is not true. While we have said we would restore Sunday service as soon as new funding became available, there is no new funding. In fact, there is less funding. So, Sunday service is not a given, just an option. If Sunday service matters to you, you need to tell us that.

There are are also many impacts to local routes, from reduced bus frequencies to routing changes to complete elimination of some routes.

And commuter service to Seattle will see some big changes in either frequency reductions or a restructure of how that service is provided.

There’s still time to read up on the alternatives, remind people on your bus to comment and tell a friend or neighbor who uses transit occasionally to pay attention. Our final open house is tonight in Arlington, but the comment period continues through July 11. The public hearing before the board of directors is 5 p.m. July 7 at Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo. That hearing will run until the last person present has had the chance to speak.

Don't wait, comment now!

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