Monday, July 1, 2013

We Are Not Cutting Service (Despite No State Transportation Package)

Community Transit has no plans to cut service. Despite the failure of the Washington State Legislature to pass a transportation funding package, Snohomish County’s transit provider will not cut service.

The question keeps coming up, so I want to repeat, no matter what other local transit agencies may or may not be doing, Community Transit is not going to cut service.

That said, the statewide transportation funding package was an important key to our county’s future. The package contained some direct funding for transit, funding for several capital transit projects and a local option that would have allowed Community Transit to make its case for an increase in local transit funding. There were also some major roads projects in that package that could have also benefited transit.

For Community Transit, the local option was the centerpiece of this package. While initially introduced as a motor vehicle excise tax, then changed to an additional sales tax, this local option could have provided the level of funding needed to erase the service cuts made in 2010 and 2012.

The local option was not guaranteed funding, it was authorization to place a ballot measure before our voters to ask their support. From that perspective, we were only asking the Legislature to let us do the heavy lifting because passing a tax measure is no easy feat. But with the death of the statewide package, we do not even get to ask the question.

Community Transit gets the majority of its funding through a state-authorized 0.9 percent sales tax in our service district, which is most of Snohomish County with the exception of Everett and some sparsely populated areas. So, 9 cents of every $10 taxable purchase (groceries are exempt from sales tax) in our service area helps to pay for transit service. The local option in the recent legislation would have given authorization to seek up to 0.3 percent additional sales tax, or another 3 cents on a $10 purchase.

Because Community Transit took action during the recession both to raise its fares and reduce expenses, including a 37 percent cut in bus service and laying off one-third of its employees, the agency is in a financial position now where it is preparing to grow again. Remember that slogan "Promising tomorrow with responsibility today?"

Community Transit envisions no more cuts in the foreseeable future. Some additional service hours to help with bus connections and other “fixes” to our system for the next year or two, and maybe more after that. But with additional funding there could be much more growth.

Maybe next year...


  1. Happy to see that responsible management of our tax dollars is pushing the way for transit stability. It would've been nice if the legislators had done their jobs better because Sunday service would be nice to have back, but as long as things are staying the same and not getting worse I applaud the efforts of CT management.

  2. hey mike community transit has more non driving than driving that responsible mngmnt? over 120 job titles to support less than 250 drivers....don't sound too responsible to me

  3. i did some more research Mike...CT is stating in the post above that they laid off 1/3 of there 650 employess which of 120 of those where drivers...they currently have over 500 employees which means they would have had too lay off over 120 administrative positions as well...these numbers are telling you they have around 375 left jobs at CT,there are 250 drivers, that means they have around 125 people left to cover over 120 different job titles...does a company with this small really need more than 10 people in the HR dept.?1 for every 37 employees ...the statement above is completely false. if responsible management is what you see when you look at this company you my friend have fooled,the truth of the matter is that while cutting service to the public they kept all but a handful of administrative jobs while losing 1/3 of the drivers, so the truth is that about 1/5 of all employees where lost due to layoffs where drivers.. maitinece and supervisors...if by chance this even gets posted mike you really should get the facts before praising this company...I'd say to call your representative of CT but when I did he didn't even know how many employees the company he sits on the chair for had in it's workforce, and the sad part of that is this man is the mayor of the city I live in and work for

  4. Yeah, because things like stop maintainers, operation supervisors, and bus mechanics are completely irresponsible.

  5. I just want to know are they ever going to turn Sunday service back on? Cause it sucks so bad not having a car & taking public transit. I think metro is way better than CT at least metro cares about its riders than CT. All this transit company is worried about is just making a quick buck.