Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Route 232 Continues Response to Post-Landslide Needs

Before the March 22 Oso landslide, Route 230 provided “lifeline” service to connect Darrington and Oso with Arlington and the rest of Snohomish County. The route ran two round trips each weekday, one in the morning and one in the evening. There weren’t a lot of riders, but this bus service offered a way to connect to the community if you didn’t have a car.

When the landslide shut down the Highway 530 connection to the county, there was a sense of isolation east of Oso. The only way to get to Arlington or Everett was to drive north into Skagit County and take a 2-to-3 hour trip. Not only was it inconvenient, at $3.75 or so a gallon it was also expensive.

Community Transit responded with Route 231, providing a bus trip on that long route at the bargain prices of $2 a ride (standard local adult fare). Because local residents might need to do some basic shopping and errands besides get to work, Route 231 made mid-day stops at the convenience store in Concrete, and the Food Pavilion and hospital in Sedro Woolley, along with morning and evening round trips. We've had as many as 20 people a day use this remote service.

Now that one lane of Highway 530 has been re-opened, Community Transit is returning to direct service to Darrington. Route 232 will provide morning and evening round trips, like Route 230 did, but Route 232 will also take people all the way to Smokey Point, which was a popular destination on the Route 231.

Route 230 will go away for now. While Route 220 between Arlington and Smokey Point will remain unchanged, Route 232 will serve the same stops as Route 220 at times when a transfer has not been very convenient. Thank you for your patience and support.

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