|One of the Community Transit's first buses|
Friday, April 1, 2016
Community Transit to Celebrate 40th Anniversary with Original Routing
It is well-known lore at Community Transit that when the Snohomish County transit agency started business in 1976 it did not have any specific routes.
Happy April Fools’ Day!
“The early drivers were given a bus and told to go out in the community, near major landmarks and shopping centers, and find people who looked like they needed a ride,” recalled CEO Emmett Heath.
Over the past four decades, those early roots have given way to more sophisticated operations. Today, Community Transit is one of the major transportation agencies in the Puget Sound region, serving 10 million passengers in 2015 with 44 well-defined bus routes.
Later this year, the agency will celebrate its 40th anniversary. A week of rider-focused events is planned for the first week of October. On the agency’s actual birthdate – October 4 – Community Transit will honor its past by returning to original routing for that one day.
“We have quite a few more buses today than we had in 1976, so it will be interesting to see how this works out,” said Heath.
The plan is to have bus drivers check in at their usual time, then take a bus and follow their instincts as to where people might be needing a lift. While park & rides seem like an obvious location for potential riders, they didn’t exist in the ‘70s, so drivers will be told to avoid them for authenticity’s sake.
“We want our riders to experience what it was really like to use our service that first day,” said Heath.
Regular routes and schedules will resume on October 5. Later that week, riders will be treated to a forward-looking event when all buses will be put on auto-pilot.