Community Transit’s proposed budget would increase service 5 percent in 2020 as the agency continues is expansion of bus service for Snohomish County residents. The agency is seeking comment on the draft budget through Nov. 8.
According to an announcement from Community Transit, the service increase equates to about 18,000 hours of new service. This is a more moderate expansion than occurred in 2019 when the agency added more than 40,000 service hours to launch its Swift Green Line.
In 2020, project development will continue for Swift Orange Line, the agency’s third bus rapid transit line, which will connect with the Swift Blue and Green Lines and serve the Lynnwood Link light rail station when it opens in 2024.
The proposed 2020 budget reflects an emphasis on service and the agency’s mission. This year, Community Transit refined its organizational Mission and Vision to reflect the evolution of the service the agency provides.
Community Transit’s proposed 2020 budget projects a 5.4 percent increase in sales tax revenue over the 2019 amended budget, while operating expenditures will increase 4.9 percent. The budget proposal assumes operating expenses of $169.5 million. Capital expense investments will total $75.4 million for new projects.
Funding will go toward the following:
Service expansion: The proposed 2020 budget funds expanded service to include schedule improvements that will enhance customer connections, restructure routes to provide better connections between Swift Green Line and surrounding neighborhoods, and possible new routes to serve high-demand areas. The proposed budget calls for more buses and 16 new full-time employees to drive, maintain and support the service expansion.
Workforce growth and base expansion: The total bus and paratransit hours of service will increase 5.4 percent, and the agency’s workforce will grow to more than 800 employees to support the increase. The proposed budget will fund the first phase of a facility master plan for a base expansion to provide adequate workspace and room for fleet expansion.
New and replacement buses: The agency will purchase 122 new vehicles: 25 expansion and 97 replacement vehicles. Those include 10 40-foot expansion buses, 15 expansion vanpool vans, 28 replacement buses, 57 replacement vanpool vans, and 13 replacement DART paratransit buses.
High capacity transit network: Planning for Swift Orange Line is moving forward and the agency is on schedule to complete the project development phase for the line in 2020. The agency’s third bus rapid transit line is expected to be under construction in 2022 and operational in 2024. In addition to the Swift Orange Line project, the agency will conduct a study for the Swift Blue Line extension, which will extend service into King County to the planned Shoreline Sound Transit Link station.
Customer experience: The agency will continue to focus on customer engagement as it relates to major projects through feedback and research. The budget funds investment in new and convenient methods for people to provide public comment, such as online open houses.
The Community Transit Proposed 2020 Budget is available online at www.communitytransit.org/budget.
The public can submit comment through Nov. 8.
Comments can be sent to:
Community Transit, 7100 Hardeson R.,
Everett, WA 98203
@MyCommTrans on Twitter
A public hearing before the agency’s Board of Directors will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 at Community Transit’s Merrill Creek Operating Base, 7100 Hardeson Road in Everett. The board is scheduled to act on final budget proposal on Dec. 5.
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