Community Transit to host public hearing April 5 on proposed service, fare changes

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Members of the public are invited to share comments about Community Transit’s proposed service and fare changes at a hearing starting at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 5. The hearing will be part of agency’s Board of Directors meeting at 7100 Hardeson Road in Everett, accessible by Community Transit Route 105.

In its first proposed fare increase since 2014, the agency is proposing a 25-cent fare increase for local bus and DART paratransit service and a 3 percent average increase in vanpool rates.

Continuing its commitment to expand service following a 2015 voter-approved transit expansion measure, Community Transit also proposes to increase service by 12 percent, or 49,000 annual service hours, in fall 2018 and spring 2019. This expansion is projected to increase bus ridership by 750,000 trips in its first year and up to 1.8 million trips, or a 20 percent increase, by 2023.

The hearing will last until each person present has had an opportunity to comment.

No decisions will be made immediately following the hearing. The Board of Directors is scheduled to decide on the changes in May. Details of the plan are available at www.communitytransit.org/Proposal.

Members of the public may also submit comments through April 6 by mail, telephone, email and social media:

The bulk of the service increase will be the launch of the Swift Green Line, Snohomish County’s second bus rapid transit line, in spring 2019. Other changes would improve access to existing routes, add more commuter trips and improve transit connections.

Fall 2018 changes

Swift Blue Line (Everett-Shoreline)

  • Community Transit proposes to restore weekday service on the Swift Blue Line to every 10 minutes between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. M-F. During the recession, the agency reduced service to every 12 minutes during those hours. Buses would continue to run every 20 minutes early mornings, nights and weekends.
  • The proposal would also add an early morning weekday trip in each direction starting at approximately 4:20 a.m.

Route 109 (Ash Way-Lake Stevens)

  • The proposal would reroute Route 109 buses off of Hwy 9 in Lake Stevens and onto 20th Street and 99th Avenue.
  • This routing change would serve more residents and businesses in this fast-growing area and improve on-time performance.

Route 196 (Edmonds-Ash Way)

  • The proposal would reroute Route 196 off 196th Street in Lynnwood between 44th and 48th avenues to serve the Lynnwood Transit Center.
  • This change would greatly improve transit connections and provide more local bus service to the transit center.

Route 413 (Lynnwood-Seattle)

  • The agency proposes to add 13 total midday and later evening trips to provide a greater span of commuter service to and from Seattle. These trips include four southbound late-morning trips to Seattle and nine early afternoon and later evening northbound trips to Snohomish County.
  • The change would provide more flexibility to Seattle commuters and encourage people to use the under-utilized Swamp Creek Park & Ride in north Lynnwood.
  • This change would also provide a 2nd Avenue option for midday Seattle commuters.

Spring 2019 changes

Swift Green Line (Bothell-Paine Field)

  • The Swift Green Line is proposed to launch in spring 2019, providing 10-minute weekday service and 20-minute night and weekend service between the Canyon Park Park & Ride in Bothell and the Seaway Transit Center near Boeing-Everett.
  • The Swift Green Line will intersect with the Swift Blue Line at Highway 99 and Airport Road, creating a high-frequency, high-capacity transit network.
  • With the Swift Green Line, 45 percent more Snohomish County residents will have easy access to 10-minute bus service.
  • More information about the Swift Green Line is available at www.communitytransit.org/SwiftGreen.

Route 107 (Lynnwood Transit Center-Boeing)

  • Route 107 is proposed to have new stops added along the Mukilteo Speedway and 84th Street, serving local businesses and the Future of Flight Museum.

Routes 107, 227 & 247 (Boeing)

  • One new round-trip will be added to Route 107 (time TBD).
  • One new round-trip would be added to Routes 227 & 247 and trip times moved earlier to meet new Boeing shift times and allow for transfers.

Routes 107, 227, 247, 271 & 280 (Boeing)

  • When the Swift Green Line opens, routes serving Boeing are proposed to be modified to serve the Seaway Transit Center rather than the Boeing-Everett plant. Transfers to Everett Transit, Swift Green Line or private shuttles would get riders to their final destination.

Proposed fare changes would take effect Oct. 1, 2018.

  • The agency proposes a 25-cent increase for local bus and DART paratransit fares:

o   Adult – $2.50, Youth – $1.75 and Reduced fare – $1.25.

  • The proposal would also simplify commuter fares for routes to Seattle/UW, designating one fare for all commuter routes:

o   Adult – $4.25, Youth – $3 and Reduced fare – $2.

  • Vanpool rates would be increased an average of 3 percent, or about $14/month per van, based on size of van and length of trip.

A new fare policy will also take effect Oct. 1 that charges commuter fares for all riders of commuter routes (400 & 800 routes), regardless of where they board or de-board. This policy was adopted by the Community Transit Board of Directors last fall.

Pilot vanpool service

In addition, Community Transit will be launching a pilot Vanpool service aimed at serving commuters with “first-mile, last-mile” challenges.

The pilot Vanpool service would have a flat rate to be shared among the riders in the van.

This service would:

  • Provide a van for first-mile connections from home to a transit center/ferry terminal, or last-mile connections from a transit center/ferry terminal to work.
  • The proposed fare is $175/month.
  • There is a five rider minimum per van.
  • There is a 20-mile daily round-trip limit.
  • Vehicle insurance and maintenance, as well as a gas card is provided.

Because this pilot program establishes a new fare, public comment is requested.

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