Rep. Liias looking for ways to restore Community Transit service

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Rep. Marko Liias

According to our friends at Lynnwood Today, State Rep. Marko Liias (D-Edmonds) wants to help Community Transit buy back some of the service it slashed last year due to budget cuts.

The agency suspended all Sunday and holiday service in June and has been looking for state and federal funding to help restore service. Other transit agencies are facing similar money troubles, due in large part to declining sales tax revenue.

Liias says he plans to introduce legislation later this month to provide these agencies with options to help them survive the recession.

“Communities are strengthened by the availability of quality transportation choices. Transit and other options, like biking and walking, reduce pollution and congestion, helps our economy, and improves everyone’s quality of life. We must maintain committed to transit and improving our community,” Liias said.

Liias – vice chair of the House Transportation Committee — said the cuts come at a time when people are trying to use transit to save money. He predicts action will be needed this session or the ongoing effects will be devastating. It’s unclear what kind of funding options his bill would provide.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you! I use community transit almost everyday for my commute to work. My bus route was cut in June. As a consequence, I actually have to get into my car to get to a bus. I hope that our bus service eventually reaches a point that I never have to jump into my car.

  2. At A Community Transit briefing a few weeks ago, we were told that Rep. Liias was preparing legislation which would allow Community Transit to levy a motor vehicle tax, called a decongestion tax (or fee). Community Transit gets only 14-18 percent of its income from fares. The rest comes from Sales Taxes, grants etc.

  3. I am all for mass transit but I would like to know what percentage of available non-commuter seats CT fills systemwide. In the airline business the bean-counters weigh revenue passenger miles against available seat miles and calculate a “load factor.” What is CT’s load factor? I peer inside all the local-running CT buses I can, and – though this is only anecdotal – I perceive an awfully low load factor. It seems to me many of these local routes could be served by Shuttle Express-style minivans, rather than these 45-passenger $200,000 behemoths getting less than 10 mpg.

    Mass transit is a general social good that deserves our support, but it ought to be right-sized and operating efficiently. An average three or four riders aboard a 45-seat vehicle means something is out of whack. Using standard-sized city buses on many of our CT routes seems to me like using an aircraft carrier to deliver the mail to Orcas Island.

  4. Tom, if the buses came and went on a convenient schedule (i.e. every 20/ 30 minutes), I would use it locally too. I hate driving.

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