Proposed Community Transit 2023 budget available for comment; public hearing Nov. 3

Community Transit has released its 2023 proposed budget, and the goals include working to develop new services, build facilities to accommodate growth, and create connections to light rail in Lynnwood.

“Our strategic priorities are delivering excellent service every day, and building a brighter future for customers,” said Community Transit CEO Ric Ilgenfritz in an agency news release. “We will do this by ensuring our service is safe and reliable today, while making smart, innovative investments to expand and improve future public transportation services in Snohomish County.”

Among the priorities included in the 2023 budget:

  • Establish a new transit security unit, add service ambassadors, and upgrade stations to include better lighting.
  • Expand facilities to support future service growth, continue expanding the Swift bus rapid transit (BRT) network, and strengthen local connections within the county, including to new light rail stations.
  • Improve reliability for riders with flexible and responsive service delivery and update digital tools to give riders more accurate scheduling information.
  • Engage with communities to ensure the services we provide are equitable and meaningful to the people who use them.
  • Begin testing zero-emission transit vehicles.
  • Continue to aggressively recruit and retain a qualified workforce.

Community Transit said the proposed operating budget of $200.1 million enables the agency to meet service goals. The capital budget grows to $227.4 million in 2023 for investment in fleet and facilities, including preparing to transition to a zero-emission fleet. In terms of expansion, $90.3 million is dedicated to adding more Swift Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in the county and improving current BRT stations. The proposed budget addresses the risks of cost growth, balances with revenues, and provides healthy reserves for now and the future, the agency said.

Looking ahead to 2024, Community Transit said it will have unique opportunities to build the future by connecting with other transit modes in the region. This includes planning and redesigning the local bus network so that people can make light rail connections at Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Shoreline in 2024. Other services added, from a new BRT line, Swift Orange Line (opening in 2024), to innovative services, like Zip Shuttle, will transform the way people travel throughout Snohomish County, Community Transit said.

The proposed 2022 budget is available for review at www.communitytransit.org/budget. A board workshop will be held Oct. 27 and a public hearing is scheduled for the Community Transit Board of Directors meeting at 3 p.m. Nov. 3. Comments are also accepted through Nov. 3 by calling 425-353-RIDE (7433) or send to:

Visit www.communitytransit.org/meetings for details on how to participate in the board meeting, held both remotely on Zoom and in-person. For more information or to inquire about special needs arrangements, call 425-348-7100 (TTY Relay 711). The board is scheduled to act on a final budget proposal Dec. 1.

  1. I think this sounds great for eventually. But right now I think we should be spending money to fix many other things in our entire county. We have much to do at much expense. I also think we should get right on adding Arlington Area as a bus or transit route and do it all at once. I would like to see growth in Arlington area. Maybe more manufacturing that will provide jobs for many all over the county. SO they will need transit either way they decide to travel or the Southern part of Snohomish County may want to work up there. I think it is too soon to make choices until we see exactly what is and isn’t going to work in our county. I encourage manufacturing as well we need it here on the West Coast. Too much freight by Sea in my opinion. If we want clean as I hear clean isn’t ships coming across the ocean constantly. Some yes of course but I am a big believer in made in the USA and I would like to see our county be pioneers in this effort.

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