Community Transit seeks feedback on proposed 2024 budget

Community Transit Swift bus. (Photo courtesy Community Transit)

Community Transit’s proposed 2024 budget, is available for comment through Nov. 2. The budget maps out improvements to transit services that are planned for 2024.

According to an agency press release, the year will be “a transformative one” as Community Transit opens the Swift Orange Line bus rapid transit (BRT) project and prepares to leverage Sound Transit’s fall 2024 opening of light rail to Lynnwood by reallocating its longtime investments in bus routes serving King County to fund more travel options within Snohomish County. The improvements are outlined out in the “Transit Changes in 2024 & Beyond” plan that the Community Transit Board of Directors adopted earlier this year.

In keeping with past practice, Community Transit has proposed a balanced 2024 budget, the agency said. Operating revenues exceed operating expenditures, and all reserves are fully funded. Total 2024 budgeted operating revenues equal $273.3 million. Total 2024 budgeted operating expenditures equal $231.6 million.

Projects and programs funded in the proposed 2024 budget include:

Swift Bus Rapid Transit Expansion
Community Transit’s third BRT line, Swift Orange Line launches next spring. The Swift Orange Line will connect to the Swift Blue and Swift Green lines to provide a network of transit service in South Snohomish County, and a direct connection to light rail in Lynnwood.

Light Rail and Local Network Improvements
There will be local improvements to Community Transit’s bus network that are made possible by the Link light rail extension into Snohomish County. These changes include new express bus connections to Link from most parts of the county, higher frequency in local service, and a longer span of frequent service throughout the day and evenings.

Zero Emission Program
In 2024, the agency will begin serving riders with battery electric and fuel cell buses. Our primary activity in 2024 will be studying how a 40-foot battery electric bus and a 40-foot hydrogen fuel cell bus perform in service. Lessons learned from this pilot will inform future zero-emission bus purchases.

Other Services
The Innovative Services program reflects Community Transit’s commitment to exploring new ways to bridge the “first-mile, last-mile” challenge and address community transportation gaps to make it easier for people to choose transit, the agency said. In 2024, Zip Alderwood Shuttle, a microtransit pilot, begins its first full year as a regular service offering in Lynnwood. The budget funds the creation of new innovative service pilot projects in three new communities — Arlington, Darrington, and Lake Stevens – and planning for three more communities.

Safety and Security Focus
The budget supports increased safety and security, including the first full year of funding for the new Transit Security Officer (TSO) program deployed in 2023. TSOs enforce the agency’s Rules of Conduct. The agency will also continue to contract with the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Office to employ a social worker.

Service Delivery
The proposed budget supports growing and maintaining a workforce of coach operators and mechanics to support long-term service growth. Community Transit said it is committed to strengthening the employee experience and places a strong emphasis on developing and maintaining a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion.

The proposed 2024 budget is available for review at communitytransit.org/budget. Members of the public can comment in a variety of ways through Nov. 2:

Email: budget@commtrans.org
Social media: Facebook (/communitytransit), Twitter (@MyCommTrans)
Mail: Community Transit Administrative Office, 2312 W Casino Rd, Everett, WA 98204
Call: 425-353-RIDE (7433)
Public hearing: Community Transit Board Meeting: 3 p.m., Nov. 2 (sign up at communitytransit.org/how-to-attend-a-meeting).

  1. Did you get your 2024 Budget Message? Do you think the fact that you’re getting it at the height of the election season is coincidental? It’s that sort of thinking that has brought us to the present situation. The old cliche is that people tent to get the kind of government they deserve. This is a classic example.

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