No new Community Transit service likely for at least six years

If you were hoping Community Transit would restore some of the service it cut in the last several months, you might be waiting awhile.

The agency’s new six-year Transit Development Plan (TDP) predicts no new service will be added between 2012 and 2017.

A new 20 percent service cut will take place in February 2012. After that, the report says demand for transit will grow but the ability to provide new service will not keep pace.

The agency blames a slow economic recovery.

In 2008, Community Transit’s sales tax revenues dropped 18 percent. The agency cut expenses, borrowed from reserves, raised fares twice and cut service to balance its budget.

Come February 2012, it will have cut service by 37 percent and eliminated 29 percent of its workforce in just three years.

New service would only be added if the economy recovers faster than projected or if new funding becomes available.

The State Legislature is expected to discuss transportation funding during the 2012 session. Transit agencies statewide plan to ask for more stable funding sources than the sales tax, which usually drops when the economy falters.

Community Transit is seeking public comment on the draft six-year plan now through Dec. 16. Emails may be sent to plan@commtrans.org . A public hearing will take place at 3 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1, in the Community Transit Board Room, 7100 Hardeson Road, Everett.

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