By Debra Smith Herald Writer
EVERETT — Riders of Everett Transit better pick up new schedules.
Many of the city’s bus routes are set to change Sunday — again.
Everett Transit overhauled its route system in November. The changes were partly to accommodate the launch of Community Transit’s Swift bus service, which shuttles passengers along Evergreen Way and Highway 99.
Everett officials quickly had to go back to the drawing board this winter when riders complained.
“We’ll call them less than encouraging comments,” Tom Hingson, Everett Transit director, told leaders at City Council last month.
Buses were up to 20 minutes behind schedule. In some cases, riders were missing transfers when buses were tardy. Others found the way Everett Transit labeled its routes confusing.
Transit officials had already planned to do some route tweaking later this year but the complaints prompted them to act sooner, Hingson said.
“We knew we had to address this as soon as possible,” he said.
Most of the complaints about late buses came from people riding the bus along Broadway and Evergreen Way. Drivers found they were arriving late at stops because of traffic, Hingson said.
Many routes now have extra time built into the schedule. Overall, there are fewer stops at Everett Station on Smith Avenue to reduce backups there.
Everett Transit also heard from people who live in and around Bakerview Heights in northeast Everett. One route, No. 29, was redirected to better serve people there who wanted to get downtown and south to the Everett Mall Way.
Other changes include:
Combining routes 7 and 19 into a new route, No. 7, that travels from College Station in North Everett to Everett Mall Way. Route 9 was scheduled to parallel part of Route 7 so at peak hours riders should be able to flag down a bus every 15 minutes along Broadway and Evergreen Way.
Adjusting the timing of buses on Route 18, which runs from Everett Station to Mukilteo, to help ensure people can catch a ferry.
Renaming circular routes so each direction — clockwise and counter-clockwise — has a separate number.
Everett Transit’s operating budget was $18 million last year and it gave 2.6 million rides. Riders paid a total of $1.1 million in fares. Everett Transit pays the rest of its bills with money from sales tax as well as state and federal grants.
For maps, changes and schedules, go to http://tinyurl.com/servicechange or call Everett Transit at 425-257-7777. Pick up a schedule on a bus or at College Station, 2200 Tower St., Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave., or Mall Station, 1330 SE Everett Mall Way.
Reporter Bill Sheets contributed to this story.