Community Transit plan shows growth in revenue, riders

Community Transit approved a new six-year plan Thursday that forecasts a modest growth in revenue without adding any substantial service.

It also projects a large increase in ridership — a jump of 30 percent to 12 million annual riders by 2017.

“There is high demand for transit service in Snohomish County,” said Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor in a statement. “Limited resources have kept us from putting more service on the road, but we can continue to be smart about when and where we place our buses so that more customers can use them.”

Between 2010 and 2012, Community Transit cut 37 percent of its bus service — and also eliminated Sunday routes and scaled back Saturday service — as sales tax revenues fell during the recession.

The agency says its has maintained much of its ridership by cutting unproductive service — early- and late-night buses, mid-day trips and low-ridership routes.

Several highly used routes have seen an increase in boardings such as the commuter service between Seattle and the University of Washington and the Swift bus service along Highway 99 between Everett and Shoreline.

The Swift bus route sees the agency’s highest ridership, frequently drawing more than 100,000 riders a month. Last year, one of every seven Community Transit passengers rode a Swift bus.

The transit agency says it is now operating the same number of hours as it did in 2000 when ridership was 7.2 million boardings. Last year, the agency provided 9.1 million rides.

Online

Community Transit’s six-year plan is available at www.communitytransit.org/futureplans.

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