By CATHY LOGG and WARREN CORNWALL
A bomb threat disrupted service to about 300 people on nine Community Transit buses Wednesday.
The incident began around 4 p.m. when a 12-year-old boy reportedly heard an older man who may have been drunk say a bomb was going to go off on a bus headed for Monroe, CT spokeswoman Janlyn Nesbett said. The boy called the Washington State Patrol in Bellevue, which reported the threat to CT.
CT had nine buses on three routes that could be at risk, and all of them pulled over immediately, Nesbett said. Some of the buses were full since rush hour was just beginning. The buses were evacuated, and people waited in buildings or on other buses while bomb squads searched the buses. No bombs were found.
Some passengers got back on the same bus, while others were picked up by a different bus or by service supervisors in vans.
"It was a headache," Nesbett said.
The service disruption angered passengers.
Tony Miller of Monroe takes the bus to downtown Seattle. Some buses didn’t pick up some passengers, and riders got little or no explanation, he said. Some passengers who called CT were unsatisfied with the response, he said.
His group was instructed to take a Sound Transit bus to Everett, where supervisors would be waiting to ensure they got back to Monroe, he said. When they arrived in Everett, only one bus was waiting, and the driver didn’t know what was going on, he said. Several passengers had to ask him to call his supervisor to get permission to take them home, Miller said.
"That’s the only transportation between Seattle and Monroe. If you lose that, people are stuck there, and what can they do? All it would have taken was telling people what to do: Take a bus to the station in Everett, have a cup of coffee, we’ll get you home," he said.
"These people pay $7.50 per day round trip to take the bus and they got boned (Wednesday). No apology, no nothing. They should have had something in place. It happened. Fine, we accept it and go on. But what happens next time?" Miller said.
CT officials received numerous complaints.
Nesbett said: "Any time you have passengers that are displaced, regardless of what the reason is, you have people that are fussy about that.
"I certainly understand some of their concerns, but you have to understand that our number one priority is to provide safe transportation for all of our customers."
CT hasn’t had a similar threat in about 10 years, she said.
"It’s never something to joke about, and it’s something the police take very seriously," she said.
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