Starting February of next year, a lot of MTHS students might have to change their bus riding habits because being added to the service cuts and fare increases that started in June of 2010, including getting rid of Sunday service, Community Transit is cutting an additional 20 percent of service by reducing bus frequency and changing routes.
“[I ride the bus] to get home from school, to go to work,” Elizabeth Nguyen, MTHS senior said. “I didn’t know they were cutting service.”
In September, the board of directors of Community Transit selected a plan to cut service by having buses do fewer trips and restructure the agency’s local routes to serve higher ridership corridors.
The biggest difference for many MTHS students will be changes to Route 112, which stops right in front of the school.
Route 112 will, once the cuts take effect, start at Mountlake Terrace Transit Center and end at Ash Way Park & Ride without directly serving Lynnwood Transit Center and not continuing as Route 113. The section of the 112 that goes between 236th Street Southwest and Edmonds Community College will now be served by Route 119.
“I ride the bus because I volunteer down in Edmonds,” Kami Roberts, MTHS sophomore said. “I’d rather walk than take the bus.”
The new cuts are being made to fill a nearly $12 million budget shortfall Community Transit has since revenue from sales taxes have fallen considerably since the recession of 2007-2009.
“Community Transit gets most of our funding from the local sales tax,” Joyce Eleanor, CEO of Community Transit said at a press conference.
“In 2007, before the recession began, we got about $76 million in sales tax revenue. By 2009, the revenue source dropped down to $62 million,” she said.
Community Transit plans to soon start developing the maps and timetables for the new routes and will launch a public education effort in early 2012.