Rider alert: Everett Transit service changes now in effect
EVERETT - Everett Transit implemented its 2012 service reductions Sunday, Aug. 26.
The agency cut up to 15 percent of its services in the wake of declining revenue. The agency held off on major cuts in prior years by dipping into its reserves.
The agency cut routes 9, 27 and 79. Other than Route 9, these were among the agency’s least-ridden routes. Route 9 on Evergreen Way will be now covered by Route 7 and Route 8.
Everett Transit eliminated service on Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s days. It will operate on Sunday schedule hours for Labor Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The agency will maintain seven-days-a-week service for most routes.
Paratransit service also will be affected.
The agency plans to pitch a fare increase to the City Council around late September, program manager Steffani Lillie said last week.
Everett Transit is proposing a 25-cent fare hike starting January 2013 with the council’s approval. If fares go up, seniors would pay 25 cents, youths 75 cents and adults $1. The agency has not raised fares since 2009; the City Council decides the fare rates.
Route 9 on the Evergreen Way corridor is now covered by Route 7 and 8. The southern section of Route 9 is now covered by Route 8, which comes from Everett Station. Route 8 now makes a loop at city limits at Airport Road where Route 9 used to terminate. Similar to now, Route 8 will go into the Evergreen Walmart parking lot, but only enter the parking lot on northbound trips.
The north-south Route 29 on the east side of the city stayed largely as is and now has two variations at the south end of its route: one goes into the Valley View neighborhood and one that does not. The shorter loop skips the Valley View neighborhood, the Eastmont Park and Ride and Silver Lake. Both variations serve the 112th Street Park and Ride. The different loop routes are denoted in Everett Transit’s new route book.
Everett Transit renamed the Route 25 circulator to Route 5, and the old Route 5 became Route 6. The renamed Route 6 serves the waterfront from Everett Station but no longer runs on weekends.
Everett Transit also modified multiple routes. Route 18, which goes from Everett Station to Mukilteo, will no longer have Saturday service. The agency also reduced service on Route 3, including cutting back on how often it goes into the View Ridge neighborhood. The loop into View Ridge was cut entirely on weekends.
Paratransit riders who make transfers to other transit agencies at Everett Station no longer have an Everett Transit employee wait with them before they board their transfer. Instead, Everett Transit created a paratransit waiting area at Everett Station.
Everett Transit’s union fought to keep Route 9, arguing Everett Transit could avoid cuts altogether by canceling its contract with Community Transit to pay for the Swift bus rapid line, but the City Council said that would be a bad move.
Everett Transit is cutting services because of drops in sales tax revenue, which is the agency’s core source of funding. At the same time Everett Transit also found it is providing services that riders aren’t using enough.
Since the Great Recession began in 2008, Everett Transit has dipped into its reserves by millions of dollars to make up the gap. This is the first major cut to Everett Transit services since the 1990s.
Everett Transit operates on its own and does not receive any city funding.
To see the new bus schedule and route times, go online to www.everetttransit.org and click on “Click to View Our New Schedule,” or pick up a schedule book at Everett Station, on Everett Transit buses, at public libraries, the County Campus and 200 other locations.
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