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Community Transit increases fares, reduces services

Community Transit fare increases and service reductions will take effect in June.

A 25-cent fare increase, for local bus and para-transit service, kicks in June 1, while Sunday and major holiday services will be suspended starting June 13. The holidays during which CT will no longer operate include Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Memorial Day.

The CT Board of Directors unanimously approved these steps March 4, along with other cost-cutting measures, to make up for a $5 million shortfall in this year's budget.

In spite of CT conducting more service than it did in 2007, its current revenues are 20 percent less than they were that year.

Although CT has already cut $14 million in spending over the last two years, CT Board Chair Dave Gossett, who also chairs the Snohomish County Council, has said that all other credible alternative cost-cutting measures, outside of these Sunday and major holiday service reductions, have already been exhausted. He nonetheless pledged that Sunday and major holiday services will be restored as soon as funding allows, and noted that CT is already seeking alternative options for funding in order to do so.

The Board also approved a $50,000 fund to help community groups offset the loss of Sunday services for those in need, although the details of this plan are still being worked out.

Among CT's other cuts are a number of early morning and late night trips, the former including trips to Boeing's Everett plant. Among the routes that will be eliminated outright are 200 to Smokey Point, and 207 to Smokey Point and Boeing via Marysville, each of which has alternative transit service. Other routes will be consolidated, to eliminate duplications in service, while certain commuter routes will have their starting locations shifted from city streets to park and ride lots.

For more information on these service reductions and alterations, log onto www.communitytransit.org.

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