Community Transit Makes Pitch To Serve Everett

November 7, 2019

Everett

bus

What is the future for Transit in Everett? Photo credit: Everett Transit

Ready? – Yes we are.
Willing? – Yes we are.
Able? – Yes we are.

That’s what representatives from Community Transit told the Everett City Council Wednesday night.

18 of 19 cities in Snohomish County are members of the Snohomish County Public Transportation Benefit Area Corporation more commonly known as Community Transit. The only city in Snohomish County that is not part of Community Transit is the city of Everett, Washington.

At the Wednesday Everett City Council meeting Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath and Roland Behee, CT’s Manager of Planning made a presentation outlining what they call a vision of a unified transportation system.

In addition to system efficiency the two spoke of sustainable capacity, cost savings and innovation if Everett Transit was combined within Community Transit. CT currently offers Swift, Local Bus, Commuter Bus, Vanpool and DART (Dial-A-Ride-Transportation) Para-Transit services.

Behee said Community Transit’s planning for Everett would include looking at population density, jobs, low income, inclusion and transit dependent households. Accessibility is also important to connect with walking routes in the city. It was also mentioned that unification would give Everett a stronger voice at the regional table.

The presentation said a Unified Plan could be built on the Everett Transit Growth Network. A key component would be more routes and frequency. For example there could be new Swift lines including around Silver Lake down 527 to SR 526 and also a Swift line that could connect both the Riverfront and the Port of Everett. Another proposal floated was a “Red line” going down Broadway and running into Marysville.

Everett City Council members had lots of questions including:

What do the financials look like?

What are the choices for the citizens?

How does what you do translate to neighborhood service?

How does the DART service you provide compare with what Everett Para Transit offers?

Does Woodway carry the same weight on your board as Marysville?

The next steps in the process have the city administration coming back to the Everett City Council with a policy workshop that would outline various options in how transit services will be delivered in Everett in the future. That could include a merger with Community Transit, keeping things as they are or some other form of service with the bottom line being Everett has a structural deficit and needs to cut costs.

Before any merger could happen a ballot measure would have to go before voters with a simple majority needed to pass. There are three pathways for the plan for a merger with Everett and Community Transit to go before voters.

1. City Council requests a ballot measure be put on the ballot
2. CT Board puts forth a ballot measure
3. 4% of registered voters in City of Everett ask for a ballot measure

Steven Oss, an inspector with Everett Transit spoke during the comment period and reminded council members that Transit is not Uber or a Taxi. “Listen with great care when you hear the term Seamless,” Oss advised the council.

No action is expected to be taken in the near future but discussions on the future of transit service in Everett will be heating up in 2020.



About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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