The Route Ahead - November 2016 Issue

     November 2016 |  Community Transit News from CEO Emmett Heath

Young Life Capernaum Snohomish County Group Photo

Young Life Capernaum Snohomish County received one of 10 vans awarded through the Van GO Program. The seven-passenger van will provide 721 trips throughout Snohomish County, transporting teens and young adults with physical and mental disabilities.

12 Non-Profits to Provide 26,000 Local Trips
Thanks to Van GO Program

Non-profit groups from Mountlake Terrace to Stanwood will provide more than 26,000 trips to foster children, the homeless, disabled veterans, low-income residents and more thanks to Community Transit’s Van GO program

Since the Van GO program began in 2000, the agency has awarded 126 vehicles to a variety of 501c3 non-profit organizations around Snohomish County. This year 19 groups submitted applications demonstrating how they would use the vehicles to benefit people in their community. Community Transit awarded 10 vans this year. In all,12 non-profit organizations throughout Snohomish County will be able to provide trips to their communities thanks to retired vanpool vans they received in a competitive grant process from Community Transit.

This year’s winners will each receive a seven-passenger van with about 100,000 miles.  The recipients include Catholic Community Services (Lynnwood), Community Resource Foundation (Stanwood), First Baptist Church (Mountlake Terrace), Girl Scout Daisy Troop #50529 (Mountlake Terrace), Goodwill Industries (Everett), Housing Hope (Snohomish County), Mountlake Terrace Senior Center (Mountlake Terrace), Park Ridge Community Church (Bothell), Seattle Area Youth for Christ (Monroe), Senior Services of Snohomish County (Snohomish County), Village Community Services (North Snohomish County), and Young Life Capernaum Snohomish County (Snohomish County). 

Transit Expansion Continues in 2017 Proposed Budget

The Community Transit Board of Directors yesterday held a public hearing on the agency’s 2017 Proposed Budget, which includes plans to further expand bus service by 6 percent next year. In addition, construction on the Swift Green Line stations and Seaway Transit Center will start in the late spring.

The proposed $172 million operating budget includes $19 million in expected sales tax revenue over 2016 in the first full year of Proposition 1 revenue collections. Voters approved a 2015 ballot measure to increase transit service. This year, the agency increased service 14 percent, including two new routes that began operation in September.

The proposed budget calls for the purchase of 57 new buses, new bus service, construction of 31 Swift stations and the Seaway Transit Center, and several technology projects including an upgrade of Community Transit’s wireless communications system. The Board will consider approval of the budget on December 1.

Community Transit Awarded WSTIP Safety Star Award

Community Transit Receives WSTIP Safety Star Award

Community Transit has been named a Safety Star Award winner by the Washington State Transit Insurance Pool (WSTIP) for reduction in claim losses and overall accident claims over the past five years.

WSTIP commended Community Transit for having the greatest positive difference between potential exposure based on mileage and actual losses. Among all the state transit agencies WSTIP insures, Community Transit had a share of 14.92 percent of the pool’s overall miles and only 8.79 percent of the losses resulting in a difference of 6.13 percent. The next closest agency in Community Transit’s size group had a 2.73 percent difference.

Pictured: At the November Board Meeting, CEO Emmett Heath (left) and Board Chair Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring (right) accepted the Safety Star Award from Tracey Christianson, Deputy Director of WSTIP.

Community Transit United Way Campaign Activities

Employees Raise $40,502 for United Way Campaign

For the past 25 years, Community Transit employees have participated in an annual campaign to raise money for United Way of Snohomish County. This year, their month-long campaign resulted in raising a recording-breaking $40,502 dollars.

The campaign goal was to raise $40,000 through a pledge drive and various events throughout the month of October. Thanks to the generosity of Community Transit’s employees, 2016 saw the most pledge forms completed in five years. In addition, an annual Silent Auction and Bake Sale brought in $1000 over last year. 

Pictured right: (top) The Silent Auction raised more than $6,000 dollars for the campaign; (middle) Two employees provided home cooked Indian food for two lunch buffets; (bottom) a bowling party brought out first-time bowlers, friends and family.

Agency Achieves 27th Consecutive GFOA
Financial Commendation

Community Transit earned its 27th consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the agency’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2015.

The CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the highest standards of the program, including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of disclosure” to clearly communicate the agency’s financial story.

Pictured right: 26 Certificates of Achievement adorn a wall in one of the agency's conference rooms.

Wall of Awards

PSRC Releases Transit Integration Report

To highlight how the Central Puget Sound region's various transit agencies coordinate with each other, the Puget Sound Regional Council has released the 2016 Transit Integration Report.

The report discusses the regional fare collection system, ORCA, as well as scheduling efforts and multi-agency plans to align bus service with the expanding Sound Transit Link light rail network.

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CEO Signature

    Emmett Heath, CEO
    Community Transit