The Route Ahead: February 2019 | Community Transit News from CEO Emmett Heath

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February 2019 |  Community Transit News from CEO Emmett Heath

Swift Bus during Snow Service


Snow Impacts Service

The first major snowfall of the season hit Snohomish County Sunday night and Monday morning, causing major impacts to bus service all week. Other storms are also forecast to cause disruptions for most of the coming week.

While no routes were canceled, when roads are slick due to snow and ice, Community Transit grounds its 60-foot articulated buses. That causes a vehicle shortage and limits the trips we can operate. Buses also ran slower than usual due to road conditions, traffic and accidents, causing major delays for transit riders.

Bus drivers were heralded as heroes for helping people get around on days when they did not want to risk driving themselves. Supervisors and facilities crews were out by 2 a.m. each morning determining which areas could not be served, and preparing the bases for safe operations.

Riders were directed to the agency’s website for updated alerts on bus service, and also asked to sign up for e-alerts they could get by email or text. The website saw three times the normal traffic during the week.

Dave Earling Steve Kim Collage

New Transportation Director and Board Officers

The timing could not have been better for Steve Kim to start his new job as Community Transit’s Director of Transportation. Kim reported to work on Jan. 28 and a week later got to experience all-hands-on-deck snow storm operations.

Kim most recently served as Northwest Regional Manager for National Express/Durham School Services, one of the nation’s largest student transportation and transit companies. He also served as a Commander in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve.

Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling was elected as chair of Community Transit’s Board of Directors for 2019. Earling is in his second stint on the Community Transit Board and also serves on the Sound Transit board. Snohomish County Council Chair Terry Ryan was elected Vice Chair and Marysville Mayor John Nehring was elected Secretary.

Fare Table Showing Proposed Low-Income Fare

Agency Proposes Low-Income Fare

Community Transit is proposing a low-income fare for eligible residents. The new fare would be half the price of a regular adult fare and, if approved by the board, would go into effect on July 1.

The public is invited to comment on the proposal over the next month.

The low-income fare would be instituted through the ORCA LIFT program, which includes King County Metro Transit, Kitsap Transit and Sound Transit. Everett Transit has proposed its own low-income bus fare pending city council approval.

For Community Transit service, the low-income fare would be $1.25 for all local bus riders (routes within Snohomish County) and $2 for all commuter bus riders (routes that travel to and from King County). Adults and youth would pay the same low-income fare.

Darrington organization awarded a van through the VAN GO program.

Van GO

Local non-profit organizations will have the chance to get one of 10 surplus vans this year, as Community Transit is launching its 19th Van GO competition.

Van GO is a van grant program that awards surplus vans to help local organizations with a demonstrated transportation need. Since 2000, Community Transit has awarded 136 vans and wheel-chair equipped minibuses to local groups.

Non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status can download an application and must turn it in by March 29. Vans will be awarded at the May 2 Board of Directors meeting.

Vanpool Van

400th Vanpool!

Community Transit has launched its 400th vanpool group. This is the largest number of active vanpools the agency has ever had at any one time.

Community Transit loans out vans to commuter groups to use as a carpool. They supply the riders and driver, the agency supplies the vehicle and gas. It is a way for more people to participate in public transit without riding a fixed-route bus.

The 400th vanpool group includes co-workers who travel from Stanwood to the Alderwood Waste Water District in Lynnwood. Learn more about vanpools

If you have any questions, please email

CEO Signature

    Emmett Heath, CEO
    Community Transit