Draft Service Implementation Plan reduces bus costs in response to recession

Publish Date
Body

Sound Transit today released its Draft 2011 Service Implementation Plan, which responds to the national recession’s impact on agency revenues by outlining almost $7.5 million in savings for its ST Express bus program. The proposed plan continues existing service levels on Link light rail, Sounder commuter rail and higher-demand ST Express routes; reduces service on some under-performing ST Express routes; defers planned expansions on other routes; and achieves savings through more efficient scheduling.

The proposed ST Express program reductions respond to an expected 25 percent reduction in sales tax revenues projected through 2023 for delivering Sound Transit 2 projects and services. They are part of a process the Sound Transit Board has launched to realign both projects and transit services.

Reductions to existing service
Under the draft plan, routes where ridership has been consistently low would be changed or discontinued, resulting in savings of $3.5 million a year.

Route #

Service Area

Proposed Change

510

Seattle-Everett

This route would be combined with Route 511 Lynnwood-Seattle on Sundays and holidays to reduce costs.

513

Seattle-Everett
via Eastmont

The route segment between downtown Everett and Evergreen Way/79th Place SE would be discontinued.

540

Kirkland-University District

“Reverse peak” direction service would be discontinued (trips operating eastbound in the A.M., westbound in the P.M.) and midday service would be reduced from every 30 minutes to every 60 minutes.

545

Redmond-Seattle

Midday service would be reduced from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes, and Sunday/holiday service would be reduced from every 30 minutes to every 60 minutes.

554

Issaquah-Seattle

Midday service would be reduced from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes, and Sunday/holiday service would be reduced from every 30 minutes to every 60 minutes.

560

Bellevue-West Seattle

The route segment between West Seattle and Burien would be discontinued except during weekday peak periods.

599

Lakewood-Tacoma

This route would be discontinued.

 

ST2 Service deferrals
Planned service expansions approved as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure would be deferred on three routes: Route 513 from Everett-Seattle, Route 554 Issaquah-Seattle, and the extension of Route 566 serving Auburn-Overlake to downtown Redmond. Annual operating savings from these deferrals is estimated at $2.8 million.
Savings from more efficient scheduling
Proposed ST Express schedule efficiencies that would save $1.2 million in operating costs include reductions in scheduled running times, and adjusting layover times at terminals.

Public involvement
In December the Board is scheduled to adopt the 2011 SIP as well as the 2011 Budget and 2011 Transit Improvement Plan.

The public will have opportunities to learn more and offer comments on all three draft documents at open houses scheduled throughout the region in October and early November. The Sound Transit Board will also hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, Nov. 4 from 12-1:30 p.m. A schedule of these events is available at News-and-Events/News-Releases/SIP-and-Budget-meetings.xml.

A complete draft of the Service Implementation Plan and the less detailed Regional Transit News is available at sip

The Proposed 2011 Budget, Draft 2011 Transit Improvement Plan and a summary of the proposed project and service realignment in response to the recession are available at budget.