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Everett Transit may bring back Sunday service if public wants

Michael Whitney photo

Everett Transit buses at the "bus barn" parking lot seen Nov. 2. The electric buses were charging for their midday charging needs.

EVERETT — Sunday service could return at Everett Transit next spring, but it’s up to the public’s preference.
Bringing back Sunday would be instead of adding more weekday service.
The city bus system wants to know which way the public is leaning before it adds more bus service starting in late March. It can’t afford to do both.
A public hearing to give comments will be Dec. 16 at the City Council meeting. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. To speak, call 1-425-616-3920, conference ID: 110 954 87#
That’s not the final chance to speak up.
The bus agency wants public input through Dec. 30 and has service change maps on a webpage at Scroll down to “Feedback Form” on that webpage to give comments.
Sunday wasn’t in the plans up until a few weeks ago. At the time, Everett Transit was only planning to add more weekday services this spring, such as up North Colby Avenue.
Everett Transit director Tom Hingson said the agency did some calculations, and they found that running some buses on Sunday would cost about the same as adding more weekday services. They can afford to do one or the other, but not both.
Survey responses so far have tilted toward adding Sunday back, but the survey sample is small, Hingson said. He wants a much larger pool of responses before the agency makes a final decision.
Everett Transit’s plan to add weekday service is now being called “Option B.”
“Option B” combines Routes 4 and 28, adds more stops, and improves its weekday bus frequency to 30 minutes. Currently, the weekday bus frequency is about 40 minutes. This merged route would run from Everett Community College to the Everett Mall and does a once-an-hour loop around Silver Lake. The portions of Route 4 that currently serve 23rd Street, Harrison Avenue and Maple Street would be eliminated in this service proposal.
“Option B” also adds service up North Colby: They will repurpose a spare 16-passenger paratransit shuttle bus to create a connector route from downtown to Everett Community College. This one would give direct weekday service from downtown to Providence Colby Campus, Providence Cancer Partnership, Seattle Children’s Clinic, and other medical providers and services. Cutbacks related to COVID-19 this year rerouted the bus route, No. 17, that was serving north Colby in this area.
“Option B” also adds more frequent service on Route 12 between the Seaway Transit Center near Boeing and the Everett Mall.
In either scenario, Route 70 from the Mukilteo ferry to Boeing will continue to be suspended due to low ridership. How low? On average lately, it sees 12 riders a day, Hingson said. Ridership here plummeted when COVID-19 restrictions arrived.
Like all transit services, Everett Transit’s ridership got walloped by COVID-19. Lately, ridership is about 40 percent less than 2019’s levels, Hingson said.
The shift is because more people are working from home. College students are studying from home as well.
The new route schedule is planned to change over on March 27.

Fee temporarily waived to get an ORCA Card
Adults and youth who don’t yet have an ORCA Card can get one for free through Feb. 28. You reload the card using a credit card and pay with it versus using coins at the farebox. It normally costs $5 to establish an ORCA Card account.
“All transit agencies accepting ORCA are waiving the fee to encourage contactless forms of payment to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Everett Transit said.


Prior reporting:
Everett Transit’s Sunday bus services not being restored - Nov. 11, 2020



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