12:02:33pm | Wednesday, January 17th, 2018
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Frequently Asked Questions

From the list below choose one of our FAQs to read. If you have a question which is not in this section, please contact us. 


Does Link Transit connect to the adjacent transit systems?


Link connects with Okanogan Transit at Columbia Station.  Grant Transit also provides service into Wenatchee, terminating at Columbia Station.

Does Link provide service to Pangborn Airport?


No, there is no transit service to Pangborn Airport.

Frequently asked questions:
Why does the bus keep traveling it's route when it is empty?  Doesn't this cost money?
The bus cannot simply stop running just because there are no passengers on board. There may be passengers waiting at stops further on the route. The riding public relies on us adhere closely to our published schedules. This does not mean we tolerate empty buses. All routes are monitored and must continue to meet minimum performance standards.

Why can't Link Plus drivers assist people into their home or doctors offices?
This policy exists for a couple of reasons (1) often times there are other passengers on the vehicle, and we must not leave them unattended. If the driver was inside a building, it may prevent him or her from being able to return to the vehicle quickly. Not having drivers enter the homes of riders can help minimize any opportunity for inappropriate behavior, or allegations thereof. LinkPlus drivers do provide extensive assistance to the door if requested

Why do Link Plus drivers only wait 5 minutes for their riders?
To provide efficient and cost effective para transit service it is essential to minimize service gaps in the schedule whenever possible.  This is why 5 minutes are allowed for a guest to board the vehicle once the driver arrives at the pick-up location. Remember, there may be other guests scheduled on that same vehicle. If we waited longer than 5 minutes, they may be late.

What is the "20 minute window" for Link Plus services?  Why does Link enforce the 20 minute window?
Because LinkPlus is not a fixed schedule service, we cannot tightly predict the vehicles arrival time. If the guest before you was slower than we predicted, your bus will arrive later. The 20 minute window is designed to provide you with some predictability and give us a target we can be held to.

Do drivers have special training to be able to drive Link Plus?  Link buses?  What type of training must they have?
Yes, all drivers hired by Link are provided the same training to equip them with necessary skills and sensitivity to appropriately assist guest with special needs.  All drivers learn proper techniques for securing various types of mobility devices and how to respectfully assisting and communicating with guests having special needs.

Why does it seem some people who don't have a disability qualify for Link Plus and other's who seem like they should qualify don't?
Some forms of disability are not readily apparent.  Key determining factors governing whether or not a person may be eligible for Link Plus service focus on the person's ability to physically or cognitively negotiate the fixed route system, read and understand schedules, how to pay fares, etc.

Is there an appeal process for people who are deemed not eligible for Link Plus?
Yes, there is an independent appeal process available to all Link Plus guests.  Simply contact Link Guest Services at Columbia Station, (509) 662-1155 and they will assist with the appeal process.

Why is there an "eligibility" process for Link Plus...why can't any senior over 65 ride Link Plus?
The cost of providing para transit service is very expensive compared to fixed route. Many individuals over the age of 65 are able bodied and have no mobility limitations, so are very much able to access the fixed route bus. Limiting who can use para transit service allows Link to control costs and provide a higher level of service to those who really need it.

Why don't Link buses run more frequently like in Seattle?
Increased frequencies require not only more labor costs, but additional vehicles. Link's budget does not currently allow either of these costs to be increased.

How are routes determined?
Routes are determined by population demographics and densities, destinations that are likely to generate a "transit trip", travel times, and a variety of other factors.

 Why is Link Plus more expensive per person than the regular Link Transit routes?
LinkPlus is more expensive to operate because drivers pick up individuals or small groups and transport them directly to their destination. This involves waiting at pickup locations, assisting passengers with special needs, and lots of personal attention.

What is Link's annual budget?
The annual budget for 2015 is about $13,100,000.

How many passengers does Link carry in a year?
In 2014, Link carried 987,376 passengers on fixed route buses. Ridership has increased from 462,781 in 2003, over 213%. Para transit boardings for 2015 were 52,059.

How many passengers does Link carry each day?
In 2014, Link carried an average of 3,600 passengers each weekday on regular fixed route service, and 1,375 on Saturday. In 2013, weekdays averaged 3,264 and Saturdays averaged 1,164

How much fuel does Link Transit use each year?
Link uses about 285,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year, and about 28,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline.

How much does it cost to buy a bus?
Full size buses currently cost about $375,000 depending on the size and options.

How is Link funded, where does the money come from that Link uses to operate?
A voter approved local sales tax of 4/10 of 1% accounts for about 74% of the revenue Link receives. The remainder comes from State and Federal grants (17%), fares (7.5%). Interest, leases, and advertising make up the remainder.

How does Link compare to other transit systems in the state for number of riders?
Link carried 13 passengers per revenue vehicle hour in 2007, compared to an average of 21.5 for small urban systems in Washington State.

How does Link compare to other transit systems in the state for cost per rider?
In 2007, the latest year statewide figures are available, Link's cost per rider on fixed route was $6.75. The average for small urban systems in the state was $5.01. Para transit costs are $26.39 per rider, compared to $25.80 statewide.

What does it cost to run a single route for a year?
The cost to operate a route varies depending on the length (travel time) of the route, but generally, it costs about $50 per hour to run a bus. This includes the cost of the driver, and the cost of labor to maintain the bus, parts and fuel.

What does it cost to run a bus for one hour?
Generally, it costs about $50 per hour to run a bus. This includes the cost of the driver, and the cost of labor to maintain the bus, parts and fuel.

Why does Link not do charter service or service to special events?
Federal Transit Administration regulations prevent transit systems that receive federal money from operating services that are not part of regular fixed route operations open to the general public. Charters and special event services do not qualify as either of these.

Why are there not bus pullouts on major streets so the bus does not block traffic?
Bus pullouts require a significant investment. Property must usually be purchased or leased, plus there are engineering, construction and maintenance costs. There is also sometimes a problem of drivers not allowing the bus back into traffic, which can affect the ability of the driver to adhere to the schedule.

Why is there no service on Sundays?
Sunday service would cost approximately $500,000 to operate an effective level of service, and at this time there are not sufficient financial resources to provide this service without dramatically reducing services provided throughout the week.

Why does service not operate later into the evening?
Service later into the evening would cost roughly $50 per hour (that's for each bus). There is not enough money in the budget to provide this without reducing service at other times.

Why are there not routes into more areas?
To run additional routes throughout the day requires more vehicles. At over $300,000 for a bus, plus the operational costs of $50 an hour, Link's budget does not allow this.

Why are there no seat belts on the buses?
Seat belts are not required on transit coaches for a couple of reasons. Research has shown that because of the size and weight of a bus, passengers are not as likely to be severely injured in an accident as in a personal vehicle. Also, loose seat belts may injure passengers in the event of a severe accident.

Why can't I bring my pet onto the bus?
Pets are allowed to accompany a guest on the bus as long as they are transported in an approved pet carrier.  The exception to this rule is for service animals as they are not required to be transported in pet carriers

How do I know if the bus is on time?
Link maintains an on-time performance record exceeding 94%. This means that at least 94% of the time, your bus will be no more than 5 minutes later than the published time. Of course, there are certain circumstances where buses run later than normal, such as extreme weather conditions, delays due to road construction or accidents. If you want to find out where your bus is, you can call Guest Services at 662-1155.

How much does it cost to ride the bus?
Fares vary depending on the distance travelled. Link operates a two-zone system. Travel within a single zone costs $1.00 for a one way trip. Travel on both zones costs $2.50 for a one way trip. The zone boundary is at Cashmere, Entiat, and Orondo. Day passes are available for either $2.00 or $5.00, and allow unlimited riding for that day. Monthly passes are also available.

How big is Link's service area?
Link's service area encompasses approximately 3500 square miles, the largest transit district in Washington State.

How many employees does Link have?
Link currently has about 124 employees.

Does Link use hybrid buses? Why not?
Link does not currently operate any hybrid buses. Hybrid buses only generate fuel savings, and an environmental benefit, in an urban stop and go environment. In our semi-rural environment, hybrids actually use more fuel and pollute more.
The cost of a hybrid bus is $500,000, in addition to the cost to build the necessary fueling systems. As this technology advances and the costs decrease, Link may revisit this issue. The current buses Link Transit operates burn "clean diesel", and are equipped with diesel particulate filtration. These buses average over 6 miles per gallon and have the cleanest emissions of any fueled buses (electric buses are cleaner).

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The mission of Link Transit is to provide safe, reliable, and cost effective public transportation services that promote citizen access to work, recreation, commerce and public services. Learn more.