Since the spring of 2016, Link Transit has been engaging the citizens of our community to determine what they would like their transit system to be.
They said they want a more comprehensive transit system that operates earlier in the mornings, later in the evenings, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. They told us that the existing system is too limited to meet many of the needs of our region.
For regional economic growth, they feel that public transportation has to meet the needs of tourism and service workers on the weekends, and for second and third shift workers in our medical, manufacturing and fruit industries.
They also told us we need more comprehensive service to provide access to affordable housing and to more fully meet the special needs of disabled residents and our growing senior population. We also heard a desire for smaller buses serving residential neighborhoods, and an increase in frequency on routes operating on major arterials.
Most importantly, they told us that these improvements were important enough for them to support a small increase in the sales tax. What follows is our proposal to respond to these community desires.
|CONNECT PEOPLE TO SERVICES
IMPROVE SERVICES FOR
SENIORS AND DISABLED
|PARTNER IN ADVANCING REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
More trips and improved
connections throughout the
region with expanded service to:
- medical centers
- major employers
- education centers
- shopping and other destinations
- commuter express long distance routes to decrease the time spent traveling
- local routing improvements to minimize transfers
Improvements to enhance
mobility options for disabled
persons and the growing
population of senior citizens:
- easier access low-floor buses and vans
- expanded same-day service
- easier to handle electronic fares
- sidewalk and pathway improvements to improve access to transit service
- improved safety and security features at bus stops
Connect workers to jobs
and customers to cash
- extended hours to provide access to second and third shift jobs
- seven day a week and holiday service to support employment in healthcare, agriculture, tourism and recreation industries
- improved services to retail centers, dining and entertainment venues
What improvements are being proposed:
- Improve fixed route bus service by operating longer hours, adding weekend and holiday service, increasing frequency
- Expand transit service to new areas, with new ways of delivering service
- Invest in infrastructure and technology to speed up transit travel.
What will be funded?
In total, more than 30 projects area planned over the next 6 years.
- Add Saturday service to all cities and towns
- Add Sunday service to all cities and towns
- Begin service earlier in the morning
- Operate later evening service, some routes until 12:00 AM
- Faster service between Leavenworth and Wenatchee and Chelan and Wenatchee
- Expand coverage to reach more areas
- Smaller buses in residential neighborhoods
- More frequent service on major arterials inurban area
- Cost-effective rural services
How will this plan be funded?
To fully fund these proposed improvements, Link Transit would need to have voter approval to increase local sales tax by 2/10 of one percent (.2%). This means for every ten-dollar retail purchase, Link Transit would receive an additional two cents in sales tax.
How much will this cost the taxpayer?
For the average household in the service area, this would be an impact of about $9.00 per year in additional sales tax. The tax increase would take place in phases:
- A one tenth increase (0.1%) in local sales tax effective on January 1, 2020
- A one tenth increase (0.1%) in local sales tax effective on January 1, 2022.
What is the timeline for changes to occur?
How will each dollar received be spent?
Questions and Answers
Why the long delay in implementing some services?
Some service improvements will require the purchase of additional buses in order to operate. Lead time on new bus purchases is anywhere from 8 - 24 months depending on the vehicle. Increasing frequency or providing coverage to new areas all require more buses than we currently have, so this is why it will take longer to implement these types of services.
Are there things that may cause some projects to be delayed?
Acquiring equipment and personnel to operate additional services will be the main components to getting the service on the road, so any hiccups in either of these areas may cause some delays in rollout.
What level of service would be operated on Saturdays and Sundays?
This will vary by the location we are serving. Less populated areas will very likely have less service than some of the larger communities. We want to work with the residents of each city or town to so we know what the demands and needs are. This will allow us to tailor the services to meet what each city or town desires.
What do you mean by "new methods of service delivery"?
This could be a dial-a-ride service, volunteer driver program, or a variety of alternatives to having a bus operating on fixed route with a fixed schedule. Smaller communities don't usually have the ongoing demand to justify this type of service, so looking at other ways of keeping people mobile is sometimes more cost effective.
Would there be a fare increase as part of this package?
At this time, we are not looking at any type of fare increase. However, there may some changes to the fare structure depending on the types of services offered in the future. These could be a higher fare for express services, etc.
How can I provide some input to this plan?
You can email our transportation planner at firstname.lastname@example.org