Link Transit Moving Ahead With Expansion Plans
On August 6, voters in Chelan and Douglas Counties approved Link Transit Proposition 1. With a combined pass rate of about 56% in the two counties, this measure will increase the sales tax by 1/10 of 1% effective January 1, 2020, and by another 1/10 of 1% on January 1, 2022.
Sales tax is the primary funding source for transit systems in Washington State, and accounts for 75% of Link’s annual budget. This additional sales tax will increase revenue for Link Transit by about $3 million annually once the tax begins in January of 2020, and by about $6 million annually when the full 2/10’s of 1% are implemented.
Near Term Improvements
Service improvements are slated to roll out over the next 4-5 years, with the first round of improvements scheduled for July 1, 2020. These will include increasing the amount of service operating on Saturday, by adding service to East Wenatchee, Waterville and Malaga, and extending the span of service to begin earlier in the morning and run later in the evening on most routes. There will be an increase in frequency on Saturday routes operating to Chelan and Leavenworth, and additions throughout the system to fill in gaps in service. All of these improvements can be made with existing buses.
Additionally, if we can recruit the labor to support it, limited Sunday service will begin in July of 2020. This service would very likely include service to Chelan and Leavenworth, and some of the more heavily used routes in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee.
Additional staff will need to be hired to provide this additional service, with the greatest need being coach operators, operations supervisors and vehicle maintenance staff. We have begun the hiring process to for some of these positions, and others will be opening up as we move into 2020. If you are interested in joining our team here at Link Transit, please go to: www.linktransit.com/jobs for applications and job descriptions.