Public invited to review proposed transit changes

Editor,

Island Transit has been reviewing our fixed route bus system and planning changes to our schedules and routes for this coming July.

Several of our routes today are operated solely through a grant from Washington State Department of Transportation — WSDOT. These grants will end in June at the end of the current Washington State 2015-2017 Biennial Budget.

While Island Transit has applied for a competitive grant to assist with continuing to operate these routes, and we expect a response to these requests from WSDOT in April, the proposals you will see reflect what Island Transit can sustain with the revenue we receive from local sales tax, a sales tax equalization grant and support from WSDOT for special needs services.

This will establish a core service model that provides route services within Island County while maintaining connections to neighboring transportation nodes such as Skagit Transit, Whatcom Transit, Everett Transit, Community Transit and the Washington State Ferry system.

The uncertainty of continued reliance on grant support for operations makes this an important effort to align and prioritize our services to make sure our efforts reflect the priorities of the community we serve.

After assessing our existing routes, survey responses and public feedback from last fall, we have proposals drafted to modify or alter our route services.

Island Transit will hold a public meeting at noon on Thursday, April 13, at the Camano Multipurpose Room.

This meeting represents an opportunity for the public to view proposed changes and provide comments or suggestions before we present a proposal to the Island Transit Board of Directors.

I look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

This year, Island Transit turns 30 years old, and we are excited about the changes to come! Join us and be a part of the next 30 years.

MIKE NORTIER

Coupeville

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