Talk about a rush to judgment. Here we have two Island County commissioners, elected to create and preserve the quality of life in this county, calling to defrock the person who has championed one of the premier assets of our area. All this before the evidence is even completed.
That asset is Island Transit with 130 employees, 200 vehicles and transporter of 1.4 million riders per year (roughly 4,000 per day). The awaiting evidence is an audit by the state which should arrive shortly. Its champion is Martha Rose who has guided, inspired and expanded this free transit service from 161 riders a day in 1987 to current levels.
If you think it’s easy to operate and secure funding to run a bus system, ask Community Transit, King County Transit Metro or Everett Transit. All of these agencies face the quandary of ever-increasing ridership with fickle and chaotic funding sources. Who needs transit? Seems a no-brainer, but for starters there’s the people who use Community, Metro and Everett per day, removing a slew of cars from respective county roads. Locally, it’s those 1.4 million riders and dozens of vanpools per day that reduce cars on the ferry by substantial numbers throughout the day.
Martha Rose is Island Transit. She has guided and inspired that agency since its inception and she just keeps on improving its service and contribution to our community. If the current problem is something other than a slippery financial manager (who has been terminated), then let’s wait for the evidence, the completion of the audit, before sacking one of the most successful and visionary leaders around here.
If you agree that Island Transit is the best thing we’ve got going around here, for a mere .9 percent of our sales tax, you might want to join me in sending a contribution as a token of appreciation to: Island Transit 19756 SR 20, Coupeville 98239.