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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Send a message on fare boxes
To the editor:
Island Transit needs funding and it should be supported. Until now Island Transit has been funded by grants and sales tax. What it does not use is a fare box.
Since the inception of Island Transit their mantra has been "no fare box." "The fare box is an inconvenience and is detrimental to ridership," according to Island Transit's Web site.
Island Transit and Skagit Transit have a County Connector from Oak Harbor to Mount Vernon and from Camano to Mount Vernon. Skagit Transit uses fare boxes while Island Transit does not. Since a rider in Skagit County has an option to ride either Skagit or Island Transit (same route) they will flag down Island Transit and ride free taking a fare away from Skagit Transit. This is a minimal amount, yes, but it is not balanced for service between the two communities.
The fare box is a user fee and while it will not pay the entire cost of Island Transit it will ensure that actual users pay more for the service than taxpayers who do not ride. We will still be obligated to fund Island Transit with a local sales tax.
This is the reason that you should mark your Aug. 18 ballot "no" and let Island Transit know that we need both fare boxes and a local sales tax to support our local transit.