SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. -- When the economy crashed and burned six years ago, so did the budget for Snohomish County’s Community Transit. Rider Terra Sheehan remembers it well.
”The busses were coming less often and it was just horribly inconvenient,” said Sheehan.
The transit agency slashed service by more than 30 percent.
But now, with a projected $20 million increase in sales tax revenue the next six years, some of those cuts will be reversed. Between now and 2019 Community Transit plans to grow by 20 percent.
“We’re adding either more trips or we’re extending some of the routing,” said Community Transit spokesperson Maratin Munguia.
This expansion does come with some growing pains. Community Transit has had a difficult time recruiting enough bus drivers. The transit agency needs to hire about a hundred more drivers during the next year to keep expansion plans on track.
Driver Dawn McDaniels, who has been with Community Transit for 15 years, offered a sales pitch.
“This is a good place to work. [It has] Great benefits and paid training,” McDaniels said.