House approves Rep. Dave Hayes’ amendment to provide funding for Everett transit connector

The Washington House of Representatives has approved an amendment by Rep. Dave Hayes that would provide $1 million to restart an important bus transit route that, until last June, operated between Camano Island and Everett.

Island County Transit's Everett Connector route ended last summer when funding ran Rep. Dave Hayes on the House floor urging passage of military spouse measure, House Bill 1052out. Skagit Transit continued its Everett Connector route between Mount Vernon and Everett. Both agencies would get a share of the money under Hayes' proposal.

“This is really an important link for commuters and students from Skagit and Island counties to get them to work or school and back from Everett. My amendment would provide funding, which is meant to last over two years and to help these transit routes continue operations,” said Hayes, R-Camano Island.

Funding is contingent upon the charging of a fare for the Everett Connector service. Island Transit has not charged fares in the past, but its board is now considering adding them.

“Riders need to have skin in the game,” said Hayes. “All other transit systems are charging a fare. Many people who were using the Island Transit Everett Connector before it closed told me they would have gladly paid the fare, especially if it would have kept the route open. They're willing to pay, so this amendment makes that a requirement in order to release those funds.”

The amendment was added to House Bill 1299, which is the maintenance-level transportation operating budget that passed the House Thursday, 78-19. The measure was sent to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov