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Sunday bus service will return
"Routed and Access service will run on Sundays again beginning June 18, but it will be limited.The Kitsap Transit Commiss-ioners on June 7 allocated $1.3 million to restore limited Sunday service and miscellaneous support activities for one year.This was the service we heard the most about, and it's the one we can put back in, said Kitsap Transit executive director Dick Hayes.The $1.3 million came from unexpected surpluses in revenue, Hayes said. Motor vehicle excise tax money from the second half of 1999 provided $1.2 million more than expected and legislators sent $1.7 million more than originally budgeted. Fare revenue and tax income also provided $500,000 each.State and federal grants provided funding for capital projects, allowing Kitsap Transit to redirect money to service.John Clauson, Kitsap Transit service development director, said schedules should be available Wednesday, June 14. They are off to the printer as we speak, he said. Schedules are also available on Kitsap Transit's website, at www.kitsaptransit.org.County Commissioner and transit board member Chris Endresen supported the restoration, following concerns she expressed about creating a valet service at the Bremerton Transportation Center before restoring cut services.I think this is a good move all around, since I heard from some legislators' questions about when we'd be restoring services with the money they gave us, she said. I am really relieved that we could do it. I wish we could do more, but when you lose 42 percent of your budget .... she said.Kitsap Transit officials also asked the transit board to delay action on a proposal to increase the county sales tax by three-tenths of a percent until it could discuss details of this change with the public, Hayes said. The agency also wants to hold off to coordinate discussion of its five-year plan. Hayes said Kitsap Transit didn't want to be limited later by an action taken at Wednesday's meeting. It would probably be a very constrained process if we went ahead at this point, he said.Kitsap Transit officials crunched numbers for a two-tenths of a percent sales tax increase along with the three-tenths of a percent increase. While a three-tenths of a percent sales tax increase would bring Kitsap Transit to 93 percent of its pre-Initiative 695 budget, two-tenths would bring it up to 83 percent. At two-tenths, we'd have to leave fares at high levels where they are now, Hayes said. With a modest capital budget, some service would have to be restrained.It currently has 63 percent of the original budget."