Kitsap Transit still mulling service cuts

Eliminating Saturday buses will not be on the table at Aug. 18 meeting, officials say.

The Kitsap Transit Board of Commissioners did not vote on service reductions last week, but instead discussed a set of policies that will define the agency’s response to the “continuing budget crises” caused by the declines in sales tax revenue over the past year-and-a-half.

At a special meeting July 30, the board passed resolution 09-47, which originally was scheduled for consideration at the July 21 meeting and would have “implement(ed) a two-stage set of service reductions affecting both Routed and ACCESS services.”

However, that meeting was cancelled due to a lack of enough board members to form a quorum, and at the re-scheduled meeting a week later, the resolution had changed. The revised resolution did not implement service cuts in September and December, but only authorized Kitsap Transit staff to “begin discussion of a set of December service reductions.”

Before approving the resolution last week, the board addressed about a dozen policy questions that would help direct that discussion, which included whether Saturday bus and ferry services should be eliminated to preserve weekday service.

Members of the public addressed the board, most of whom said they did not want Saturday service cut.

At the meeting July 30, however, board members pointed out the policy recommendation was to either “reduce or eliminate” Saturday service and completely reducing Saturday service was no longer being considered an option.

“Should we rephrase the question and cross out ‘eliminate?’” said Bainbridge Island Mayor Christopher Snow. Kitsap Transit Executive Director Richard Hayes agreed.

The discussion on service reductions will continue at the board’s next meeting, scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18 at the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton.

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