WA: Skagit Transit to Expand Service

May 28--The state Department of Transportation has awarded Skagit Transit $191,502 to purchase two additional light-duty buses.

Skagit Transit Executive Director Dale O'Brien said the new buses will be used to expand service into residential areas in Sedro-Woolley and Burlington.

"There have been requests for more residential service in these two communities because our main buses run on arterials, and in some places it's quite a walk for people to get to the bus stop," O'Brien said.

The light-duty buses will be able to more easily maneuver side streets.

The new routes will transport riders from neighborhood areas to park and rides or transfer stations where they can catch other bus lines.

Skagit Transit will host a series of public meetings to find out where those types of routes are most needed and expects the buses to start running in 2015.

In the meantime, the agency is seeking additional grant funding to hire drivers and cover operating costs for the two new buses, O'Brien said.

The grant received was part of a $5.2 million Federal Transit Administration fund the state split between 18 public transportation providers for new buses and facility improvements.

Copyright 2014 - Skagit Valley Herald, Mount Vernon, Wash.