Transit Agencies are facing with increasing demand for service across the State. At the same time they have large budget shortfalls due to declining sales tax revenue.
Today from Pierce Transit:
"Pierce Transit experienced an 11.0* percent increase from 2007 to 2008, with 14.5 million boardings in 2007 and 16.1* million in 2008.
This significant increase in ridership continues as Pierce Transit experiences an unprecedented decline in sales tax collections (-7 percent from 2007 to 2008)."
I saw today in the Bellingham Herald traffic blog that ridership for the Whatcom Transportation Authority increased a remarkable 32% between 2007 and 2008.
From the release:
"Boardings, or one-way trips, reached 4.7 million, up from 3.6 million in 2007. Fixed Route productivity, measured in riders per hour, increased by 21 percent."
It is clear that demand for more transit across the state continues to increase, at a time while revenues for agencies are plummeting.
Update: Here is a good article from the Washington Post on increasing demand for transit nationally, "Public Transit Ridership Rises To Highest Level in 52 Years"