Intercity Transit seeks comment on proposed changes to existing services to improve schedule reliability and offer new services in growing neighborhoods. In March, the Intercity Transit Authority (ITA) reviewed a series of recommendations for improving Intercity Transit’s local and express bus service, including several short-term options that could be implemented now without the need for additional funding. Following an initial review of options, the ITA directed staff to put forward a proposed service-change package for public review. This proposed package addresses both operational issues (buses running late) and community priorities (more direct routes and service to growing neighborhoods). The proposed changes are intended for possible implementation effective September 23, 2018. Intercity Transit welcomes your comments to help clarify and improve the proposed route and schedule changes. A number of opportunities to allow for public input are scheduled (see Upcoming Events and Community Conversations below). A formal public hearing with the ITA is scheduled for May 23, 2018. Service Change Goals The proposed changes were developed using ridership data, as well as input for transit improvements from passengers and the community. The proposal offers solutions intended to: Improve on-time performance that results from heavy traffic congestion. Increase frequency on bus routes. Introduce cross-town service that does not travel through downtown Olympia. Introduce service in northeast Lacey and west Olympia. Trade-Offs Changes can be impactful and frustrating. We know some riders may be inconvenienced by the proposed changes in order to provide reliable bus service to a greater number of people. These changes are revenue neutral, meaning they do not require new funding, but some services would be reduced. Generally, the proposed changes include strategies such as simplifying routes and shifting services from areas with low ridership to areas of greater demand based on where large numbers of people live or work. Continued Community Input In 2017, Intercity Transit reached out to a broad cross-section of people and businesses in our service area through our IT Road Trip engagement. We received nearly 10,000 suggestions on how to enhance service. The service changes proposed for September 23, 2018 are our first steps toward implementing a long-term vision for transit in Thurston County. To learn more about our long-range planning process, visit www.ITRoadTrip.net and look for additional opportunities to shape the future of public transit in Thurston County. We invite feedback on the proposed changes. See where, when and how to comment below.