Letters to the Editor

Island Transit brings millions of dollars home

Whidbey Island is a very unique geographic setting. For many Island County residents, ferry travel is required to get to better-paying jobs. Due to rising fuel and ferry costs, increasingly long ferry lines, and full park & rides, it would be inarguably expensive, prohibitively time-consuming and/or impossible for most of these commuters to live on Whidbey Island without the Island Transit system.

The Clinton to Mukilteo run would need an estimated additional 14.6 new ferry crossings without Island Transit.

Island Transit is a major revenue enabler for Island County. Both by bus and vanpool, Island Transit carries over 1,000 Island County residents daily to off-island jobs. With these salaries, commuters and their families are able to live on Whidbey, purchase homes, support businesses, and pay taxes in Island County.

If you conservatively estimate the average annual salary of off-island commuters to be $50,000, that amounts to 50 million dollars brought back to Island County! This money circulates over and over again to the benefit of the Island economy.

Additionally, hundreds of thousands of riders use Island Transit to get to jobs on-island, for shopping, and to spend tourism dollars that bolster our local economy. The reduction of traffic, as well as the environmental, energy saving, educational, medical, and social advantages from Island Transit are immeasurable and benefit everyone.

Island Transit’s fare-free system works, and is renowned throughout Washington State and the nation, but if the three-tenths of one percent sales tax increase does not pass, island Transit will be forced to reduce service by 33 percent.

For more information please contact www.saveoursystem.net, call 360-672-1351, or go to www.islandtransit.org. Be informed. Invest in our local economy. Vote yes on Aug. 18.

Dan Couture

Co-chair

Save our System

Community Events, April 2014

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