December 22, 2010
You can expect to see substantial changes to public transit services in Chelan
and Douglas Counties over the next couple of years. Link Transit is in the midst of a severe financial crisis that
will likely result in significantly higher bus fares and elimination of some bus routes.
manager, Richard Derock says the bus system cannot sustain itself with the 10.4 million dollar budget adopted last
night by the Link governing board. The sales tax revenue that drives the bus system has declined over the past
three years leaving transit system officials scratching their heads for answers. One thing is certain. Voters will
not be asked to increase link’s share of the sales tax after board members deleted a 190-thousand dollar line item
that would have paid for a public vote on that issue. Wenatchee Bureau Chief Steve Hair talked with Derock
following last night’s meeting . .
Board members also expressed concerns about link’s new electric
powered trolley system. The trolleys were supposed to be up and running by now but manufacturing delays have
delayed its start up. The board decided to transfer the 190-thousand dollars that had been budgeted for a sales
tax election to the district’s reserve fund to cover future trolley battery replacement.