Ct Seeks More Clout In Planning

LYNNWOOD - Snohomish County Community Transit officials think it might have a stronger voice in the development of a regional high-capacity transit system if it breaks away from the Snohomish County Transit Authority (SNOTRAN).

But first, CT directors want to discuss concerns with representatives of SNOTRAN.

A meeting between the two is expected to be scheduled within a few weeks.

Although officials from Snohomish County transportation agencies had hoped for a unified position, a break otherwise would have little affect on development of a regional system.

CT board members cited miscommunication or a lack of communication as the major problems for Snohomish County's bus system. For example, not everyone on the CT board was notified in time of a workshop on high-capacity transit a week ago, officials said.

"SNOTRAN is doing things without the concurrence of CT or Everett Transit; there are meetings we don't know about," said CT Chairwoman Tina Roberts, who has raised the question of terminating an agreement with SNOTRAN to represent it in the regional planning. King and Pierce counties also are involved.

Most CT board members, however, said they prefer delaying any action for a few weeks until the boards of SNOTRAN and CT meet.

Under the agreement, any party can terminate it by giving 30 days' notice.

SNOTRAN, created by the state, disburses federal money to Snohomish County's transit agencies, CT and Everett Transit, and serves as a planning and administrative body.

"I'm very distressed with what I'm hearing," said Caroline Feiss, executive director of SNOTRAN.

Two SNOTRAN board members also are on the CT board: SNOTRAN chairman Bill Brubaker and Peter Hurley, both Snohomish County councilmen.

Although Brubaker and Hurley are on the Joint Regional Policy Committee, which is handling the planning for a regional transit system, both represent SNOTRAN and not CT. Roberts represents CT.

Under the agreement among the Snohomish County agencies, SNOTRAN takes the lead on the development of regional transit only until a system plan is developed, then CT and Everett Transit play the major role in Snohomish County.

CT Director Ken Graska said CT concerns are not being treated seriously at the regional transportation staff meetings because SNOTRAN is in the lead position for the county.

"Since we have representatives involved in all the meetings anyway, it may be better to have a CT voice as well as a SNOTRAN voice," he said.