City Council Asked to Eliminate Bus Routes

Sherry Gomez spends her days traveling from as far up as Ellensburg, to as far down as Pendleton -- using the bus system.

She spends her weekends in Yakima, visiting the homeless at the parks.

However, it seems like her weekends may be cut short.

"I really depend on this bus on Sunday to get me there," said Gomez, "Being disabled, I can't walk."

The Yakima City Council is being asked by public works to eliminate Sunday bus routes in town, and completely halt the Yakima/Ellensburg commuter bus.

Public works says it's the only way to make up for the upcoming cuts to state funding and grants for transit services.

The Sunday bus route covers six different routes between Yakima and Selah, and serves about 800 riders on Sundays.

The commuter bus saw over 54,000 riders last year with $200,000 in revenue, however, it costs more than half a million to run.

Attempts to make up for the costs have fallen short -- the city says it leaves little choice but to cut services.

"We need, as individuals, to see what we can do about earning the money to make these services stay in place," said Peggy Mosshart, "We can't keep asking the federal government and our state government to handle things."

For riders like Gomez, it looks like Sunday trips and Ellensburg visits may be at the end of the line.

"We really rely on this Ellensburg bus, and all the other students," said Gomez, "It's important to us, we really need the buses."

If the city council votes to eliminate Sunday bus service and the commuter bus service, Sunday buses will stop next month, and the Yakima/Ellensburg commuter bus will stop at the beginning of July.

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