C-TRAN board approves service preservation measure

Light rail vote is postponed to 2012

Area voters will decide in November whether they want C-TRAN to maintain its current level of service, while votes regarding the funding of light rail in Vancouver are expected to be submitted next year.

The measure, which will ask for an additional two cents tax on every $10 purchase, would pay for phase one of the 20-year Transit Development Plan. That would include improved service frequency on routes serving Vancouver, Camas, Washougal and Battle Ground.

It would also add routes to serve east Vancouver and connect Fisher’s Landing with Vancouver Mall, while extending routes to Legacy Hospital, Washington State University-Vancouver and Salmon Creek. If that sales tax increase is not approved by voters, cuts would have to be made. They could include reducing the frequency of several routes.

The C-TRAN board decided to defer a decision to approve the high capacity transit ballot measure for either August or November 2012.

It would involve a one-tenth of a cent sales tax, to pay for the extension of light rail across the Columbia River to serve downtown Vancouver and Clark College. The tax would also provide funding for the capital, operation and maintenance of the proposed Fourth Plain Bus Rapid Transit Project.

Camas City Councilwoman Linda Dietzman represents Camas and Washougal on the C-TRAN board.

On April 4, the Washougal City Council issued a 3 to 2 vote of confidence for Dietzman during a regular meeting, while the Camas City Council expressed a general consensus that the current bus service should be preserved.

The Camas discussions occurred during a workshop, so no vote was taken. The talks affirmed that the two-tenths of a percent sales tax increase should be on the November ballot.

The C-TRAN board is expected to continue discussions regarding the potential 2012 high-capacity transit ballot measure during its next meeting, Tuesday, May 10, at 5:30 p.m., in the C-TRAN administration building, 2425 N.E. 65th Ave., Vancouver. For more information, call C-TRAN at 695-0123 or visit www.c-tran.com.

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