Whidbey leaders band together to further transportation efforts

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Last week the Island County commissioners approved an agreement between nearly all governmental agencies on Whidbey Island that focuses on local transportation needs.

Island County was effectively dumped from a Regional Transportation Planning Organization with Skagit County last year when the two counties clashed over transportation priorities. The new Island Transportation Planning Organization will enable Island County and its governments to lobby as a group for state transportation funds and plan as its own region.

Participating governments comprise Oak Harbor, Langley, Coupeville, Island Transit, Port of South Whidbey, Port of Coupeville, Island County Economic Development Council, NAS Whidbey Island, Island County and Washington State Department of Transportation.

The organization will meet monthly after the Council of Governments meeting to strategize how best to meet the island’s transportation needs. The interlocal agreement, bylaws and meeting agendas can be found here.

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1 Comment

  1. John B. Greet on

    Cooperation and collaboration are good things. Combined groups of stakeholders can accomplish more than each stakeholder group can on its own. Still, the state legislature should probably *require* regional transit planning organizations to work better together, rather than at odds with one another.

    One thing Island Transit really should change, however, is its policy of a fare-free system. The ridership are stakeholders too, but they have little “stake” in a system to which they do not directly contribute. Island Transit should also begin selling advertising on each of its coaches.

    Fares and advertising would be a good way to help Island Transit raise more of its *own* revenues.

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