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Is Sound Transit pulling a fast one with the 592 bus route?

Sound Transit operates a bus route to Olympia from Seattle. (Sound Transit)

Ever since Sound Transit fell in the cross hairs over the inflated car-tab taxes, I have received a lot of questions about the agency.

Listener Paul reached out and asked about Sound Transit bus route 592, which extends outside Sound Transit’s taxing district and takes riders to Olympia.

Paul said he finds “this is totally illegal and another example of this rogue agency operating outside the purview of their gerrymandered taxing district.”

So how does Sound Transit run a bus route outside the taxing district?

Intercity Transit, which runs buses and van pools in Olympia and Thurston County, asked Sound Transit if it would extend the 592, which used to end in DuPont. Intercity Transit spokesperson Stefanie Rudolph said it went to the legislature with a grant proposal and it was accepted.

“The Intercity Transit agreement with Sound Transit is based on a grant that we received from the Washington State Department of Transportation,” she said. “It’s the regional mobility grant so we pay Sound Transit for service between Olympia and DuPont.”

Grant money was approved for a four-year demonstration project to see if this extension from DuPont to Olympia was necessary and helpful to Thurston County residents. However, it only sees an average of seven riders per trip.

“We found that the service didn’t ultimately meet our minimum service requirements,” Rudolph said.

The service is going away in June when the grant money runs out.

Sound Transit is not pulling a fast one here.

Tell Chris about a Chokepoint or ask a traffic question @kirortraffic via Twitter.

About the Author

Chris Sullivan

Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic. Email Chris at csullivan@kiroradio.com

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