Yakima City Council Mulls Cutting More Bus Services - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima City Council Mulls Cutting More Bus Services

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The bus system in Yakima is facing more cuts. The bus system in Yakima is facing more cuts.

UPDATE/YAKIMA, WA - A small victory for e-cigarette users in the City of Yakima.  

On Tuesday, the city council voted against an ordinance to ban e-cigs from public places where smoking is currently banned. The measure failed by a 4-3 vote.

Also on the city council's agenda Tuesday was possible cuts to the city's bus system.

However, the city council decided to hold off on making a decision to halt the Yakima to Ellensburg line and eliminate Sunday bus service.

Council members say they want to get  more information from the state before they decide to make cuts to the bus system.  Council members hope to make a decision at their meeting next Tuesday.


YAKIMA, WA - The bus system in Yakima is facing more cuts. The city council will meet Tuesday night to discuss stopping the Yakima to Ellensburg line and eliminating Sunday bus service all together.

After Tuesday, riding the bus on Sunday in Yakima might get a little bit more difficult. Actually it would be impossible. For Diane Zimmerle that is unacceptable.

"People like to go to church and people go to work," Diane said. "If they can't go to work they lose their jobs and they may not have somebody to pick them up."

Diane is disabled and doesn't have a car to drive. She relies on the bus to get around. 

"I have to take the bus," she said. "Nobody is going to pick me up. I don't have family here."

Almost 10 people a day take the bus from Yakima to Ellensburg. For some that trip will soon be impossible. But for those trying to take the local bus routes that will be cut they may just have to use their feet.

The city says there just isn't enough money. Two state grants totaling more than 350 thousand dollars are running out and the city can't make up the difference.

"It's a lesson learned for the city that we really have to think through when we look at these grants look at these opportunities," Yakima City Manager Tony O'Rourke said. "Can we sustain the service after that money dries up?"

Riders say they want to see the city try harder to keep the bus lines open, including raising the fare.

"That's nice that the price is low and affordable for people but you don't get that much income from it," Dexter Johnson said. "You make more money if each person was charged $2.25 and you could keep more busses running."

"We need to be responsible ourselves and help out," Peggy Mosshart said. "We can't just depend on big brother for everything."

For now the buses keep moving. But soon that Sunday drive may ride into the sunset.

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