Bonney Lake and Sumner mayors work to save Pierce Transit Route 496

Pierce Transit route 496, which runs twice in the morning and twice in the evening from the lot to the train, is scheduled to stop running June 8 as part of budget-cutting measures passed by the Pierce Transit board.

The mayors of Bonney Lake and Sumner are working together in an attempt to save the bus route that connects the former’s park and ride lot with the latter’s Sounder station.

Pierce Transit route 496, which runs seven in the morning and seven in the evening from the lot to the train, is scheduled to stop running June 8 as part of budget-cutting measures passed by the Pierce Transit board.

But the mayors of both cities are doing everything they can to keep the bus running up and down the Elhi Hill.

“I’m working very hard to save the 496,” Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow said Friday.

One idea being discussed is the city of Bonney Lake taking over responsibility for maintenance of the lot, something Bonney Lake Mayor Neil Johnson seemed open to.

“I think that’s a great solution,” Johnson said Thursday, adding that he has received more emails regarding the closure of Route 496 than the loss of all other transit service.

“There’s over 200 people that ride that train every morning from the Plateau area,” he said. “It’s really important we keep it.”

Enslow, who also serves on the Sound Transit Board of Directors, said many people on the Plateau use the Sounder to get to work and depend on that bus route because of a lack of parking in Sumner, whose lots reach their capacity almost every day.

“I feel a real burden to people who … want to get to that train to make their commute,” Enslow said. “It’s the right thing to do to make sure those guys get to work.”

Enslow, who proposed the idea to both Johnson and Sound Transit said it was presently being discussed at the board level.

“Bonney Lake would get a lot of the benefits of ownership without having to buy it,” he said of the lot, which the city would still be able to use for staging events, such as Beautify Bonney Lake, which uses the lot every September.

Enslow called the 496 “unique” because it is a route that operates outside of Pierce Transit’s newly redesigned boundaries, but connects with other regional transit, putting it in a no man’s land for service providers.

Enslow also said any decisions made would come from the Sound Transit Board, but he was hopeful he would succeed for the benefit of both cities.

Johnson said he was pleased to hear that Sound Transit might be interested in working to keep the route operational.

“It sounds like they’re open to ideas,” he said.

More in News

Panthers jazzed for new Performing Arts Center

Sports fans should also be excited for new home-side covered seating at the school stadium.

Ellenson park likely site for new Enumclaw dog park

City Parks Director Michelle Larson estimates a mid- to late-summer opening.

Bonney Lake team is the ‘People’s Choice’ at scholarship dinner

The Panthers advanced culinary team turned eyes and attracted taste buds with their bacon-themed three course meal at the last Bite of the Apprentice.

City of Enumclaw seeking downtown developer

A new three-story building may be built on the corner of Cole and Railroad.

Paintings by sumi-e artist coming to gallery

Darlene Dihel’s ink paintings will be on display until May 1.

The Bonney Lake Police Department met up and thanked the Lake Tapps Hornets lacrosse team for taking a knee when a police procession passed their practice field in March. Photo by Ray Still
Officers thank kids who knelt during procession

The Lake Tapps Hornets lacrosse team took a knee to out of respect for Officer James Larson.

Feds set slight increase in national park fees

Annual passes, vehicle entrance fees and “per person” fees are climbing by $5 this summer.

King County Council passes renter protections bill

The legislation is intended to prevent landlords from discriminating based on the source of a prospective tenant’s income.

Police chief, student council members sworn in

Sophia DeMarco and Ian Tobius are the newest members of the Enumclaw City Council.

Most Read