[10/22/21] Link Spends Money On Chelan, Manson Routes

Posted in Business & Economy, Transportation

Several interesting notes from Tuesday’s Link Transit Board meeting:

Link put together a chart showing their cost per boarding – in effect, how much it cost Link to operate a particular route for each person who boards the bus. And for the routes that go through Chelan and Manson, it’s not cheap: Route 21, which goes all the way to Columbia Station in Wenatchee, has the fourth most boardings of any route, with 88,349 riders between last September and this past August. But the cost of operating just the bus – meaning its driver, fuel, oil, tires, et cetera, is $14.12 per boarding. When you factor in all of Link’s costs, however, that price goes up to $31.12 per boarding. But that is cheap compared to Route 20, which goes from Link’s Olds Station Service Center, up highway 97 through Orondo and up to Manson: it had the lowest ridership of any route – just 2,151 riders in that same time period. Marginal costs, meaning just the bus, was put at $51.87 per boarding, while the fully allocated costs brought it up to $113.14 per boarding.

Next: riders who take Route 21’s afternoon buses might notice that they have a problem keeping to a schedule. And for that, you can blame traffic in Wenatchee. From Tuesday’s meeting, here’s Link General Manager Richard DeRock:

And finally, although they’re not used on the 20 or 21 routes, Link uses electric buses for most of its other routes. They’d like to use them more, but DeRock says they’re having problems with the charging systems that came from Pennsylvania-based Momentum Dynamics:

So instead of the electric buses, Link is using buses that run on gasoline or diesel fuel, and that, DeRock says, is costing Link big bucks:

So Momentum has told Link they will replace the faulty components with new components, and also upgrade Link at no cost to its upgraded charging systems which, it is hoped, will work better.