The Lower Columbia Community Action Program (CAP) has received a $530,000 state grant to continue its Interstate-5 bus service for the next two years, but diminishing support and ridership will prompt some cuts in the service.
The award from the Washington State Department of Transportation is a drop from the $586,960 grant for the current biennium, the two-year budget cycle ending June 30.
Starting July 1, CAP will retain its south route between Longview and Vancouver (Salmon Creek) six times each weekday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Service to Lexington-Castle Rock will resume twice a day, once in the morning and afternoon.
Saturday services will discontinue due to an average of 30 to 50 riders, compared to a weekday average of 130 riders, according to a CAP press release. The I-5 south route stops in Longview, Kalama, Woodland and Vancouver.
Chehalis and Toledo/Winlock services will be discontinued due to a 15.8 percent decrease in ridership to Chehalis within the past year.
In May, 81 percent of riders rode the south route, while only 19 percent of riders rode on the north route.
CAP is the only rural public transit service in Southwest Washington. More than 26,000 rides per year are expected in the next biennium.