Kitsap Transit expands service

Kitsap Transit expands service

Kitsap Transit is expanding its service on Bainbridge Island.

By late May, riders can hop on a flexible route that will take them wherever they want to go and pick them up wherever they want to be picked up.

“You tell the driver to come pick you up in approximately two hours, and they will then schedule a pickup for you at that location in two hours,” explained Councilman Steve Bonkowski at this week’s council meeting.

Currently the transit system provides weekday routes to and from the ferry during morning and evening commute hours.

With the expanded service, two additional buses will soon run during the afternoon hours as well.

They are scheduled Monday through Friday from 9:15 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Riders will also be able to “dial-a-ride.”

Whether it is from home or any other location on Bainbridge, with a two-hour notice, riders can call in for a bus pick up to take them anywhere on the island.

Buses can also be arranged to take riders to fixed routes for off-island transportation.

Based on the demand, the new service may utilize buses that accommodate 15 to 18 passengers or buses that carry 40 passengers.

Though Kitsap Transit anticipates the expanded service to cost about $90,000 a year, the bill won’t be sent to the city of Bainbridge Island.

The city would only be required to provide advertising.

Transit and city officials are in discussion, however, on potentially sponsoring a decrease to the $2 bus fare for the first month or two while it gathers momentum.

“We had conversations with the chamber and the downtown association, and some of Lynwood Center and Bloedel might be interested as well in terms of some kind of incentive to get people to start using the service,” Bonkowski said.

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