The trains are great, but the buses that most of us rely on are still under threat.  In Washington’s rural counties, things are really bad:

  • Kitsap Transit, in the past year, has raised fares from $1.25 to $2 and abolished Sunday service.  Now, to save an additional $1m a year, they’re looking at trimming Saturday service to 8 hours a day and eliminating some more routes.  So much for that weekend foot-ferry outing to the peninsula!  (H/T: Gordon)
  • Island County has an August 18 ballot measure to raise the transit sales tax from 0.6% to the maximum 0.9%.  This is to avoid a 34% service cut.  Island Transit levies no fares and has no Sunday service.

16 Replies to “Meanwhile, Across the Sound…”

  1. From what I’ve heard Island Transit feels the amount of money they’d get from collecting fares would be about what it would cost to collect them in the first place so they might as well make the system free.

  2. No fares on Island Transit?! I love their Web site: “Island Transit is a Public Transportation Benefit Area (PTBA) / public municipal corporation (per Washington State RCW 36.57A).” They could also have said, “Island Transit is the bus system serving Island County.”

    What’s a real shame is that Sound Transit stole the name “Link” from a great rural bus system in Chelan and Douglas Counties. It’s kind of like if Yakima decided to call their buses “Metro.” I can understand using the same name as another transit agency, but in the same state? I also love “SKAT.”

    1. ‘Metro’ is a very generic name when it comes to transit systems but it’s one of my favorite names for a transit system. There are dozens of systems around the world that have the word ‘metro’ in their names.

  3. Ur right…I found this website and was surprised they have bus system named LINK and didn’t even know there is bus service there too. I have never seen any buses when I was visiting Lake Chelan or Wenatchee.

    1. When did you visit? The service there has vastly improved in the last 5 years. Chelan has a population of 3,500 and two local bus routes!

    2. Or take the daytime bus to Wenatchee, which drops you off at Columbia Station. From there, you can catch the bus to Chelan.

  4. This is a somewhat off topic question, but here goes:
    My girlfriend and I were talking, and somewhere she got the idea that bus transfers weren’t usable on the Link. I assured her they were, and we whipped out the iPhone to confirm… I found the following page, which confirmed I was right, but the statement at the bottom bothered me:
    NOTE A valid bus transfer is valid for full fare on Link (no upgrade required). This will be the case through Dec. 31, 2009, when bus transfer slips will no longer accepted on light rail trains.

    Does this mean that after Dec. 31, we’re going to have to pay twice, or that we’re just going to have to use an Orca pass to transfer?

    1. Inter-agency transfers are being phased out so you’ll either have to pay full price with each agency or use ORCA. Now is probably a good time to get one since they’re free.

      From http://www.orcacard.com/ERG-Seattle/p2_002.do;jsessionid=DDB048DD4FD4A85EA740AB566DE480C5?m=42&i=kb.transfer

      “Transit agencies will not accept paper transfers from other transit agencies but may continue to accept transfers valid only on their service. Intersystem transfers will be eliminated Fall 2009. If you pay cash, please check with your local agency for its cash transfer policy.”

  5. No, no, no…I mean the extremely poor quality bus service that KT provides is my reason, not ORCA. Evening (until 9 PM weeknights, 7 PM Saturday Nights) and Sunday service is nonexistent, just because they have the same X-trillion-dollar budget that King County Metro has…NOT thinking that there would be anyone like myself who think 7-day a week service until midnight or later is a necessity.

  6. Oops…I meant to say they DON’T have the same X-Trillion dollar budget as Metro. Sorry…my typing is bad.

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