Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) has launched two new demonstration bus routes in Kennewick and Pasco, effective June 18. The Summer River Runner will run until August 25, and Route 63D will run for approximately one year. During these time periods, ridership will be assessed for both routes to determine whether either or both will become permanent.
Route 63D will provide hourly service from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, between 22nd Avenue Transit Center and multiple destinations in East Pasco. It will travel east along Lewis St. until Wehe St. before going north to Ochoa Middle School, then southeast to Tierra Vida. The new route—the result of extensive analysis by the BFT Planning and Service Development team, a series of public meetings, and community survey input—will connect bus service to previously unserved areas in East Pasco, with convenient access to Ochoa Middle School, Marie Curie STEM and Whittier Elementary Schools, Fiesta Foods, Griggs, and more.
The Summer River Runner is an hourly seasonal route that originates at Three Rivers Transit Center and runs the length of Columbia Park in Kennewick, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays. Served by trolley bus, the River Runner will travel from Three Rivers Transit Center to Columbia Park Trail, with stops at The REACH Museum and throughout the park to the Playground of Dreams, before looping back to Three Rivers for additional route connections.
“People use public transportation for various reasons,” said BFT general manager Gloria Boyce. “For some, it’s their primary mode of travel. For others it’s about convenience or recreation, and some recognize its environmental benefits or come from larger metropolitan areas where riding the bus is more engrained in daily lifestyles. As a public agency, Ben Franklin Transit is committed to helping as many people as possible in our community make transportation connections that are meaningful to them. The launch of these two new routes reflects that commitment.”
Those interested in trying out the new routes are encouraged to use BFT’s GPS-enabled trip-planning tool at https://MyRide.bft.org. BFT is also offering reduced seasonal youth bus fares including a Summer Youth Pass that gives students in grades K-12 unlimited rides through August 31 for $25 and a $1 day pass for all youth boarding BFT buses, with the option to trade in 25 youth day passes for a Summer Youth Pass. More info at www.bft.org/Summer.
For more information about the new routes, visit www.bft.org/RiverRunner or www.bft.org/63D.
For more information about Ben Franklin Transit, visit www.bft.org.
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