Public input sought for Washington’s intercity bus system

The Dungeness Line is one of private bus operators providing four Travel Washington bus routes that serve some of the most rural parts of the state.

The Travel Washington Intercity Bus Program is exploring how to improve connections across the state to make service more accessible, reliable, and convenient. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the program is counting on the public’s feedback to help build both its near- and long-term future.

The Connecting Communities study will explore where potential expansion of intercity bus service will be most cost-effective while addressing the goal of linking rural areas to the existing intercity network, transportation hubs and urban centers.

Feedback opportunities
WSDOT will gather public input about Travel Washington at a series of online meetings specifically tailored to different regions around the state:

  • 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 26 – for residents of north central Washington (Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties and parts of Adams, Franklin, King, Kittitas and Skagit counties). Please RSVP to participate.
  • Noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 26 – for residents of southwest Washington (Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Lewis, Pacific, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties). Please RSVP to participate.
  • 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 27 – for residents of the central and northern Puget Sound areas (Island, King, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties). Please RSVP to participate.
  • Noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27 – for residents of the south Puget Sound area and the Olympic Peninsula (Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce and Thurston counties). Please RSVP to participate.

Free, temporary internet access is available for those who do not have broadband service in locations throughout the state. To find the nearest access, visit the Drive-In WiFi Hotspot list.

WSDOT has already hosted in-person meetings in Yakima and Pullman for travelers and residents in south central and eastern Washington. WSDOT also encourages the public to provide feedback by participating in an incentivized online survey through mid-July.

WSDOT released its most recent Travel Washington plan update in 2019. Since then, the intercity bus network has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and many services are now operating at reduced frequency or not at all. With those considerations in mind, this update will:

– Evaluate existing service.

– Revisit the potential route expansion alternatives that came out of the 2019 update.

– Explore how to restore meaningful service across the state.

– Examine the feasibility of adding service in the Yakima Valley, along the Interstate 90 corridor and throughout the state.

WSDOT contracts with private bus operators to provide four Travel Washington bus routes that serve some of the most rural parts of the state, each uniquely branded to represent the local communities it serves. Those four routes—the Dungeness, Gold, Apple and Grape lines—are part of the state’s overall intercity bus network. The Federal Transit Administration and WSDOT provide funding for the program.

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