Suppose the state abruptly shut down the Bremerton ferry route
and I needed to get to Colman Dock by 4 p.m. for the big press
conference. My car’s in the shop. What’s a reporter to do?
Kitsap Transit has joined with Google Transit to show rookie riders like me the way. On the agency’s website, click on “trip planner” in the upper right corner. Plug in the start and finish points, the arrival or departure time, and it’ll spit out directions.
In this case, I’d walk a couple blocks to Warren Avenue and Fifth Street and at 12:15 p.m. climb aboard the No. 11 bus. In 10 minutes I’d pull into the East Bremerton transfer center and shortly board the No. 17 bus for a 25-minute ride to Kitsap Mall. The No. 32 bus would soon come along and transport me in 15 minutes to the Poulsbo transfer center. I’d have to wait 17 minutes there for the No. 90, which would dump me at the Bainbridge ferry dock in 20 minutes, just in time to catch the 2:05 p.m. ferry to Seattle. I’d arrive at Colman at 2:40 p.m.
At more than 2 ½ hours, it’s not express service, but it can be done. Though there were four transfers, if you count the ferry, they didn’t’ involve much standing around. For me, the bus ride wouldn’t be cheap, at $8. But if I had an Orca card I’d get free transfers for two hours, reducing the bus fare to just $2. The ferry would be free on the way over but cost me $7.10 to come back. Sometimes the route planner shows the transit cost and what it would cost you to drive, but it wasn’t on this trip.
“Hopefully it will allow more people who haven’t experienced transit systems to eliminate their fear trying to figure out schedules, bus stops and transfers and go out and use transit more,” said Kitsap Transit planning director John Clauson.
You can use the trip planner to go shopping in Port Orchard or surfing in San Diego. That would take 50 hours, by the way, with most of the time spent sitting on trains.
Kitsap Transit didn’t have to pay to be included on Google Transit, except for hours and hours of staff members’ time coding every bus stop and route schedule into a format that Google could accept, Clauson said.
The genesis was a few years ago when the state Department of Transportation encouraged transit agencies on the peninsulas to combine on a trip planner. That effort died, but Kitsap Transit continued to pull its information together and wrapped things up with Google a couple weeks ago.