What’s Transit building in West Bremerton?

 

The in basket: Every time I drive by Kitsap Transit’s operations base on Charleston Avenue in Bremerton’s west end, I wonder what they are building there, and whether construction in a time of service cutbacks is a PR headache for them.

The out basket: Yes, it is, says Transit CEO Dick Hayes, but it’s the old story of funding coming from sources that can’t be shifted to operations. “This is capital grant money that can’t be used for anything else,” he said.

Expanding operations bases is hard to get done, due to permit requirements, he said. This one was further complicated by the need to acquire the old Callow Avenue that runs between the operations base and the shipyard. They got the permits, acquired the street in a trade with the city for part of the Bremerton Transportation Center site, and had an approaching deadline to use the grant money. So they went ahead. 

The work will allow the Access bus service for the elderly and infirm to relocate to the operations base from its current site near the end of steep Werner Road.

It’s not a good place to operate out of when it snows, he said, and it puts extra miles on the the Access buses when they get the same preventative maintenance as the routed buses.

The $4.5 million project is adding a wash rack for the buses, more room for that preventive maintenance, and will double available parking, he said.

“Some day we’ll have more money to run more services,” he said, and the base expansion will pay off then, he said. 

Transit owns the Werner Road site and will sell it when Access moves, in about seven months, he said.

Though Callow Avenue will be closed to the public, Transit had to agreed to let the Navy use the property for emergency evacuation of its multi-story parking garage on the other side of the street, if that is ever necessary, Dick said.

7 thoughts on “What’s Transit building in West Bremerton?

  1. Great, now Kitsap Transit is getting its own roads. You can’t get a bus when you need one and now you can’t use Callow Ave as a drop off for the base. What a deal. What next? Will Kitsap Commuter Transit try to annex property for a new office building with a better view? They can fund capital projects, just not people projects. If the people quit riding, what good is the Empire of Kitsap Transit? At what point do we shut them down and allow a private company to take over Access?
    Roger Gay
    South Kitsap

  2. “ory of funding coming from sources that can’t be shifted to operations. “This is capital grant money that can’t be used for anything else,” he said.”

    Roger, What isn’t clear about the above comment? When was the last time you weren’t able to get a bus when you wanted one – are you a bus rider?

    Do you know of a private company desiring to take over the Access shuttle service?
    When do you want to shut down the Access shuttle service for the private company waiting to take it over?
    I wasn’t aware of it.
    Sharon O’Hara

  3. We live in “rural” South Kitsap. Limited or no bus service. The one time the family could have used Access, it was not available during the time periods that would have done any good. Most of the area does not meet the stringent number of homes per square mile that Kitsap Transit requires. The comment dealt with how Kitsap Transit can buy or swap for its own roads, build new buildings, and yet be incapable of transporting Kitsaps’s citizens in anything but a local commuter basis. Routes are changed or shutdown, almost a million dollars will be spent on vans, but we pay taxes and unless you are a commuter or capable of using the limited Access service you get to drive yourself. Kitsap Transit is more interested in getting a foot ferry paid for by our tax money vice giving good transit service to all the citizens of Kitsap County. Money from all, but service to selected few. The question was when do we hold Kitsap Transit responsible and do we really need them? I would support us assisting a private company for Access, but not for foot ferries. I do not support Kitsap Transit for the millions it is spending on R&D for low wake foot ferries. Kitsap Commuter Transit wants our tax money, Federal, State, County or city to concentrate on the urban area commuters at cost to the rural home owners. My opinion is Kitsap Transit is going the wrong direction. At some point it will be jsut like KCHA and the Port of Bremerton, just a big hole the taxpayers pour money into with little to show for. Just my opinion.
    Roger Gay
    South KItsap

  4. We chose where we live. I also live in a rural area not served by Kitsap Transit…and knew that when we bought here.

    If we want the amenities offered to urban dwellers, move there…but don’t expect to live in a rural area and insist on urban services.
    The foot ferries are looking to the future of our area – and if we don’t look at it now, it won’t happen.
    In my opinion.. Sharon O’Hara

  5. I believe that Kitsap Transit is funded by local sales taxes, not property taxes, so don’t buy anything in Kitsap County and you won’t pay the tax. As a rural SK homeowner who commutes to Seattle, I would like to see the return of foot ferries. WSF showed themselves incompetent/unwilling to run a foot ferry system, so I am willing to let KT give it a try.

    As for the difference between capital money and operations money, anyone with public finance experience knows that KT had the option to a) spend this money on the capital project it was awarded for, b) give the money back so it will be given to some other community, or c) redirect the money to operations and go to jail for malfeasance. Looks like they chose a).

  6. Maybe Kitsap Transit and other public organizations need to look at actually turning down funding instead of continuing to spend, spend, spend. The funds may go to some community who could use it for something useful to the public. As for foot ferries, I say no to a County taxpayer funded effort. If the State and a private investor can not make a go of it, I have zero confidence in Kitsap Transit making it work. Frankly Sharon, I have lived in many rural areas in my life, and visited many more and the public transportation in Kitsap County is one of the worse I have seen. I do not see foot ferries being the future of Kitsap County, unless it is a path to bankruptcy. I would like our transit system attempt to be public transit and not just commuter transit.
    Roger Gay
    South Kitsap

  7. We can agree to disagree, Roger, because, frankly my dear, foot ferries between our towns and cities, Park & Ride secure lots and transit are the transportation wave of the future for today’s kids.
    Sharon O’Hara

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