Worker/driver program is unique in the nationNovember 28th, 2013 by travis baker
The in basket: When I recently joined Bremerton Public Works execs on a tour of city projects, Managing Street Engineer Gunnar Fridriksson told me something that came as quite a surprise.
He said Kitsap Transit’s worker/driver bus program, in which civilians, mostly working for the Navy, drive transit-provided motor coaches to and from work, picking up and dropping off co-workers en route, is the only thing of its kind in the whole nation.
Given its success here, that was hard to believe.
The out basket: And yet, it appears to be true. Well, nearly true. Mason Transit has four such routes, but they serve the same work sites.
John Clauson, Kitsap Transit’s executive director, says there were only eight or 10 routes in the program they inherited in 1983 from the private bus company that was the forerunner to Kitsap Transit. Today there are 30 routes, plus those Mason Transit runs.
“As far as I know, we are the only system in the U.S. that has this type of program and I know that we are the only one in the state, along with Mason Transit now, that have this type of unique operation,” John said.
I Googled and Binged “workers/driver bus programs” and found no others
Gunnar made his remark as we watched a procession of worker/driver buses make their way north on Washington Avenue at shipyard quitting time. Public Works director Chal Martin was there, too, and observed that city plans to reduce
Washington to one lane in each direction in 2015 would never work if the buses weren’t taking dozens if not hundreds of single-car drivers off that street by providing them rides to and from work.