Airporter for Bainbridge is an uphill fight

The in basket: Byron Holcomb, a Bainbridge Island lawyer, is a man of many causes, including the absence of airporter service from the island to Sea-Tac Airport and back.

He’s been beating the drums for some concessions by the state ferry system to make an island-based airporter service more viable.

He contends Bainbridge is the only city of its size to have no such service. The existing options for islanders, he says, are difficult for the disabled and poor, requiring a walk or taxi ride from the Seattle ferry terminal to somewhere a connection to the airport can be caught. And those connections often don’t leave their fares a convenient walk into the airport, he said.

He wants to see preferential loading of airporter vehicles on the ferries to and from Winslow and no ferry fares for such vehicles. That would allow them to stay on schedule without having to worry about overloads, and avoid time-consuming collection of fares.

He ran that past one of his state legislators and didn’t get any support, he said. He asked if I could help.

The out basket: I talked with Dick Asche, owner of Kitsap Airporter that serves  Kitsap County as far north as Keyport Junction.

Dick said whatever the shortcomings of the existing choices for those on the island, they are too numerous for him to compete with.

“We carry a lot of people out of Poulsbo,” he said. “I hope a lot of them are from Bainbridge Island.

It’s just not the worth the extra mileage for the few riders he would expect to prefer a long ride through Tacoma to what is available to them now, he said.

Byron isn’t proposing to run an airport service, and doesn’t know of anyone who would take it on if he ever got the Legislature to fund the ferry service concessions. And finding an airporter base on the island with enough parking would be yet another challenge.

Anyway, if you would like to champion his airporter cause, his e-mail address is BYLAW@aol.com

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