Clallam’s ‘Strait Shot’ bus service to Bainbridge Island on track for June 17 start

PORT ANGELES — Getting to Bainbridge Island will be as easy as 1-2-3 starting June 17.

Clallam Transit’s new fixed bus route — the No. 123 “Strait Shot” — will begin daily service between downtown Port Angeles and the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal that day.

The first bus will leave The Gateway transit center at 7:25 a.m. that Saturday, marking the first time that Clallam Transit will offer out-of-boundary service in its 38-year history.

“We’re very excited,” Clallam Transit Operations Manager Steve Hopkins said Wednesday.

“Our operators are coming back from regular runs saying this is what people are talking about on the bus now.”

The No. 123 bus will make two round trips Mondays through Saturdays and one round trip Sundays.

The cost to ride the Strait Shot will be $10 one way for adults and $5 one way for youths, Clallam Transit pass holders, Peninsula College students and anyone with a Regional Reduced Fare Permit.

“We are really hoping that this is a way for Clallam Transit to introduce its service to a broader market, to tourists who are coming to Clallam County and to Clallam County residents who may not be familiar with our service,” Hopkins said.

Riders can catch the bus at the Gateway or at one of five stops along the 75-mile route on a first-come, first-served basis.

The stops are in Sequim, Blyn, Discovery Bay, Poulsbo and Agate Pass. The $10 cash-only fare applies at each stop.

The trip from Port Angeles to Bainbridge Island will take less than two hours to complete.

On weekdays, the 40-seat bus will leave Port Angeles at 7:25 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and leave the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal at 10:20 a.m. and 8:10 p.m.

On Saturdays, the Strait Shot will leave The Gateway at 7:25 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. and depart from Bainbridge Island at 10:20 a.m. and 7:10 p.m.

The only Sunday trip will leave Port Angeles at 3:15 p.m. and return from Bainbridge Island at 6:15 p.m.

Transit officials will monitor ridership on the Strait Shot and make service adjustments as needed.

“We honestly don’t know how many people to expect the first day,” Hopkins said.

“We are going to conduct some surveys on board, asking people when they’re planning on returning. That way, we can gauge demand for the other direction as well.”

Clallam Transit officials hope to recover 100 percent of the cost of operating the Strait Shot.

The Clallam Transit Board approved an interlocal agreement with Jefferson Transit and Kitsap Transit to use bus stops owned by those agencies.

In addition to the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal, the Strait Shot will provide convenient transfers to destinations in Silverdale and Bremerton, Hopkins said.

Among the other service changes that will take effect June 17 is the restoration of weekday service on the No. 15 route between the Forks Transit Center and La Push.

The decision to restore that service was based on customer feedback and consultation with the Quileute Tribe, Hopkins said.

For information on Clallam Transit, including fares, schedules and routes, go to www.clallamtransit.com.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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