Passengers board the Dungeness Line to Seattle and SeaTac International Airport at The Gateway transit center in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Passengers board the Dungeness Line to Seattle and SeaTac International Airport at The Gateway transit center in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Greyhound considering shortening time for route

EDITOR’S NOTE: This has been corrected. Greyhound Lines is the new contractor of the Dungeness Line route. The trip from Port Angeles to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport takes 60 minutes longer via Greyhound than Olympic Bus Lines. A new proposed bus stop at 63 Four Corners Road is northeast of the U.S. Highway 101-state Highway 20 intersection.

PORT ANGELES — Greyhound is surveying residents in Clallam and Jefferson counties about possible changes in its schedule as the new contractor of the Dungeness Line.

The Dallas, Texas-based bus transportation company is asking residents about improvements they’d like to see in the only commercial, scheduled passenger service to and from Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

A new schedule offering a four-hour ride from Port Angeles to Sequim, Port Townsend, Seattle and Sea-Tac instead of the current five hours could go into effect in October in response to concerns expressed by riders, company spokeswoman Cashlie Goertz said Wednesday.

It would get riders to Sea-Tac by 10 a.m. instead of the current 11 a.m., she said.

Greyhound began providing service on the Dungeness Line route under a new contract with the state Department of Transportation that the company won over Port Angeles-based Olympic Bus Lines, which had been running the route.

Greyhound has been criticized for making the Port Angeles-Sea Tac trip 60 minutes longer than Olympic Bus Lines’ service by adding a stop in Port Townsend, Goertz said.

“We are asking for your feedback on how to improve our service to better meet the communities’ needs,” according to the survey, at tinyurl.com/PDN-BusRoute.

The survey will be available to respondents through Sept. 7.

As part of Greyhound’s outreach effort, the company is hosting public meetings at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Port Angeles at the Clallam Transit administrative building conference room, 830 W. Lauridsen Blvd., and at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Port Townsend at the Jefferson Transit conference room, 63 Four Corners Road.

“I’m hearing basically the same feedback we’ve talked about previously, is the scheduled time, how long the route takes to get over to Sea-Tac,” Goertz said.

“Basically the same items you see in the survey are what has been brought to our attention.”

The Port Townsend stop would change from Haines Place Park and Ride in the city to Jefferson Transit’s 4 Corners Park and Ride at 63 Four Corners Road, she said.

The new stop would be 6.3 miles northeast of the U.S. Highway 101-state Highway 20 intersection, where the Olympic Lines bus had picked up Port Townsend passengers.

Greyhound would arrive at Seattle hospitals at about 9 a.m.; Seattle Amtrak, 9:15 a.m.; Seattle Greyhound, 9:30 a.m.; and Sea-Tac International Airport, 10 a.m.

Greyhound began operating the publicly-owned Dungenes Line route July 1.

Goertz told Peninsula Daily News on Aug. 3 that Greyhound was reviewing its new fares, which are 30 percent higher than that of Olympic Bus Lines.

“We’re not doing anything with pricing at this time,” she said Wednesday.

Under the new schedule, instead of leaving The Gateway transit center in Port Angeles at 6:10 a.m., Greyhound would leave between 5:25 a.m. and 5:45 a.m., Goertz said.

The seven survey questions include the most important factors that riders consider when they think about using Greyhound’s Port Angeles-Sea-Tac route, not including price.

One-way fares offered by Olympic Bus Lines were $49 one way and a discounted $79 round trip.

One-way fares offered by Greyhound are $52 one way, including a $3 service fee, and $103 round trip — 30 percent higher than before July 1.

Discounted fares apply to children and senior citizens.

Goertz said she could not report on Greyhound’s ridership figures for July and August.

“All I can say is, we’ve been happy with the ridership,” she said.

Travelers also can get from Port Angeles to Sea-Tac for $13, including $10 for a bus ticket, via Clallam Transit’s Strait Shot bus, a no-fare westbound ferry and light-rail from downtown Seattle.

Strait Shot ridership increased 30 percent in July and August compared to last year, Clallam Transit Operations and Planning Manager Steve Hopkins said Wednesday.

“We have noticed this summer, anecdotally, that more people are saying they used to ride the Dungeness Line,” he said.

Strait Shot riders can leave at 7:25 a.m. instead of 6:10 a.m. and arrive at Sea-Tac five minutes later than Greyhound on its present route.

“Passengers are noticing that it’s a faster and less expensive ride,” Hopkins said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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