Jefferson Transit Authority board members approved a six-year transportation improvement plan this week and they also authorized a contract to construct a bathroom at the Haines Place Park & Ride, 440 12th St., Port Townsend. (Jefferson Transit)

Jefferson Transit Authority board members approved a six-year transportation improvement plan this week and they also authorized a contract to construct a bathroom at the Haines Place Park & Ride, 440 12th St., Port Townsend. (Jefferson Transit)

Jefferson Transit approves six-year development plan

Agency also approves downtown trolley

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson Transit Authority board has passed its six-year transportation development plan, which includes expansion of service and connections to other counties as well as plans for an electric vehicle infrastructure study.

The board also approved its portion of the state document that identifies planned and secured funding sources.

Both plans were passed Tuesday during the board’s regular meeting.

The transit authority also approved the purchase of a trolley bus for downtown Port Townsend shuttle service.

In addition, a contract was approved to install a restroom at the Haines Place Transit Center, 440 12th St., Port Townsend.

The agency also got closer to reaching a collective bargaining agreement with its union members. Board Chair David Sullivan asked staff to go back to the table to negotiate one clause, but he was optimistic it would be resolved.

“If it requires mediation, that’s fine,” Sullivan said. “I think we’re real close with having an agreement.”

The board might hold a special meeting in September to approve the negotiated contract, he said.

“I realize if we wait for our next regular meeting, it would be two months, and I don’t think it should be that long,” Sullivan said.

The transportation plan is an annual update that incorporates both county and state goals and identifies strategies to achieve them.

General Manager Tammi Rubert called it a “working document” with focus areas that include preservation, safety, mobility, the environment, stewardship and economic vitality.

Identified funding sources include more than $6.7 million in three-year cycles — 2019-21 and 2021-23 — from the Public Transportation Consolidated Grant, both for the East Jefferson and West Jefferson operating budgets and for four heavy-duty buses, according to the document.

Part of the plan’s mobility goal is to provide viable connections and coordinated connections with systems in Clallam, Kitsap, Mason and Grays Harbor counties, and to improve efficiency and investigate incremental service improvements in Port Hadlock, Irondale and Chimacum, the report states.

Rubert said there’s a lot of momentum toward a Kingston route and filling additional gaps.

“We already have so many routes that go to Poulsbo and meet in Kitsap,” she said. “It’s a transfer, not the Strait Shot [from Clallam County to the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal], but we get you there five times a day.”

Rubert said she continues to work with Clallam County transit officials on connections to help people reach destinations across the Olympic Peninsula.

On the environmental side, the development plan states Jefferson Transit plans to complete an electric vehicle infrastructure study, which will include a shovel-ready design for adding such devices at its headquarters building, 63 Four Corners Road, and at Haines Place.

Jefferson Transit uses a 5 percent biodiesel fuel mix to improve air-quality emissions, the report states.

One of the capital projects listed in the plan is the restroom at Haines Place, a contract finalized Tuesday with Jacobs Construction LLC.

The project, which costs about $38,400, will come from the transit authority’s capital fund and should start this week, Rubert said.

“It’s estimated to be complete within 24 days after signing the contract,” she said. “They have 18 days to prep, and six days after that they’re hoping to set the building.”

The prefabricated building has been ordered from CXT Inc. and it will be put in place to serve the transit ridership, according to the contract.

Additional capital projects in the development plan include an electronic passenger counting system, a fire suppression system at the headquarters building and camera security systems at both transit headquarters and Haines Place.

The agency also has plans at Haines Place that include an upgrade in lighting to LEDs, the removal of trees that are pulling up the concrete on the sidewalk portion of the bus turnaround and fresh paint on the transit center building.

The plan calls for the installation of a radio repeater between Port Townsend and Forks for better communications purposes.

Long-range expansion calls for a third maintenance bay at headquarters and an automatic bus wash. The agency also wants to add shelters and bicycle lockers at multiple locations in the county and to add five Park & Ride areas through public-private partnerships.

Separately, the board authorized the purchase not to exceed $350,000 from the agency’s capital reserve fund for a trolley once a vehicle is located. The transit authority either will initiate a competitive bidding process or it will search for one through the state Department of Enterprise Services.

Rubert said a recent presentation she made to the city Historic Preservation Committee was well-received.

“Across the board, they were for the trolley,” she said. “The only comment someone offered was maybe we fashion the coloring that the city goes by. They’ve got a chart in the conference room and asked if we can match that.”

Sullivan said the trolley will be smaller than service trucks that often park in the middle of downtown streets as they make deliveries.

“They have just a little more leeway there when you’re trying to get around them,” he said.

“It’s pretty unique-looking,” Rubert added. “Everybody wants to go sit on a trolley.”

________

Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at bmclean@peninsuladailynews.com.

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