Jefferson Transit Authority seeks public opinion on long-range plans

Open house, survey online

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson Transit Authority is conducting an online open house and survey to elicit feedback about potential goals for its 20-year long-range plan.

The public is asked its opinions on such broad strategies as increasing frequency of trips or expanded access, as well as individual changes such as a bus route to the Kingston Ferry and limited Sunday services.

Outreach efforts began in January 2020 with an open house attended by about 50 people. COVID-19 pandemic precautions delayed efforts.

The current survey is open until April 18, said Daniel Dye, senior transportation engineer for Fehr & Peers, consultant for Jefferson Transit Authority (JTA).

The open house and its survey can found at https://www.jeffersontransitplan.com/open-house.

The open house is a 13-minute presentation outlining some of the potential strategies officials are working on or have studied. After watching the video, people are asked to fill out the survey, which takes about 15 minutes, Dye said.

“Really the importance of this open house is we want to hear from a wide variety of Jefferson County residents and visitors to really understand how you want Jefferson Transit to grow over the next 20 years or how you want Jefferson Transit to allocate resources as they become available,” he said.

“It’s really important for Jefferson Transit and us as consultants to really make sure we’re listening to the community and understanding your unique needs and desires for increased transit service or changes in transit service,” he continued.

“The more responses we get to this, the more we can feel we have heard the community and come to a consensus on how to improve Jefferson Transit over the next 20 years.”

The two major “bookends” — long-term concepts that Jefferson Transit is considering — are the questions of more coverage or more frequency, Dye said.

The more coverage concept would implement a new on-demand service to places like Cape George and Kala Point to the Haines Place Park and Ride through phone and smartphone app reservations, Dye said.

The frequency concept would double the amount of service on the Port Townsend Shuttle (Route 11) and Upper Sims (Route 4) to make it easier to find transport around the city, Dye said.

The specific areas served from either of the two concepts have not been finalized and could change over the next few months as specific plans are drafted, Dye said.

Residents also will be able to give their opinions on additional targeted-service concepts that include 8 p.m. to midnight runs to benefit service workers and residents out late, on-demand Sunday service, splitting Route 6 to have more connections within the Tri-Area and a new route between the Kingston ferry and the Haines Place Park & Ride, Dye said.

More information on the proposed concepts can be found at https://www.jeffersontransitplan.com/home.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]

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