PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County commuters now have a place to stash their bikes, helmets and clothes since the opening of the bike barn at the Jefferson Transit Center at Four Corners Road.
Jefferson Transit held a grand opening Monday afternoon to present its newest building, the bike barn, and to show off some additional facility enhancements.
Tammi Rubert, Jefferson Transit Authority general manager, said that, through grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington state and Jefferson County government, the Transit Center at 63 Four Corners Road now boasts 50 additional parking spaces, two electric vehicle parking spaces that can charge up to four vehicles, and a bike barn that securely houses up to 16 bicycles under shelter.
“This is a multi-modal type of system where you can drive your vehicle here and catch the bus,” Rubert said. “You can ride your bike and ride the bus — we have bike racks on the front of the bus. You can ride your bike here and leave it at the bus barn and ride the bus. And you can drive your electrical vehicle here, plug it in and ride the bus.
“Typically our bike racks on the front of buses are full. It’s limited to the typical two-wheeled types. We can’t carry those models with engines, recumbents, tandems or those with three wheels.”
Deputy Mayor David Faber rode to the Haines Street Park & Ride from his office in town, then took the bus to the ceremony.
“The bus is connecting our local bike trails,” Faber said. “This encourages more active transportation as well as use of transit throughout the community.”
Rubert explained that the Larry Scott Trail ends on Milo Curry Road on Discovery Road “and its a quick jaunt to our trail which is at the front of our property.
“I’m hoping in the future we’ll have a dedicated connection to the Larry Scott Trail,” Rubert said.
County Commissioner Kate Dean rode up on her bike.
“It’s such a convenient location near the Larry Scott Trail,” Dean noted. “What a great trail and a convenient location. It’s a gem, a great union of the two.”
The bike barn is open 24/7. To secure a bike hook and locker, an agreement form can be obtained at the administration office during business hours. A refundable $75 security deposit guarantees a dedicated locker and rack space. A freestanding bike rack that can hold up to seven bikes is located outside the bike barn.
Tracey Christianson, executive director of the Washington State Insurance Pool, was on hand.
“We are trying to support our members,” Christianson said. “We were here when the facility opened so it’s nice to be back here for another grand opening.”
According to Rubert, last year Jefferson Transit had almost 300,000 riders use their system. She said ridership had been decreasing because fuel prices were low.
“Now that fuel prices are beginning to increase, when it gets to about $3 a gallon point, our ridership numbers will increase. We’re hoping to see more bike traffic, too, here at the Transit Center.”
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected]