ROUTE CHANGE – Route 225 in Richland

While riding the bus this morning, the driver made an announcement over the PA system to inform all the riders that Route 225 is going to be seeing some changes starting January 2nd. When I later checked Ben Franklin Transit’s website, I found this alert posted:

Attention Route 225 Riders
The Route 225 will travel East on Columbia Point Dr, pass Winco, then take a left at Bradley. It will travel on Bradley turning right onto George Washington Way, then left on Knight St going into the transit center at the currently scheduled time. This route will be reversed when traveling to Pasco. The stop located in front of Chase bank, on Jadwin, will now be served by Route 120 only. For information please call BFT Customer Service at 735-5100.

If you’re not a regular rider of Route 225, or are just unfamiliar with the route, this all probably makes no sense to you. How about I explain it a bit more?

Currently, Route 225 travels north and south along George Washington Way when heading to and from Knight Street TC in Richland. On the westbound route, it heads north on GW Way all the way up to Knight St, and then heads directly west to Knight Street TC. On the eastbound route, it heads east on Knight St, south on Jadwin, and then south on GW Way via the Jadwin Arterial.

Starting next week, Route 225 will be spending a lot less time on GW Way. When heading towards Knight Street TC, the bus will exit off I-182 at the GW Way exit. At the first intersection, the bus will turn right onto Columbia Point Drive. Once on Columbia Point Drive, the bus will pass by Winco (a regional discount grocery chain) and some medical offices before turning left onto Bradley Blvd. On Bradley Blvd, it’ll pass by some more medical offices and a couple hotels, as well as the Richland Community Center, before the road intersects with GW Way. At this point, it’ll resume the current route, heading north on GW Way and then west on Knight St to Knight Street TC. For the eastbound route, the bus will follow the reverse of what I just described. Important to note is that this means the eastbound 225 will NOT be driving on Jadwin Ave anymore. As noted in the official rider alert from earlier, the stop in front of Chase Bank will only be served by Route 120EB now.

So, why is this route change happening? Two reasons. The first is rider demand. Perhaps one of the most common complaints I’ve always heard about Route 225 is the long distance between the bus stop and Winco. This’ll certainly make things easier for people shopping there. Another thing to note is that of all the different taxi feeder routes, the three routes east of GW Way are among the highest demanded in the system. With the bus now traveling directly in the Columbia Point area, this will give riders better options. (Be sure to note that the Columbia Point taxi feeder routes won’t be available starting next week, just fyi. Dial-A-Ride is not affected.) The other reason for this change is time. More specifically, spare time. After the changes made in the Fall Shakeup, the 225 got 15 extra minutes added to it’s schedule. Sadly, for most runs, it was completely unneeded. There have been times where the 225 has spent 20 minutes on layover at either end of the route. This is most certainly time that could be put to better use. Though this change to the 225 will only add a few minutes to the run time, it is at least a start. I still think that the 225 should be serving Tri-Cities Airport directly, but I’m not in a place to make that call.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, I highly recommend calling BFT’s Customer Service at (509) 735-5100. They’ll be glad to help you out.

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