DETOURS/DELAYS – Entire BFT System (Snow 1/18/12)

Tonight and tomorrow, the Tri-Cities will be seeing snow. Reports vary, but from the sound of things the Tri-Cities will be getting 3-7 inches of snowfall.

As the service day for fixed-route and paratransit will be over in less than 2 hours, there shouldn’t be any major problems tonight. If the snow starts accumulating rapidly tonight, delays could be possible for Night Service riders. As a fellow user of Night Service, I’d advise all other users to be patient, but also don’t be afraid to call and check in for the status of your ride (especially if you’ve haven’t been picked up 20 minutes past your scheduled time).

For tomorrow, there’s no way to know how things will be running until we see the conditions firsthand. My advice is prepare for the worst. If you don’t have to leave your house, then don’t. Stay nice and warm inside, enjoy a hot cocoa, and enjoy a good movie or a book. If you do have to leave your house, be prepared for buses running late. Each and every driver at BFT puts safety as their first priority, so they will most likely need to drive slower to adapt for the conditions. Also expect buses to be missing connections at transit centers. If you can get on a bus that interlines with a route that will get you close/directly to your destination, that’ll be your best bet.

For detours, I’m not aware of any “snow route” system that BFT may have (though I’m going to try and find out for future reference). The only specific detour I can report on is for Route 47. Almost always, when the snow falls, Route 47 will be detoured off Garfield Hill and instead run up/down 19th between Garfield and Olympia, and then up/down Olympia to 27th to continue the normal route, so expect the bus to be doing that. Buses may be detoured on a case by case basis. Your best bet to catch a bus is if you are on a road that has been plowed.

If you have any questions, or need information on anything, don’t be afraid to call Customer Service at (509) 735-5100. Understand that many people will be calling them, so it may be busy. I do ask that you be as patient as possible with the Customer Service agents, they work very hard and strive to help you as much as they can.

On my part, I’ll try and tweet any information that I find out via @ziggzagzac. If it’s major information, I’ll update this post below.

UPDATE (11:07AM): Buses are running between 10-20 minutes behind schedule right now. Route 47 is on the detour I mentioned when originally posting this. (No service on Garfield Hill, detouring via 19th between Garfield/Olympia and Olympia between 19th/27th.) Route 50 is also on detour, with no service to the stops at Comfort Inn and Shopko. The bus is proceeding directly to Grandridge Blvd after leaving the JC Penny stop.

Ben Franklin Transit phone numbers
(All start with area code 509)

Customer Service: 735-5100
Dial-A-Ride: 735-0160
Night Service: 545-0684
Vanpool: 943-5442
Prosser (General Demand/Dial-A-Ride): 786-1707
Business Office: 735-4131


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