News Roundup 3/17/14Posted: March 17, 2014
Ben Franklin Transit
BYD E-Bus Will Be Tested in the Tri-Cities
Currently undergoing testing in Spokane with Spokane Transit Authority, it has been confirmed that the BYD E-Bus is coming to the Tri-Cities next month. At this time, officials with BFT are still working on plans for where and when this bus will be running, but a press release should be put out towards the end of the month with that information. It has also been hinted that the ZEPS Bus, BFT’s current electric bus project, will be running at the same times as the BYD E-Bus, creating the opportunity to compare these two different technologies side by side.
New Bus Stop Signs Coming This Summer
Pending the approval of the Board of Directors tomorrow, bus riders in Chelan and Douglas Counties will be seeing some new bus stop signs installed. Over the years, the old bus stop signs have become faded with age, and a large number of them have the route numbers listed in a haphazard fashion with little organization and inconsistent fonts. The new bus stop signs, an example of them seen at right, work immensely to address this issue, as well as gain added visibility and an overall better look. Approximately 620 of them will be installed, covering every city and bus route in the Link Transit system. The costs for these new signs is $26,511.71 (including WA sales tax), which covers the signs and all the installation hardware.
Vote to cut the Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter and Sunday Service Tabled
As reported last week, Yakima Transit was looking in to the possibility of discontinuing the Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter and Sunday fixed-route service. Both services are largely funded with grants from WSDOT, and those funds are running out very soon, largely in part to higher than predicted maintenance costs in the case of the former. At the request of City Manager Tony O’Rourke, the vote was tabled as talks for new funding sources had picked up in the days since this was first announced. A meeting with officials from the involved parties and cities is tentatively scheduled for the end of the month, and this issue will likely come up again in the City Council meeting next month. In coverage from the Yakima Herald-Republic, it was mentioned that Yakima Transit and Hopesource had submitted a grant request to help purchase two new buses to run the route, so there may be hope yet.
Wenatchee Valley Shuttle Adds Stop at Columbia Station
Back in December, Wenatchee Valley Shuttle moved their Wenatchee stop from Olds Station (Easy Street) to Columbia Station in Downtown. With Link Transit, Amtrak, Northwestern Trailways, and the Apple Line all serving the station as well, it’ll make it much easier to connect to the shuttle.