Transit Throwback – Past Posts on Transit History

(If you follow @transit509 on Twitter, you may have saw that there seems to be an issue with queued posts disappearing from the site this week. I’m not sure what exactly is happening, but I’m hoping it’ll be resolved by next week.)

In lieu of a new Transit Throwback post today, I thought it would be a good time to look back on coverage of transit history from the site’s past. While the Transit Throwback series has only been going for just over two months now, transit history has always been a big focus of this website as you’ll see below.

Transit Throwback – Downtown Yakima Trolley Bus
In the early 1990’s, Yakima tried running a downtown circulator bus. Find out why the service only lasted a few years.

Transit Throwback – Ellensburg Intercity Buses
Intercity bus tickets in Washington State used to be much cheaper than present prices. Find out just how cheap they were, and also learn a little about the history of intercity bus stations in Ellensburg.

Transit Throwback – Spokane Bus Stops
Spokane Transit Authority is currently in the midst of a complete bus stop sign update. Learn about the past of the old bus stop signs, and a few other interesting stories on bus stops in Spokane.

Transit Throwback – BFT #121
Before Ben Franklin Transit began operations in 1982, they had to find some buses. See just how far they had to go to find those buses, and what their fate was when BFT finally got rid of them.

Was “The Plaza” The Right Name?
Now just a blip on the map, Plaza WA was around before Spokane Transit Authority decided to use “The Plaza” as the name for their new downtown transit hub in 1995. The Spokesman-Review explores this further in a mostly satirical piece.

Route 225
A bit of an oddity in the Ben Franklin Transit system, this post looks back at the history of Route 225 and how it ended up in it’s present incarnation.

Walla Walla Valley Traction Company
Written originally by Blair E. Kooistra, this post takes an extensive look at the history of the Walla Walla Valley Traction Company, which includes the city’s former streetcar/interurban system and freight railroad operations.

What Might Have Been
After I-695 made the MVET (Motor Vehicle Excise Tax) illegal in Washington State, most all transit agencies saw a severe decline in their budgets. This post looks at the potential service cuts that Ben Franklin Transit would have made if voters didn’t approve an increase of 0.3% to the transit sales tax in 2002.

1986 Guide to Summer Fun
In the mid to late 1980’s, Ben Franklin Transit partnered with the Parks and Recreation departments in Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland to put out an activity guide each summer. Perhaps of most interest was the complete system map included in each guide, including separate maps for each of the three cities.

“Transit cat grabs attention, mice”
When Ben Franklin Transit moved into their new base facility in the Richland Y area, a female “employee” named Ben came along for the move. Learn more about this unique part of Ben Franklin Transit’s history.


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