Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter Service Modification

After spending the last few months trying to figure out if the Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter will continue to run, it seems that Yakima Transit finally has a plan to preserve the service.

On June 5th, there will be a  public hearing at the Public Works facility (2301 Fruitvale Blvd) in Yakima at 5:30PM to take comment on the proposed changes to the service.

  • During the school-year, there will be one less trip daily on the “Seasonal” schedule (7 trips each way Monday to Friday).
  • During non-school days, there will be two less trips daily on the “Off-Seasonal” schedule (6 trips each way Monday to Friday).
  • All service on Federal Holidays is eliminated (New Years Day, MLK Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas).

If approved, the fares for the Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter will also be increased for the second time since the service started, with one-way trips going from $4 to $5 and the monthly pass going from $125 to $150. As it currently does, the one-way tickets will still include a free transfer to any other Yakima Transit route, and the monthly pass still includes unlimited usage on all Yakima Transit routes.

With theses changes, there will also be a new operator coming aboard to run the service. After Hopesource announced they were ending their contract with Yakima Transit effective June 15th, the city had to scramble a bit to find a new operator. That new operator is Central Washington Airporter. In a bit of irony, the owner of CWA was actually one of the Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter’s earliest critics, but it would seem that mindset has changed in the last couple years. CWA already has some experience in the intercity transit market, with their popular Airpoter Shuttle service as well as operating contracts for the Grape Line and Gold Line bus routes.

With the alternative being the complete elimination of the service, this proposal seems to be the best option for the continuation of the Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter. I highly recommend that any and all riders that want to make sure this service continues go and attend the public hearing on June 5th to make sure that happens.

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