Epic Transit Journey – The Columbia Basin to the Yakima Valley to the Kittitas Valley

(If you’re new to the blog, I recommend reading my post on the last Epic Transit Journey I took.)

Earlier this week, I shared the news about a brand new bus route linking the cities of Yakima and Ellensburg (click the link to see the schedule and map at the end of the post). Since its way more fun to actually ride the bus and see it in person instead of just writing about it, I decided I would go ride it. But to make it more interesting, I decided that I would ride the bus to the bus. (Get it?) The following is a recap of everything that happened, along some photos I took along the way.

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Route 11: Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter

On Monday, 11/28/11, a new bus route will start running. And this is a pretty big bus route. For the first time, the cities of Yakima and Ellensburg will be linked together by fixed-route transit service.

For several years (maybe even longer), there have been multiple proposals to link these two cities via transit. As it stands currently, the only non-car options are Greyhound (2 trips each way per day, costs $11-18 each way) and Bellair Charter’s “Airporter Shuttle” (5 trips each way per day, costs $10 each way). A non-profit organization based in Ellensburg, HopeSource, also has a demand-response/scheduled transit service that includes a trip to and from Yakima each Tuesday. If I recall correctly, fares weren’t collected on this service, though there was a “suggested donation.” However, for the most part, all these services are largely inconvenient for those needing to travel between the two cities. Greyhound is especially inconvenient, as it stops at a truck stop on the edge of town.

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