New, redesigned bus routes come to South End

More runs, a newly designed route for businesses and doctors’ offices and improved connections to the ferries are among new changes coming Island Transit.

To help riders navigate the improvements, Island Transit is offering a free mobile application that will allow people to get real-time or scheduled arrival times.

In addition, the agency has a new system for tracking ridership. Each driver will have an easy-to-use tablet computer with GPS at his or her fingertips, according to Nicholas Pinch, operations manager.

The new bus schedules are also available and the agency’s website offers schedules, as well as in-depth explanations of the route changes.

“If you are a current rider, we are looking forward to improving your experience,” Executive Director Mike Nortier said in a press release. “If you don’t currently ride the bus, come give us a try and let us do the driving for you.”

The service improvements were made after gathering public input at meetings, holding discussions with other agencies and completing an in-depth analysis of the routes, which is a very complicated undertaking. Pinch, indicated that the improved service at the ferry docks should be popular with commuters and out-of-towners alike.

“That’s been demanded by the tourists,” he said. “Many of them walk on the ferry and need buses to take them into Langley, Freeland and all the way to Deception Pass.”

Island Transit officials are still hoping to bring back Saturday service, which was cut during a financial emergency in 2014. But it will likely have to wait until next year, according to Nortier.

Nortier laid out the focus of the changes in a press release:

• Added service to Oak Harbor Route 10 and a newly designed Route 3 that provides access to businesses and medical facilities;

• Greater access to Skagit Valley College and Oak Harbor Library;

• Increased connections to the Coupeville Ferry (increased to 17 connections from the current five);

• Increased connections to the Clinton Ferry (increased to 28 connections from the current 20);

• Improved connections with Skagit Transit at March’s Point;

• Three new or redesigned South Whidbey Routes – 56, 57, and 58 — that increase connectivity between Freeland, Langley, Scatchet Head, Ken’s Korner and the Clinton Ferry;

• Improved travel times;

• Extended service hours for select routes, and;

• Streamlined services from Oak Harbor to the Clinton Ferry.

The new routes go into effect Monday, July 3.

More in News

Icy roads lead to six crashes on Thursday

It was an unlucky day for South Whidbey drivers on Thursday morning… Continue reading

Critics reignite issues with The Machine Shop in Langley

Patience is wearing thin among some of The Machine Shop’s critics. Three… Continue reading

New Island County contract brings more WSU programs

As of March 1, Washington State University Extension, Island County will serve… Continue reading

Man who burned down two homes pleads guilty to lesser charge

A man who started a fire that burned down two homes on… Continue reading

Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
                                Deputy Marshal Leif Haugen reads to second grader Colby Terry in the library of Coupeville Elementary School. Haugen is part of the recently launched “Bigs with Badges” program at Big Brother Big Sisters that pairs children in the community with law enforcement officers.
Bigs with Badges: Connecting with kids

On a typical Tuesday afternoon, students and staff at Coupeville Elementary School… Continue reading

Historical society to lead presentation about Gabelein family history

Pick up a local phone book. Thumb to the page with the… Continue reading

Van driver accused of ramming pickup truck

The driver of a van is accused of chasing down a car… Continue reading

South End getting first drug treatment center

Freeland will soon be home to the first medicaid-funded substance use disorder… Continue reading

Langley man airlifted after rollover crash

A Langley resident was airlifted for treatment after rolling his 1995 Ford… Continue reading

Most Read