The Daily Evergreen

Pullman Transit plans route restructuring for fall

Transit to add an additional express route, more service to businesses

Riders should face shorter wait times following the route changes.

Riders should face shorter wait times following the route changes.

Rachel Sun | Daily Evergreen File

Rachel Sun | Daily Evergreen File

Riders should face shorter wait times following the route changes.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen news editor

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The Pullman City Council approved a transit overhaul to take effect in August in an effort to reduce wait times and improve route efficiency.

The council approved the overhaul unanimously at a meeting May 2.

“The next steps will be to implement the changes,”City Supervisor Adam Lincoln said. “The transit department’s pretty good at getting feedback on ridership data and they’ll be able to … see what’s working or what kind of communication needs to happen.”

The changes will take effect August 16, Pullman Transit Operations Supervisor Brad Rader said.

Pullman Transit’s changes will reduce non-express route times from 45 to 35 minutes. The changes will also create new names for some routes and should increase access to areas of town like Bishop Boulevard, he said. The non-express routes, which currently include Blue, Silver and Loop Routes will make a total of 21 loops a day, up from the current total of 16, .

The express routes, which include Crimson and Gray Express, service primarily WSU students living in apartments on the north side of town.

A new express route will be added, although this has not yet been named. This will bring the number of express routes up to three with two buses serving each route, Rader said. Currently, each express route has three buses serving riders. This change comes in an attempt to prevent buses from filling up before all riders can get on.

“One of the biggest problems we have with the express service is students standing at bus stops and watching two, three buses go by because the buses are full,” Rader said.

The routes will now provide service to the apartments located on Merman Drive and Brandi Way, which do not currently have a bus stop on their streets. Buses will now serve residents on Brandi Way every 15 minutes that goes straight to campus, he said. Buses will now go through so-called “apartment land” every five minutes, and all of the express buses will travel the same direction.

Finally, the night routes, which currently include North and South, will be renamed Wheat and Lentil respectively and will be revamped to allow people to better access opposite sides of town and shopping downtown and on Bishop Boulevard.

Although they will be changing what side of the street some stops are on as well as adding stops on Military, Pioneer and Sunnyside Hills, the revamping will not cost Pullman residents at all as the funding for this renovation comes from a Federal Transit Administration, Rader said.

Chris Boyan, WSU Transportation Services assistant director of operations, said Transportation Services fully supports the changes.

“We’re really lucky here in the WSU community because we have a top-notch transit system that has been successful in obtaining funding,” Boyan said.

Lincoln also expressed his approval of the overhaul.

“I’m really encouraged,” he said. “They took a really good look at who’s riding, and obviously that’s a lot of WSU students.”

He also likes the increased access that the renovations provide.

“For me personally, one of the best outcomes of this is that there’s going to be more access for ridership to and from downtown,” Lincoln said. “That’s going to be significant because we’re adding so many new residents downtown now.”

About the Writer
IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

Ian Smay is a senior journalism & media production major, with an emphasis in broadcast news, from Dayton, Washington. He is also minoring in criminal justice, and served as the crime & courts beat reporter from Aug. 2017 – May 2018. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Pullman Transit plans route restructuring for fall