Pullman declares state of emergency to improve transportation

Additional buses, charters will be utilized to deal with expected crowds

A+Pullman+Transit+bus+stops+on+campus+in+2016.+After+the+City+of+Pullman+declared+a+state+of+emergency+Tuesday+night%2C+Pullman+Transit+will+run+two+charter+buses+starting+at+5+a.m.+Saturday+to+transport+fans+to+and+from+the+WSU+football+game.

A Pullman Transit bus stops on campus in 2016. After the City of Pullman declared a state of emergency Tuesday night, Pullman Transit will run two charter buses starting at 5 a.m. Saturday to transport fans to and from the WSU football game.

RACHEL SUN, Evergreen reporter

The City of Pullman declared a state of emergency Tuesday night in anticipation of College Gameday’s arrival on campus, but city officials have good reason for the declaration, Pullman Transit Manager Wayne Thompson said.

“It sounds worse than it is,” he said. “We had to do that to provide charter bus service. Normally we have to get a request from WSU.”

That request period also takes 72 hours, which is time the city didn’t have to call in backup.

“This was to meet federal law,” Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson said. “[The state of emergency was] in order to meet the demand and take care of park-and-rides.”

The rules also have to do with regulating third-party transportation services, he said.

“It’s a formality we had to go through,” Thompson said. “We realize traffic congestion and bus ridership is going to be heavy.”

Pullman Transit is taking several steps to beef up its travel options for those going to and from the game, he said.

“We are going to double up on our Loop Route,” Thompson said. “Everything but the Blue [Route].”

Two charter buses will run from 5 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Saturday, he said, and after the game more buses will give rides home.

“We’ll keep those buses running, but we’ll add three buses to help the college students that live on the north end of town to get back home,” Thompson said.