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Kitsap Transit to restore service to before I-695 levels

Kitsap Transit will take another step toward restoring bus services to 1999 and pre -Initiative 695 levels on Sunday, June 16.

For the third time since last May, the agency plans to revive service that was rolled back systemwide by 25 percent three years ago, following overwhelming approval among Kitsap and state voters of Initiative 695.

I-695 repealed the value-based license tab tax on vehicles and cut $10 million annually from Transit’s operating budget.

Kitsap County Commissioner Jan Angel said she’s glad more service will be restored to commuters.

“We were just talking about how hard it is for people to get around in our area,” said Angel of a public forum. “The service needs to be restored and the Sunday runs are very important. I know of different churches that have tried to get vans to pick up people for services.”

Last May, Kitsap voters approved a three-tenths of 1 percent sales tax increase, which is expected to raise nearly $8 million this year in additional sales tax revenue — not quite replacing all that was lost.

By the end of last summer, the fares, which were raised in response to revenue losses after 1999, were dropped back to 1999 levels and more services restored.

Beginning Sunday, June 16, Kitsap Transit will launch additional service restorations throughout all of Kitsap County and bring some Sunday services back.

Also effective by Sunday, new midday bus services will be launched on Bainbridge Island and a Sunday-only run will operate between Port Orchard and Bremerton, in the absence of ferry service across Sinclair Inlet on that day.

For more information about the service changes, call the customer service information line at 1-800-RIDE or visit the agency’s web site at www.kitsaptransit.org to view the revised route schedules.

Following is a basic breakdown of the changes that affect the Central Kitsap Bremerton area:

Service Restoration

• Sunday service all over Kitsap County is to be restored as well, including the No. 32 Poulsbo-Silverdale, the No. 34 Bangor Shuttle, the No. 35 Old Town Shuttle, the No. 36 Ridgetop Shuttle, the No. 42 Front Street and the No. 90 Poulsbo-Bainbridge routes.

New Service

• A new Sunday-only service will start Sunday and will run between Port Orchard and Bremerton. The No. 9 Sinclair Inlet Express will operate hourly from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., only on Sundays.

• One weekday morning trip is to be added to the No. 14 West Dyes Inlet Limited route. The No. 14 bus will leave the Bremerton Transportation Center at 6:30 a.m., weekdays.

Additional Service Changes

• In central Kitsap, changes are scheduled for the No. 11 Crosstown Limited, the No. 12 Silverdale West and the No. 14 West Dyes Inlet Limited buses in Bremerton. Changes include new names as listed for the No. 11 and No. 14 routes.

• In North Kitsap, individual trips will be revised on the No. 33 Silverdale-Bainbridge and the No. 90 Poulsbo-Bainbridge routes.

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