Fresh Off Making Transit Fare-Free, Intercity Transit Will Launch New Bus Route in Lacey

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Intercity Transit will introduce universal fare-free transit in the new year, but it is also hoping to create a new bus route. The transit agency is proposing a new route to service the northeastern part of Lacey. Four separate alternatives are being considered for New Route 65 between the Hawks Prairie area and central Lacey. The new route would launch in March 2020. The transit agency is also proposing adjustments to Route 68.

The four alternatives under consideration are as follows:

  • Alternative A would run the Hawks Prairie tail loop via 31st Ave NE in the outbound direction and on 15th Ave NE and Draham St NE inbound and outbound;
  • Alternative B would run the Hawks Prairie tail loop via Willamette Dr NE in the outbound direction and on 15th Ave NE and Draham St NE inbound and outbound;
  • Alternative C would run the Hawks Prairie tail loop via 31st Ave NE in the outbound direction and on Martin Way E and Carpenter Rd NE inbound and outbound;
  • Alternative D would run the Hawks Prairie tail loop via Willamette Dr NE in the outbound direction and on Martin Way E and Carpenter Rd NE inbound and outbound.
Map of the alternative A alignment for New Route 65. (Intercity Transit)
Map of the alternative A alignment for New Route 65. (Intercity Transit)
Map of the alternative B alignment for New Route 65. (Intercity Transit)
Map of the alternative B alignment for New Route 65. (Intercity Transit)
Map of the alternative C alignment for New Route 65. (Intercity Transit)
Map of the alternative C alignment for New Route 65. (Intercity Transit)
Map of the alternative D alignment for New Route 65. (Intercity Transit)
Map of the alternative D alignment for New Route 65. (Intercity Transit)

The new route is tentatively planned to come with weekday and weekend service operating on a half-hourly frequency. About 30 trips per direction per day are planned to enable that frequency, but the time period may be flexible. Intercity Transit is currently seeking feedback on the proposal from riders to gauge priorities. “One of our goals with this outreach is to hear from potential riders about the route options under final consideration,” said Rob LaFontaine, Planning Manager for Intercity Transit, in a statement. “We want to hear from the public on the route concepts intended to connect riders to existing high frequency service along the Martin Way corridor, as well as the existing service provided by Route 62A.”

For Route 68, Intercity Transit is proposing a small adjustment to the tail loop in central Lacey. Service would be removed from Golf Club Rd SE and instead be extended onto Pacific Ave SE and Slatter Kinney Rd SE, and reach the transit center via 7th Ave SE.

The proposed alignment adjustment for Route 68 in reaching the Lacey Transit Center. (Intercity Transit)
The proposed alignment adjustment for Route 68 in reaching the Lacey Transit Center. (Intercity Transit)

In January, Intercity Transit will make a big splash as it becomes one of the few fare-free transit agencies in North America. The agency board opted to implement the change earlier this month as part of a cost-savings (upgrading fare collection equipment is expensive) and equitable access measure.

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. Stephen lives in Kenmore and primarily covers land use and transportation issues for The Urbanist.