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Bus rides encouraged on June 19

Mark the calendar and grab a bus schedule because it’s time to dump the pump.

As part of a coordinated national movement, the Clallam Transit System announced it will be participating in the third annual Dump the Pump Day on June 19, sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association.

The day is highlighted to encourage people to ride public transportation and help them realize how they can make a difference in their own lives and on the planet.

New studies indicate public transportation reduces U.S. carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually, enough to power 4.9 million households. Also, the cost for an individual to ride public transportation is far less than for that person to drive.

The national Dump the Pump Day characterizes the present level of greenhouse gas reduction and customer savings while putting across a message for ongoing use past the single day event — increased use of public transportation boosts savings, both environmentally and economically.

“By participating in the third annual national Dump the Pump Day, we hope people who have never used Clallam Transit System services will decide to give us a try instead of driving their car,” said transit system general manager Terry Weed. “Using public transportation is the quickest way to beat high fuel prices (and) public transportation also has an important role to play in helping to reduce greenhouse gases.”

National statistics indicate an average household with two workers owning a single vehicle and using public transportation saves $6,200 a year, compared to those with no access to public transportation, according to the transit system.

A car ride from Sequim to Port Angeles takes an average of 30 minutes. A ride on a Clallam Transit bus takes about five minutes longer.

The cost to drive from Sequim to Port Angeles in a vehicle that gets 30 miles to the gallon is a little more than $2. The cost to ride public transit is $1.

Clallam Transit has two schedules, one for weekdays and one for Saturday. The system is closed on Sundays. To look over a transit route map and schedule, visit www.clallamtransit.com or pick up a hard copy on any bus, at visitors centers and at government buildings, such as Sequim City Hall or the Clallam County Courthouse.

Bus routes don’t work for you?

Clallam Transit is in the middle of planning for a future expansion. The six-year comprehensive plan calls for 10-percent growth in services through 2009.

While the transit system has future capital purchases in mind, such as new buses and equipment, planners are asking the public for input on how services should be enhanced.

“We’re collecting data right now from people who ride the bus or from people who don’t ride because they need service expanded to their area,” Weed said.

“We are accepting online surveys, surveys done on buses, phone calls, e-mails and written letters from people suggesting how our transit system can better serve them.”

Transit system planners will take expansion ideas and relay them to the community during a series of public forums later this summer.

Weed said he hopes to have a finalized plan in front of the transit board by the end of 2008 in order to institute some of the recommendations in 2009.

“What we can afford to do will be dictated by sales tax revenue,” Weed said. “But given growth in the area, there is a safe assumption improvements will be made.”

To send the transit system ideas regarding a potential service expansion, visit www.clallamtransit.com and fill out the survey, call 452-1315 or write to the Clallam Transit System, Comprehensive Transportation Plan, 830 W. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles, WA 98363.



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