Clallam Transit’s Strait Shot bus to Bainbridge Island had record-high ridership over Thanksgiving weekend, prompting the agency to expand the direct service on four upcoming holidays.
The No. 123 Strait Shot broke single-trip and daily ridership records Friday, Nov. 24, Operations and Planning Manager Steve Hopkins said.
There were 37 passengers on the 7:25 a.m. departure from downtown Port Angeles and 74 riding to and from the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal throughout the day.
“It was great to see a full bus one day,” Hopkins said in early December.
During six service days in late November — Monday through Sunday excluding Thanksgiving — 290 passengers used the Strait Shot.
Clallam Transit debuted the out-of-boundary service in June.
Because of the high interest and success of last week’s runs, Clallam Transit will offer The Strait Shot service on a Sunday/holiday schedule Dec. 24, Dec. 25, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.
There will be no other fixed route or Clallam Connect bus service operating on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The Clallam Transit administrative office will be closed on those days.
The Sunday/holiday schedule means The Strait Shot will depart from The Gateway Transit Center at 3:15 p.m. and Sequim Transit Center at 3:50 p.m. to arrive at the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal at 5:15 p.m.
Return trips will leave the ferry terminal at 6:15 p.m. and arrive in Port Angeles by 8:10 p.m.
“This schedule is particularly attractive this year because of the three-day weekends created by this year’s holidays,” Hopkins said in a news release.
“By offering afternoon trips on the Monday holidays, Clallam County’s residents and visitors can return from the long weekends without the stresses of driving or ferry lines.
“Also, New Year’s Eve revelers can reach their destinations with plenty of time to relax before the fireworks displays in Seattle and Port Angeles,” Hopkins added.
“The return the following afternoon makes an overnight excursion both convenient and inexpensive.”
The cost to make the 75-mile, one-way trip is $10 for adults or $5 for youth, Clallam Transit pass holders and anyone with a valid Regional Reduced Fare Permit card.
Fares can be paid at the bus or on Clallam Transit’s new mobile app at www.tokentransit.com. There are no reservations for The Strait Shot.
Passengers can plan their trips at www.clallamtransit.com or by calling 360-452-4511.
Rob Ollikainen is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.