FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2022
Marie Cummins |MCummins@bft.org | 509.318.3164
Ben Franklin Transit Prepares For ‘Move Ahead Washington’ Transit Package
Washington State legislators recently approved the new “Move Ahead Washington” transportation package – a $17 billion, 16-year transportation package with $3 billion designated for public transit. Governor Inslee is expected to sign the funding package on March 25.
In order to be eligible for maximum funding, the bill requires Ben Franklin Transit to adopt a fare-free policy for youth 18 years and under and submit documentation of the policy by October 1, 2022. BFT will also be required to maintain their local sales tax authority as of January 1, 2022.
This funding would enable the agency to increase pedestrian accessibility to bus stops and move forward with the plans of developing three new transit hubs in Benton City, Prosser, and Southridge (Kennewick). Furthermore, such funding could enable the agency to improve bus frequency on many popular routes. “BFT is all about helping to move people. If we can reduce the amount of time riders spend on layovers and transfers, public transit becomes an even better option for our community,” states Interim General Manager, Ed Frost.
About Ben Franklin Transit:
Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) is the public transportation system for the Tri-Cities area of Benton and Franklin Counties in southeastern Washington State. BFT’s Public Transportation Benefit Area is 616-square miles and serves the cities of Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, West Richland, Benton City, Prosser, and Finley. Our guiding purpose is to provide safe, reliable, affordable transportation to the community in support of personal mobility, economic diversity, and growth.
In 2022, Ben Franklin Transit celebrates 40 years of providing essential transportation services to this community. Since its inaugural trip in May of 1982, BFT has grown from 45 to over 382 vehicles including buses, Dial-A-Ride, Vanpool, and CONNECT. The agency now services around one thousand bus stops and has grown from less than 60 to over 425 employees.
# # #