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2023 Annual Service Plan

Since implementation of the 2017 Comprehensive Service Plan (CSP), Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) has been making incremental changes to its fixed route network with the goal of providing faster, more frequent, and more reliable service. The 2023 ASP consists of modest service change recommendations that will result in improved fixed route service on Saturdays and Sundays while increasing efficiencies to the high-frequency METRO routes during off-peak hours. Changes to CONNECT and General Demand services that will encourage higher usage of our fixed route system are also being recommended. BFT will complete a comprehensive study of the existing fare structure for all modes of service by the end of 2022. Fare change recommendations will be brought to the Board of Directors in 2023. Recommended service changes will be implemented in June 2023.

Get Involved:

BFT encourages the public to participate and provide feedback on the proposed service changes planned for 2023 during the public comment period ending December 8, 2022:

 

  • Open House with LIVE Q&A*

October 24, 2022 | 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Downtown Pasco Mid-Columbia Library | 1320 W. Hopkins St. | Pasco

                Zoom Link

 

  • Open House with LIVE Q&A*

November 1, 2022 | 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Kennewick Union Mid-Columbia Library | 1620 S. Union St. | Kennewick

                Zoom Link

 

  • Final Public Hearing at BFT Board of Directors Meeting*

December 8, 2022 | 6 p.m.

                Zoom Link | Phone: 253.215.8782/Toll Free: 877.853.5247 | Meeting ID: 989 6217 8731/Password: 833979

 

 

*Spanish translation services will be available

Recommended Fixed Route Service Changes:

  • METRO Route 1
    • Minor route alignment + consolidate bus stops + minor schedule adjustment to improve efficiency and connections
    • Reduce frequency from 15 to 30 minutes Monday – Saturday, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Metro_1

 

  • METRO Route 3
    • Consolidate bus stops + minor schedule adjustment to improve efficiency and connections
    • Reduce frequency from 15 to 30 minutes Monday – Saturday, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Route 40/Route 42
    • Add 30-minute Sunday service on Route 40 from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., replacing discontinued Sunday service on Route 42
  • Route 47
    • Add 30-minute Sunday service on Route 47 from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Route 48
    • Increase frequency from 60 to 30 minutes on Saturdays
  • Route 268
    • Add 30-minute Saturday service from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Other Fixed Route Changes:

  • Conduct feasibility study for future Hanford and Energy Northwest service
  • Potential Hanford commuter pilot project based on study results
  • Address Seasonal Service Policy and feasibility of providing free fare for special events
  • Minor schedule adjustments to other routes and add, modify, or eliminate overload and tripper services based on needs or demand
  • Reassess tripper/overload service serving schools within our service area
  • Work towards the removal of all “Flag Stops” in the fixed route system

Recommended CONNECT Service Changes:

  • Remove all “essential service” points-of-interest that were added in response to FTA mandated COVID capacity requirements on the fixed route system
  • Redefine zones to further encourage the use of the fixed route system
  • Adjust connection points (pre-defined CONNECT stops) to reduce instances of fixed route system bypass

Recommended ADA/Dial-A-Ride Service Changes:

  • Dial-A-Ride service will be limited to trips entirely within the PTBA. BFT will examine new fare and service structures for Dial-A-Ride trip beyond the boundaries of the PTBA as part of the ongoing Fare Study.

Recommended General Demand Service Changes:

The need for General Demand service remains strong and will continue to be available in Benton City and Prosser for the foreseeable future. Due to very low ridership and the expanded availability of CONNECT on-demand service, General Demand will be phased out within the Tri-Cities by January of 2023.

This phase-out of General Demand includes the cities of:

  • Kennewick
  • Pasco
  • Richland
  • West Richland
  • Finley

 

Looking Ahead: Upcoming Passenger Facilities (2024-2025)

Queensgate Transit Hub

The Queensgate Transit Hub, located on Windmill Rd (Richland) off Interstate 182 will enhance connectivity between Kennewick, West Richland, Downtown Richland and Prosser/Benton City. This facility will also enable future high-frequency service between Richland, the Queensgate area and Kennewick. The Queensgate facility is expected to be operational in Spring of 2024. The Queensgate Transit Hub project is currently in the pre-construction phase. Construction is expected to start in Q2 2023.

Downtown Pasco Transit Hub

BFT has purchased property for the construction of a Downtown Pasco transit hub. This facility will allow expanded service to East Pasco and provide an easily accessible transportation hub within walking distance of Downtown Pasco. Design efforts will continue in 2023 and construction is expected to begin in 2024.

West Pasco Transit Hub

BFT is in the early stages of developing a transit center in the Broadmoor area of West Pasco. This facility will serve as a transfer point between Pasco local routes and the future Metro Route 2 (Current 225). This facility is expected to be operational in late 2024 or early 2025.

 

The 2023 Annual Service Plan in its entirety is available at bft.org/about/annual-service-plan/.

 

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Service Changes Effective August 29, 2022

2022 Annual Service Plan

Each year the Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) Board of Directors adopts an Annual Service Plan to better align service planning and delivery. The 2022 Annual Service Plan (ASP) focuses primarily on service efficiency, effectiveness and reliability. 

We make service changes annually to reflect changes in demand and increase efficiency to help our riders get to their destinations.

Route 110 - Removing service to Columbia Center Mall 

Route 110 will no longer provide service into the Columbia Center Mall parking lot. Riders can still access the Columbia Center Mall parking lot with Route 123

 

Route 64 - Extension Delay

Due to a delay in the construction of Amazon's new warehouses, the Route 64 extension through East Pasco is delayed until further notice. We will provide updates as they become available.

 

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Service Changes Effective June 19, 2022

Route 66 - Elimination

As part of planned service enhancements to Route 67, Route 66 is eliminated due to low ridership and availability of nearby alternatives. Resources will be reallocated to provide enhanced service every 30 minutes on Route 67.

BFT will still get you where you need to go!

  • Take Route 67 to 22nd Ave. Transit Center and transfer to Route 268.

  • Ride BFT CONNECT for direct service to Road 68/100 commercial areas and 22nd Ave. Transit Center to connect to the bus system. Click here to view the CONNECT West Pasco Zone map.
  • Download the Transit app to plan your trip.
  • Call Customer Service at 509.735.5100 and we'll help plan your new route!

66-67

Route 67 

  • Service frequency increases from 60 minutes to 30 minutes for improved connections between 22nd Ave. Transit Center, Court St., Rd. 68 and Sandifur Parkway.
  • Route extended south along Broadmoor Blvd. crossing Interstate 182 and making a one-way clockwise loop along Saint Thomas Dr., Saint Francis Ln., and Chapel Hill Blvd.
  • Additional stop at St. Thomas Dr. by TC Prep. 

67

Route 123 

  • Minor realignment along Keene and Gage Blvd., removing service on Kapalua Ave. to improve travel times and performance on the Southbound 123.
  • One new Southbound stop will be added on Keene Rd. between Elementary St. and Gage Blvd.
  • Two Southbound stops will be removed on Gage Blvd.: RC279 & RC280.

Minor Schedule Changes

Several schedules will be changing. Be sure to check your route schedule to see if it has changed.