Grays Harbor Transit will continue to collect rider input into expanded express service to Olympia until mid-February, a consultant said.
GHT has surveys online it hopes riders will fill out about a route between Aberdeen and Olympia with only three or four stops on U.S. Highway 12 or state Route 8. The surveys, which were scheduled to end last month, were continued until mid-February, said Beth Hamby, a senior associate with KFH Group of Seattle. KFH Group is conducting the surveys and managed two meetings last month in Grays Harbor County with interested riders.
GHT envisions a service that doesn’t venture far from the main highway.
“The basic form for this type of expansion would be to have two round-trips in the morning and two round-trips in the afternoon. Express right now goes from Aberdeen to Elma,” GHT General Manager Ken Mehin said. “The stops would be on the side of the highway (at park and ride lots to be built later). They’re going to have one stop basically in every city, one in Montesano, one in McCleary, one in Elma and one in Central Park, maybe.”
To fill out the survey in English, go to surveymonkey.com/r/WYPJ2KS. The survey is available to be taken in Spanish at es.surveymonkey.com/r/LT6Q9YT.
Mehin said he hopes the express service, with park and ride lots to be built along U.S. 12 and Route 8, would trim travel time by 30 to 45 minutes. The service would not be ready for about three years, maybe longer.
“The park and ride lots are going to be secure lots. We’re going to have camera systems there. We’ll probably have bathroom amenities there. It will be a place where people can feel safe to leave their cars,” Mehin added. “It’s something that is going to help riders reduce their travel time and enjoy the ride. If you’re not driving you can do a lot of other things. You can get a lot of time if you leave the driving to us.”
The survey consists of about 20 questions and takes about 10 minutes to fill out.