More rides coming from BFT

More rides coming from BFT
TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Ben-Franklin Transit is looking to bring back Sunday service. Riders may be able to take the bus into the wee hours of the morning.

Andrew Delabate is one of many customers who'd like more from Ben-Franklin Transit. He takes his bike, where the bus won't take him. That can mean a dangerous ride.

He said "No matter what safety gear you put on sometimes, somebody, they just don't see you at night, not matter what."

Andrew's schedule doesn't always match up with the bus. Often working late at night, he has to ride seven-miles to get home. Double that on the weekends if the bus isn't running.

BFT may help people like Andrew out. The system is looking to extend night service until 2 a.m., Monday through Saturday. In addition, Sunday trips could come back on the schedule. Those would be the same curb-to-curb rides that are offered on weeknights, $3 a ride each way.

A meeting at the end of the month will help the board decide on the changes.

If you can't make it to the meeting, BFT still wants to hear from you. You can jump on their website, under the contact tab, fill out the form and include the comments you'd like for them to consider.

If you don't have a computer, they've set up a special hot line just for you. You can call, (509)734-5201. Leave a voice mail with the feedback you'd like the board to consider during the meeting.

These are the first steps towards growing the transit system. Commuter demand is up 70 percent. Administrators are working to revamp and add routes. They are developing long term plans to react to growth quickly.

Kathy McMullen with BFT said, "if the funding maintains or rises we'll know what to do."

For riders like Andrew, more service and later hours means a better commute.

"I get home in about 30-minutes, the sun is still out, I could go for that," he said.

Improving the quality of life, seven days a week.

The board will make a final decision on the changes next month. If they're approved, the new schedule will go into effect October 1st.