Q: Tell us about your difficulties reaching places due to a lack of public transportation:
Transit Schedules (86 comments)
1. Scheduling issues. Figuring out how to read schedules, buses arriving too late or early, schedules that don’t work with their employment hours, etc.
“Nighttime service very limited. No Sunday service. If miss the bus to Chelan, have to wait sometimes 1-2 hours”
2. Weekend and early morning/ evening services to access school, employment, attend church and social events on the weekends
“The weekends are quite stressful because the bus passes every hour and ends service too early. Even in day to day things it’s difficult to run errands because the bus stops working very early, I would get out of school at 9pm and have to walk 40 minutes home because there was no transportation. Having no transportation on Sundays makes it difficult because I can’t go to the supermarket or anywhere else that I need to go”
3. Service frequency.
“It would be nice to have buses that pick up every 15 minutes. Sometimes the hour in need to my appointments cause me very early to appointments or I get to my appointments late. The drivers are GREAT!”
Access to Transit (25 comments)
There were two major themes identified reviewing the comments:
1. Disability, health issues and aging limit the ability of some transit users to access transit. Walking to the bus stop and/or their destinations can be challenging. Comments also referenced LinkPlus and difficulties getting to destinations outside of the service area.
“Walking to the bus stop. I have some neurological issues and walking is difficult. The stop is ¼ mile away. Not bad, but it is an issue”
2. There are some areas, even within our cities, that are not well served by transit. The first mile (getting to a bus stop from your home) and the last mile (getting to your medical appointment, work, services) was cited as a difficulty for public transit users.
Bicycle rack capacity was also identified as a barrier.
Specific destinations listed: Lowes (Wenatchee), Walla Walla Park (Wenatchee), Haven of Hope (social service in Wenatchee), Fancher Heights, Public school (LBHS & MVE) in Winthrop, Town Toyota Center
Limited or no services in rural areas (13 comments)
Comments reflected a lack of any services in rural areas, or limited services with high costs.
Specific destinations identified:
· Brewster to Wenatchee
· Omak to Colfax
· Twisp to Chelan
· Okanogan county
· Outside of the Link service area
· Coulee City and cities
· Moses Lake production facilities
· Outside city limits
Medical Transportation (11 comments)
Comments reflected issues scheduling appointments and coordinating their appointments with Medicaid Brokers (People for People) or regular fixed route transit routes.
“I have to plan my medical and dental appointments and they all depend on the public transportation (cannot be too early or late in the day)”
Specific Destinations identified:
· Chelan to Central Washington Hospital
· Getting to Wenatchee
· Omak to Wenatchee
Cost of Transit (7 comments)
The comments identified two issues with the cost of public transit in the region:
1. There are challenges to having exact change or for people experiencing financial challenges, having any fare money available to pay for local buses.
“The trolly's (free buses) only go so far. There are a lot of places that we can't get without having $”
2. Rural areas may only have access to transit through intercity bus routes. Fares are not insignificant.
“There is no transportation available from Wenatchee to Pateros or from Manson to Pateros. The only bus that is available is trans world [Trailways] and that only comes once a day at 1:30 PM and cost $23.00 one way”
Transit Amenities and Safety (5 comments)
The comments about transit amenities are not exactly barriers, but could be used to improve the quality and/or the perception of public transit in the region.
· Bathroom onboard
· Clean; buses that smell good
· Wi-Fi on buses
· Allow dogs
· Security to deal with rider behavior
“…Hard to get work done with out wifi. Make this available to riders, many don't have internet services at home this would be a great way to promote ridership”.
Vehicle Design (4 comments)
Getting on and off buses can be challenging for disabled or senior transit users due to the stairs.
There were also comments about intercity bus routes not being accessible for oversized wheelchairs and also not having room for bags and crates.