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Kitsap Transit seeking input
"Now that Proposition 1 is safely certified, Kitsap Transit officials are ready to get the ball rolling on service improvements and fare reductions.Kitsap Transit is holding a public meeting today from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Givens Community Center in Port Orchard to gather public opinion on the direction the transit agency should go. There will be a final public hearing at 4 p.m. June 28 at the Kitsap County Courthouse commissioners' chambers.County voters narrowly passed the proposition to levy a three-tenths of 1 percent sales tax to off-set Kitsap Transit's operating budget losses following Initiative 695. However, now that Proposition 1 has been certified by the Kitsap County Auditor's Office following a slim 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent passage, staff at the transit agency are ready to get public input into what services to bring back and how to best use the money. The intent of the meeting is to get thoughts on the proposed fare system, said John Clauson, Kitsap Transit's service development director, though he added transit officials will also hear comments on service improvements.So far, Kitsap Transit staff are recommending reducing the current fare from $2 to $1 for regular routed and Access service. Monthly passes are proposed to drop from $40 to $25 for regular routed service and from $20 to $10 for Access service. The $5 day pass cost for both regular and Access service would be eliminated.Routed and Access service transfers, currently good for one hour and valid only at transfer centers, are suggested to become good for two hours, valid anywhere.Pre-paid, 40-ride, one-way punch tickets are proposed to drop from $50 to $30. Sidebar:Harper park and ride expansion conditional use permit open for commentBy ERICA JAHNAlso up for discussion, but unrelated to Kitsap Transit services being restored following Proposition 1, is a conditional use permit application submitted for expansion of the Harper park and ride lot. Kitsap Transit received federal grant money to fund the project.The park and ride lot is currently a two-acre, 125-space lot adjacent to the Harper Evangelical Free Church on Sedgwick Road. Kitsap Transit requested the expansion because the 125-space lot isn't big enough for the number of commuters who want to park there every day.Transit officials are proposing an expansion of the park and ride lot by adding a 2.12-acre parcel to the west and a 2.28-acre parcel to the south, which would provide an additional 300 parking spaces as well as new stormwater detention facilities, landscape buffers, interior parking lot landscaping, lighting, sidewalks and a new bus shelter.John Clauson, service development director for Kitsap Transit, said transit officials have worked closely with neighbors living near the park and ride, some of whom have complained of headlight nuisances, traffic and illegal parking. We had a couple of open houses, he said. We want to get concerns identified and addressed.Requests for reconsideration of the Hearing Examiner's decision must be submitted in writing to the Department of Community Development by June 12, along with a $50 fee. An objection to the decision must be filed in writing by June 19, along with a $125 fee. "