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Kitsap Transit hosts meetings on more service reductions

Kitsap Transit has scheduled several public meetings over the next two weeks to present its plan for further service reductions and collect input from passengers.

Two meetings are scheduled in the South Kitsap area. The first will be held at Givens Community Center on Sept. 9 at 2 p.m., the second will be at the Harper Church on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.

The proposed cuts discussed at these meetings include “restructuring” bus service in South Kitsap, cutting the hours of bus service on Saturdays, reducing ACCESS service in “outlying areas” and eliminating routes or trips with low-ridership.

At the last meeting of the Kitsap Transit Board of Commissioners Aug. 18, Rita DiIenno, a former Port Orchard City Councilwoman who is a retired bus driver, said the proposed changes to some routes were drastic and needed to be thoroughly explained.

“Port Orchard is the biggest concern for me,” DiIenno said. “This is a whole new style of transit service that has not been discussed with the public. People are asking, ‘What does that mean? Where will (the buses) run?’”

DiIenno was referring to one of the service reduction recommendations that included running more frequent services on a “spine that will serve high density areas.”

In the Port Orchard area, this recommendation involves “restructuring” five routes — 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 — into only three routes. Also, Route 23 would be eliminated, and “replaced with feeder service to a spine as new plan is developed.”

Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola said he was concerned about any cuts to ACCESS service.

“ACCESS is a lifeline to many people,” Coppola said. “I think it should be the last thing to be cut, and the first thing to be restored.”

Other meetings are planned in other areas, including in downtown Bremerton at the Harborside Building on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m., and again on Sept. 11 at 2 p.m.

If You Go

What: Meetings to present Kitsap Transit service cuts

1. Port Orchard

Where: Givens Community Center, 1026 Sidney Avenue

When: Sept. 9, 2 p.m.

2. Harper

Where: Harper Church, Sedgwick and Wilson Creek roads

When: Sept. 11, 2 p.m.

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