WTA route changes at the forefront of May 31 public hearing

By Stefanie Donahue

A new bus route and other minor service tweaks were the focus of a public hearing hosted by the Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) on May 31.

In March, the organization rolled out a slew of new bus schedules and routes and has since released a proposal to increase service to Nooksack, Everson, Lynden, Birch Bay Square and Ferndale under the name route 65. Leading up to the hearing, WTA also released a series of minor changes suggested for a number of routes throughout the county.

Route 65 would operate Monday through Friday and was proposed in conjunction with a two-year pilot project that’s sponsored by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Currently, access to communities in north Whatcom County requires a transfer in Bellingham.

Aside from the service addition, WTA is also proposing changes to route 11 to Western Washington University, route 190 to downtown Bellingham, route 15 to Cordata, route 24 to Cordata and route 48 to Cordata/Whatcom Community College. Close to home, representatives with WTA also want to adjust the current route 75 Birch Bay/Blaine schedule to ensure it matches the published version.

In addition to the proposed route 65 addition, WTA is also considering a new route to connect the Lincoln Creek Park and Ride to Bellingham’s York neighborhood and Western Washington University.

The WTA held an earlier public meeting on the suggested changes on May 25 at the Lynden Library. The hearing on May 31 took place at the Bellingham Public Library central branch, located at 210 Central Avenue.

According to community relations and marketing manager Maureen McCarthy, changes would go into effect September 2017.

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