October 2, 2023
Agency Spotlight: Kitsap Transit
By Christian Vosler. Kitsasp Transit Public Information Coordinator
In April 1983, Kitsap Transit put its first buses on the road. Four decades later, our transit agency encompasses most of Kitsap County and even stretches across Puget Sound to Seattle.
While many riders probably know us from our fast ferries, Kitsap Transit operates a diverse range of transit services. Our Routed buses serve the urban area of Bremerton and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard – one of the four major U.S. Navy shipyards and the chief economic
engine in Kitsap County – as well as the communities of Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Silverdale, and Bainbridge Island.
Our Worker/Driver program allows shipyard employees to drive themselves and their coworkers to and from work in a KT-provided bus. We also operate ACCESS paratransit service, Vanpool and VanLink programs, and On-Demand buses in Kingston, South Kitsap, and Bainbridge Island.
Due to our unique geographical location – a peninsula surrounded and broken up by water – ferries have always been a key part of Kitsap County’s transportation network. Our local foot ferries take riders from Port Orchard to Bremerton daily, while our high-speed, passenger-only fast ferries transport passengers from Bremerton, Kingston and Southworth to downtown Seattle.
At the end of 2022, to help support Washington State Ferries’ system, Kitsap Transit expanded service on our Bremerton fast ferry route. Our ferry system recorded record ridership numbers three months in a row this summer.
Like many transit agencies in the area, KT is working to reduce our carbon footprint. Battery-electric buses are rolling off the line and into our fleet – we hope to have 30 in operation by the end of 2024. We’re also researching hydrogen-fuel cell technology, designing a fully electric foot ferry, and exploring the feasibility of an all-electric fast ferry.
Finally, this year, as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary, Kitsap Transit is also proud to reintroduce bus service on Sundays, which was suspended in 2009 during the Great Recession. The first phase of Sunday service began on Sept. 24 in Bremerton. We plan to expand to the rest of the county in the coming months.
If you find yourself in the West Sound, check us out! Plan your trip at https://www.kitsaptransit.com.