Kitsap Transit

Kitsap Transit

Kitsap Transit Bus 757 at the Washington State Ferry terminal in Bremerton
Founded 1978
Commenced operation 1983
Headquarters Bremerton, Washington
Locale Kitsap County, Washington
Service type Bus, foot ferry, vanpool, paratransit
Routes 40
Hubs 9
Fleet 120 buses
Fuel type Diesel
Operator Kitsap County Public Transportation Benefit Area Authority

Kitsap Transit is a public transit agency serving Kitsap County, Washington, part of the Seattle metropolitan area. The system is based in Bremerton and operates bus service on 40 fixed routes, a foot ferry, a vanpool system, worker-driver services, and dial-a-ride services.

In 2015, Kitsap Transit carried a total of 3,813,509 passengers across all its services.[1]


Beginning in 1971, the city of Bremerton operated a municipal transit system that had been bought out from a private company.[2]

A countywide public transportation benefit area (PTBA) was formed in 1978 to explore a transit system for Kitsap County as a whole. A 0.2 percent sales tax was put before voters in May of that year for a countywide system, but was rejected.[2] A second attempt was put on the September 27, 1982 ballot, with a 0.3 percent sales tax and a limited PTBA serving Bremerton, Gorst, Port Orchard, Poulsbo and Silverdale. The PTBA was approved by 55.6 percent of voters, and service began in January 1983, taking over the Bremerton municipal system.[3]

In 1992, Kitsap Transit became the first transit agency in the United States to install a traffic signal preemption system for bus priority, beginning with 40 buses and 42 traffic signals in a year-long trial of the "Opticom" system.[4]

Kitsap Transit formed a public-private partnership with Kitsap Ferry Company to operate a passenger ferry service between Bremerton and Seattle in 2004, replacing a former Washington State Ferries passenger run that was suspended the previous year.[5] The service was suspended in 2007, after voters rejected a sales tax increase to fund the ferry's rising fuel costs.[6] Kitsap Transit is looking to revive the service, and will place a 0.3 percent sales tax on the November 2016 ballot to fund fast ferry service.[7]

In 2008, Kitsap Transit purchased Horluck Transportation, the operators of a foot ferry from Bremerton to Port Orchard and Annapolis, for $1.52 million.[8]

During a period of declining sales tax revenue following the Great Recession, Kitsap Transit made major service cuts to make up for a budget shortfall. Sunday and holiday service was discontinued in February 2009, low-performing routes were consolidated or eliminated later that year. Fares were raised twice to $2, and employees were laid off.[9]

In 2015, Kitsap Transit tested a double-decker bus from Alexander Dennis on routes serving ferry runs.[10]


Kitsap Transit oversees the operations of these services:

In addition, Kitsap Transit also connects its routes to Jefferson Transit, Mason Transit Authority, Pierce Transit and the Washington State Ferries terminals in Bremerton, Bainbridge, Kingston and Southworth.

Kitsap Transit also participates in Sound Transit's ORCA Card program.


Kitsap Transit is overseen by a ten-member executive board composed of the three county commissioners, the mayor of Bremerton, a Bremerton City Council member, appointed representatives from the cities of Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Port Orchard, and Poulsbo, an at-large member from the three smaller cities, and a non-voting member representing the agency's labor unions.[11]

Current fleet

As of February 2016[12]:24–33
Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Notes
730–747 2003 Gillig 40' Phantom
  • Does not include 738[12]
750–751 2003 Gillig 35' Low Floor
752–761 2004 Gillig 35' Low Floor
762–766 2005 Gillig 35' Low Floor
770–774 2004 Gillig 40' Low Floor
775–779 2005 Gillig 40' Low Floor
780–787 2016 Gillig 30' Low Floor
  • Began service in August 2016[13]
975–978 2002 ElDorado 24' Aerotech
979–980 2003 ElDorado 26' Aerotech
6000–6027 1994-1997 MCI 102D3
  • Worker/Driver Coaches
7000–7016 2010 Arboc Spirit of Mobility SOM26D
7017–7025 2012 Arboc Spirit of Mobility SOM26D


  1. "Kitsap Transit Quarterly System Report: 4th Quarter, 2015" (PDF). Kitsap Transit. January 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 16, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  2. 1 2 Division of Public Transportation Planning (August 1978). "Local Transit-Statewide". Public Transportation in Washington State, 1978 Summary (PDF) (Report). Washington State Department of Transportation. p. 23. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  3. Public Transportation Office (October 1984). "Local Transit". Public Transportation in Washington State (PDF) (Report). Washington State Department of Transportation. p. 85. OCLC 13007541. Retrieved August 23, 2016 via National Transportation Library.
  4. Whitely, Peyton (July 6, 1992). "Buses in Bremerton get the green light". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  5. Gilmore, Susan (July 31, 2004). "Kitsap Transit chief takes risk with ferries". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  6. Gilmore, Susan (March 9, 2007). "Bremerton passenger ferry run to end March 30". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  7. Garnick, Coral (August 5, 2016). "With a fast ferry on the ballot, commuting from Kitsap County may get easier". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  8. "Kitsap Transit buys Horluck". Port Orchard Independent. June 12, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  9. Friedrich, Ed (July 19, 2009). "Kitsap Transit Is Proposing More Service Cuts Come Fall". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  10. Friedrich, Ed (May 26, 2015). "Kitsap Transit trying out double-decker bus". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  11. "Transit Board". Kitsap Transit. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  12. 1 2 Transit Development Plan, 2016–2021 (PDF) (Report). Kitsap Transit. February 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  13. "First new heavy-duty transit buses in over a decade hit the road" (PDF) (Press release). Kitsap Transit. August 12, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.

External links

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