KT Sunday bus service will be fare-free through 2024

Those looking forward to the return of Sunday Service for Kitsap Transit’s buses have even more reason to get on the bus with an extended period of free fares.

KT’s board voted Sept. 5 to extend the period of all bus routes being run on Sundays beyond its 30-day preliminary period. Sunday buses will operate fare-free through the end of 2024. Sunday service was halted in 2009. “I think this is a very good idea to jumpstart the service,” Poulsbo Mayor and board chair Becky Erickson said.

KT’s Sunday Service is set to release in three phases, the first of which is the running of Route 217 through East Bremerton between the Silverdale Transit Center and the Bremerton Transportation Center beginning Sept. 24. Port Orchard’s Route 8 and Poulsbo’s Route 332 are set to return by year’s end, with Bainbridge Island’s Route 390 to start in early 2024.

Executive director John Clauson said the staggered return of the routes could lead to confusion. “Our proposal is that, not only to reduce confusion amongst the communities but also to promote this service that hasn’t been in operation.”

Clauson said running the routes fare-free will also help expose the communities to the rest of the system, for which there will still be fees.

He said, “It would be easy to communicate to the various communities, give them plenty of time to come out and explore the services that are available. It would just help with us, as far as implementing, and certainly reduce the conflict amongst the passengers and riders with some folks riding for free and others that would be obligated to pay.”