Ben Franklin Transit

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Ben Franklin Transit
Ben Franklin Transit logo.png
Founded 1981[1]
Headquarters 1000 Columbia Park Trail
Richland, Washington
Service area Tri-Cities, Washington
Service type Transit, Paratransit
Routes 22
Hubs 7
Fleet 66 (fixed-route)
Annual ridership 5.5 million (2008)
Fuel type Diesel, Battery-Electric
Chief executive Gloria Boyce
Website www.bft.org

Ben Franklin Transit is the operator of public transportation in Franklin and Benton counties in the U.S. state of Washington. Seventeen routes provide local service for the three component urban areas of the Tri-Cities: Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco. Five routes connect the Tri-Cities metro area, as well as extend to the municipalities of Benton City, Prosser, and West Richland. Most routes run six days a week. Bus service runs between 6AM and 6:30PM, Monday-Friday and 8AM and 6:30PM on Saturdays and select holidays. Trans+Plus[2] covers the Tri-Cities portion of the service area 6:30PM to 2:00AM Monday-Saturday and 7:30AM to 6:00pm on Sundays. There is also an ADA Paratransit service Dial-a-Ride for those who are physically unable to use the regular transit bus service.[3]

A former DOE Hanford commuter bus
GM New Look, used in the early years of Ben Franklin Transit

History[edit]

The roots of public transportation in the Tri-Cities region can be traced back to the beginnings of the Hanford Site, which was opened in 1943 in the midst of World War II, and ultimately produced the plutonium used in the Fat Man bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan. General Electric, and later the Atomic Energy Commission, provided bus service as a way to bring its workers to and from the Hanford site to locales in the area, largely Richland.

In 1978, the voters of Benton County were asked to vote on a proposed county-wide bus system, but this measure was defeated, largely in part by the efforts of the Rockwell Hanford drivers, who feared that they would lose their jobs if the voters passed the proposal. (The Public Transportation Benefit Area (PTBA) officials later passed a resolution that the bus system would not compete with Rockwell Hanford). Two years later, a bus system proposal was brought to the voters again. However, this time officials largely scaled back the proposed service area to just Kennewick and Richland, and also included Pasco, located on the other side of the Columbia River in Franklin County. For a second time, the proposal was defeated. The next year saw better luck though, as the Benton-Franklin Public Transportation Benefit Area was officially formed on May 11, 1981 when voters in the service area voted to enact a sales tax levy of three-tenths of a cent to "finance a municipal corporation which would provide public transportation services in Benton and Franklin Counties."[4][5][6]

May 10, 1982 saw the first day of passenger service for Ben Franklin Transit, ending with 2,043 total riders. Ridership continued to slowly grow after that, as more routes were launched and more buses were put into service. Ben Franklin Transit would later buy out the franchise of Bassett Transit who had been running commuter bus service to the unsecured portions of the Hanford site, primarily the Energy Northwest Nuclear Power Plant. In 1998, Prosser Rural Transit was absorbed into Ben Franklin Transit.[7]

Originally operating with a fleet that largely consisted of used GM New Looks bought from the Minneapolis, MN MTC (Metropolitan Transit Commission)[citation needed], Ben Franklin Transit put out a bid in 1987 for 30 new buses. After some delays, mainly due to cost and budgeting at the time, the $4.5 million bid was awarded to the Gillig Corporation, who would build a total of thirty-three Gillig Phantom coaches (6 30 ft and 27 35 ft) at a cost of $135,759 each. In 1992, Gillig also won the contract to provide Ben Franklin Transit with eight 40-foot coaches which had been specified in the original order, but delayed due to cost. All subsequent bids afterwards for town coaches have been awarded to Gillig, with the exception of the nine Optima Opus coaches purchased in 2003-2004.

Annexations[edit]

1996 Benton City and Prosser
2005 Finley

Accolades[edit]

In 2007, Ben Franklin Transit was awarded the Governor's Award for Sustainable Practices.[8][9]

The new Administration building has received LEED Gold Certification

Experimental Projects[edit]

O2Diesel[edit]

In 2006 Ben Franklin Transit entered into an agreement with O2Diesel to test a blended fuel that included both bio-diesel and ethanol.[10][11] This experiment lasted for approximately 1 year but was ended due to cost and supply problems.

ZEPS EBus[edit]

An electric bus from Complete Coach Works, converted from a 2005 Gillig Low Floor, was introduced into service in mid 2013.[12] It primarily operated during weekday peak hours on the 23/26 pair. In a press release CCW announced a new battery pack that is being retrofitted into this bus.[13]

Routes[edit]

There are 22 routes which serve a specific local area as well as routes which provide a connection between the cities.[14]

No. Area served Transit Center(s) Route description (Local)
Cities Served (Inter City & Rural)
Service Days Notes
23 Richland Local Knight Street Transit Center Jadwin Monday to Friday
25 Richland Local Knight Street Transit Center Wright, Stevens Monday to Saturday
26 Richland Local Knight Street Transit Center George Washington Way Monday to Friday PNNL/Battelle Peak Hours Only
27 Richland Local Knight Street Transit Center Jadwin, George Washington Way Saturday
39H Richland Local
Hills West
Knight Street Transit Center, Three Rivers Transit Center Hills West/Gage Blvd. Monday to Saturday
39K Richland Local
Keene Rd.
Knight Street Transit Center, Three Rivers Transit Center Keene Rd./Gage Blvd. Monday to Saturday
41 Kennewick Local Huntington Transit Center, Dayton Transfer Point E. Kennewick/S. Kennewick Monday to Saturday
42 Kennewick Local Three Rivers Transit Center, Dayton Transfer Point 4th Crosstown Monday to Saturday
47 Kennewick Local Huntington Transit Center, Dayton Transfer Point 27th Crosstown Monday to Saturday
48 Kennewick Local Three Rivers Transit Center, Dayton Transfer Point 10th Crosstown Monday to Saturday
50 Kennewick Local Three Rivers Transit Center Vista District/Columbia Center Loop Monday to Saturday
60 Pasco Local 22nd Avenue Transit Center Jan Street Monday to Saturday
62 Pasco Local 22nd Avenue Transit Center Court Street Monday to Saturday
64 Pasco Local 22nd Avenue Transit Center Lewis Street, S Elm Monday to Saturday
65 Pasco Local 22nd Avenue Transit Center Sylvester, N Elm Monday to Saturday
66 Pasco Local 22nd Avenue Transit Center Sylvester, Road 88 Monday to Friday
67 Pasco Local 22nd Avenue Transit Center Sandifur Parkway Monday to Saturday Serves CBC loop Monday-Friday School days
110 Inter City West Richland Transit Center, Three Rivers Transit Center Kennewick, Richland, West Richland Monday to Friday
120 Inter City West Richland Transit Center, Richland Transit Center, Three Rivers Transit Center, Huntington Transit Center, 22nd Avenue Transit Center Pasco, Kennewick, Richland, West Richland Monday to Saturday
160 Inter City Three Rivers Transit Center, Dayton Transfer Point, 22nd Avenue Transit Center Pasco, Kennewick Monday to Saturday
170 Rural Prosser (Stacy Street) Transit Center, Benton City Park & Ride, Knight Street Transit Center Richland, Benton City , Prosser Monday to Saturday No ADA Paratransit on Saturdays
225 Inter City 22nd Avenue Transit Center, Knight Street Transit Center Pasco, Richland Monday to Saturday Serves CBC loop Monday-Friday School days

Fleet[edit]

Active Fleet[edit]

Model Motor Seated Capacity Length Time of Service Quantity Fleet Numbers Notes
Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL 40 40' 2005–Present 5 5245-5247,5249-5250
Ben Franklin Transit E-1.jpg ZEPS Electric Bus (Gillig Low Floor) KAM All-Electric Drive 38 40' 2013–2014, 2016-Present 1 E-1 Originally entered service in 2005 as 248, rebuilt by Complete Coach Works in 2012/2013 as an all-electric bus. Has 2016 battery pack retrofit and low-profile tires.
Ben Franklin Transit Gillig Advantage 252.jpg Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISM 37 40' 2006–Present 3 5251-5253 First coaches ordered with wide rear doors
Ben Franklin Transit Gillig Advantage 256.jpg Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL 23 29' 2007–Present 5 5254-5258 Acquired via piggyback contract (CamTran).
BFT 263.jpg Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL 37 40' 2009–Present 9 5259-5267 Acquired via piggyback contract (Laketran).
Ben Franklin Transit 309.jpg Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL 37 40' 2013–Present 4 5306-5309 Acquired via piggyback contract (Laketran).
Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL 37 40' 2014–Present 4 5310-5313 Acquired via piggyback contract.
Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL 37 40' 2014–Present 4 5314-5317 Acquired via piggyback contract (Lynx).
Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL 37 40' 2015–Present 4 5318-5321 Acquired via piggyback contract (Whatcom Transportation Authority).
Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL 37 40' 2015–Present 2 5322-5323 Acquired via piggyback contract (Whatcom Transportation Authority).
Gillig Low Floor Cummins ISL 37 40' 2015–Present 3 5324-5326 Acquired via piggyback contract (Port Authority Transit).
Gillig Low Floor "Trolley" Cummins ISL 32 35' 2016–Present 3 Columbia, (5002) Yakima, Snake Acquired via piggyback contract (Lake Transit).

Future Fleet[edit]

Model Motor Seated Capacity Length Purchased Status Quantity Fleet Numbers Notes
Gillig Low Floor 37 40' 2013 2 delivered 2015 4 5322-5323 2 units acquired via piggyback on a Whatcom Transportation Authority order, other 2 units bought directly from Gillig using an extension on the same WTA contract.
Gillig Low Floor 37 40' 2013 To be determined 10 5327-5336 Acquired via piggyback contract (Port Authority Transit).

Fleet Pending Retirement[edit]

Model Motor Seated Capacity Length Time of Service Status Quantity Fleet Numbers Notes
BFT 505.jpg Optima Opus Cummins B5.9 23 29' 2003–Present In progress 6 501-506 Acquired via a "piggyback" on a Long Beach Transit order
2004–Present In progress 3 507-509 As a result of customer complaints, ordered with cushioned seats
Ben Franklin Transit 268.jpg Gillig Phantom Cummins M11 29 30' 2010 (1995) - Present 4 268-271 Ex C-TRAN 2036, 2043, 2045, and 2051
Ben Franklin Transit 272.jpg Gillig Phantom Cummins M11 37 35' 2010 (1995) - Present 3 272-274 Ex C-TRAN 2061-2063. See 275 in "Retired Fleet" below.
Ben Franklin Transit 277.jpg Gillig Phantom Cummins M11 45 40' 2010 (1995) - Present 1 277 Ex C-TRAN 2088. See 276, 278-280 in "Retired Fleet" below.
Ben Franklin Transit 283.jpg
Ben Franklin Transit Gillig Phantom 304.PNG
Gillig Phantom Cummins M11+ 45 40' 2011 (1999) - Present Contingency 11 283-293 Ex-Sound Transit 9016-9017, 9019, 9022, 9045, 9048-9049, and 9052-9053 [283 was 9017, 284 was 9016](originally acquired via a "piggyback" on a King County Metro order). 293 has new engine, reset governor, capable of 70 mph
2012 (1999) - Present Contingency 12 294-305 Ex-Sound Transit 9000-9001, 9003-9009, 9013, 9037-9038 (originally acquired via a "piggyback" on a King County Metro order). "Wave" livery is removed. 297 has the new BFT livery.

Retired Fleet[edit]

Model Motor Seated Capacity Length Time of Service Quantity Fleet Numbers Notes
Ben Franklin Transit GM New Look.jpg GM New Look GM 6V71 45 35' 1982 (1961) - 1990? 37 101-138 #121 is ex-Alexandria, Barcroft & Washington Transit Company #134
Mercedes-Benz O309 Ex-Community Transit. Purchased for West Richland Route 10, replaced by 139
MCI MC-7 Detroit Diesel 8V71 (might have been repowered to 8V92) 1983 (1972) - 1995 7 701-707 701 and 707 ex-Kerrville Bus Co. V111 and V110. 702-706 ex-Gray Line of Hawaii Inc. 402, 405, 409, 404, and 405.
All units entered service as NASA - Kennedy Space Center #'s 17, 25, 12, 14, 21, 13, and 16.
TMC MC-8 Detroit Diesel 8V71 1987 (1975) - 1995 1 708 Ex-Greyhound Lines (West) 2413
Gillig Phantom Detroit Diesel 6V-92TA 29 30' 1986 - 2003 1 139
1988 - 2005 5 201, 203-206
1989 - 2007 1 202 Replacement for original #202 which was damaged in delivery
BFT 223.jpg Gillig Phantom Detroit Diesel 6V-92TA 38 35' 1988 - 2011 27 207-233
Ben Franklin Transit Gillig Phantom 240.jpg Gillig Phantom Detroit Diesel 6V-92TA 43 40' 1992 - 2012 8 234-241
Ben Franklin Transit MCI 102-B3 710.jpg MCI 102-B3 Detroit Diesel 6V-92TA 47 40' 1993-2012 4 709-712 Sold to Kitsap Transit
Ben Franklin Transit MCI 102-D3SS 714.jpg MCI 102-D3SS Detroit Diesel Series 60 48 40' 1995 - 2012 4 713-716 Sold to Yakima Transit
Ben Franklin Transit 242.jpg Gillig Low Floor Detroit Diesel Series 40 38 40' 1998 - 2012 3 242-244 Acquired via a "piggyback" on an Intercity Transit order. Scrapped instead of auctioned due to high value of aluminum.
Ben Franklin Transit 277.jpg Gillig Phantom Cummins M11 45 40' 2010 (1995) - 2013 1 278 Ex C-TRAN 2089. Sold to Grant Transit Authority.
2010 (1995) - 2014 3 276, 279-280 Ex C-TRAN 2087, 2090, 2098
Ben Franklin Transit Gillig Phantom 282.png Gillig Phantom Cummins 6CTA8.3 29 30' 2011 (1993) - 2013 2 281-282 Ex-Mason Transit 801,803. Sold to Grant Transit Authority.
Ben Franklin Transit 272.jpg Gillig Phantom Cummins M11 37 35' 2010 (1995) - 2014 1 275 Ex C-TRAN 2065

Fares[edit]

Fares are either by exact cash or pre-purchased ticket or pass. Upon payment of fare, a transfer valid for 90 minutes after arrival at the next transit center can be requested. A day pass is also available from the driver.[15]

Cash Fares, Tickets, and Passes[edit]

Type Cash Fare 10-ride Tickets Monthly Pass
Regular (Adult) $1.50 $12.00 $25.00
Youth $1.00 $8.00 $14.00
Medicare Cardholder & Disabled Persons $.75 $6.00 $12.50
Senior Citizens (65 years and older) and Children Age 5 and younger (Fixed Route) Free N.A. N.A.
Dial-A-Ride $1.50 $12.00 $25.00
Premium Dial-A-Ride $3.00 $25.00 $50.00
Trans + Plus $3.00 $25.00 $50.00

Other Passes and Special Fares[edit]

  • All Day Pass - $4.00
  • Freedom Pass - $50.00 (All services system pass.)
  • Special Event Service - Single Person $1.50 - Family (up to 5 people) $4.00
  • Summer Youth Pass - $25.00
  • CBC Students ride fixed-route and D-a-R free with their ID Card

Other Ben Franklin Transit services[edit]

Contracted Services[edit]

Finley Service[edit]

  • Ben Franklin Transit offers General Public Demand-Response and ADA Paratransit service to the Finley area adjacent to Kennewick. A contractor is used for service to the general public. ADA Paratransit and mobility device-using riders are transported by Dial-a-Ride.

Taxi Feeder Service[edit]

  • Ben Franklin Transit contracts with a taxi provider to connect areas of the Tri-Cities not served by fixed-route service to the nearest major fixed-route bus stop. Trips cost an additional $1.00 or $3.00 depending on the length of the trip.[16]

Trans+Plus[edit]

  • To replace fixed-route and D-a-R service which ends at 6:30PM, and which does not run on Sundays, Ben Franklin Transit offers Trans+Plus, on a demand-response basis. Riders can call to reserve a ride each day Monday to Saturday starting at 2PM and ending at 1AM. Sunday rides can be scheduled on Saturday before 12AM. Monday-Saturday the first scheduled rides are at 6:30PM, continuing in 15 minute blocks until the last at 2:00AM. Sundays the first scheduled ride is 7:30AM with rides available until 6:00PM. The standard fare is $3 per ride. When making a ride reservation, the Customer Service Agent will need to know how many people are riding, the departing address and destination address, and if you will need any assistance (i.e., a wheelchair van).

Vanpool / Carpool / Rideshare[edit]

Coordinated Vanpool[edit]

  • BFT-owned vans are available for a monthly fare that is based on the van size and mileage. The cost of fuel, maintenance, and insurance is included in the fare.[17]

Carpool / Rideshare[edit]

  • Ben Franklin Transit can also help you set up ridesharing with your own vehicle.[18] BFT also participates in RideshareOnline.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ben Franklin Transit History
  2. ^ Trans+Plus Night & Sunday Service
  3. ^ Ben Franklin Transit: Dial-A-Ride
  4. ^ Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, WA). April 5, 1981. "Tri-City bus issue questions answered" by Bob Woebler. p. Second Page One. Microfilm roll (35mm) viewed November 2, 2009. Archive copy via Google News Archive Search.
  5. ^ Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, WA). May 20, 1980. "Tri-City voters approve mass transit system 2-1" by Bob Woebler. p. Front Page. Microfilm roll (35mm) viewed November 2, 2009.
  6. ^ "Summary of Public Transportation — 2007" (PDF). Washington State Department of Transportation. November 17, 2008. pp. 73–78. Retrieved November 8, 2009. 
  7. ^ Wells, Devona (Jun 16, 1998). "Prosser-Tri-Cities bus service gets rolling". Yakima Herald - Republic (via Proquest). Retrieved May 18, 2013.  (Library, school, or other organizational access required)
  8. ^ KVEWTV.com. Apple Valley Broadcasting. October 5, 2007. "BFT Award" by Christina Wu. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  9. ^ Governor's Award for Sustainable Practices Winners 1992-2008'. Washington State Department of Ecology. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  10. ^ [1]. October 19, 2006. "O2Diesel to Begin Testing New Ethanol - Biodiesel Blend With Ben Franklin Transit of Richland, Washington". Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  11. ^ KVEWTV.com. Apple Valley Broadcasting. March 7, 2007. "BFT Buses Run on Alternative Fuels" by Brian Flores. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  12. ^ Folsom, Geoff (May 17, 2013). "Ben Franklin Transit's electric bus to hit Tri-City streets". Tri-City Herald. McClatchy. Retrieved March 20, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Complete Coach Works Upgrades ZEPS Electric Battery Pack" (Press release). Riverside, CA: Complete Coach Works. July 1, 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-24. 
  14. ^ Ben Franklin Transit: Routes & Maps
  15. ^ Ben Franklin Transit - Fares
  16. ^ "Ben Franklin Transit: Taxi Feeder Service". Retrieved October 30, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Vanpool". 
  18. ^ "Carpool / Rideshare". 
  19. ^ "RideshareOnline". 

External links[edit]

The KML file gives a rough approximation of the service area. The PTBA boundary is contiguous with the populated areas, as well as many voting precincts that fill in the gaps.

KML is from Wikidata