The Worker/Driver Program offers yet another option for commuting. This unique program originated during WWII, with the need to transport thousands of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) employees to and from work. This was a time of fuel rationing and the use of buses proved to be most efficient. Kitsap Transit inherited 12 routes when it took over the transportation needs of Kitsap County residents in 1983. Today, the current program operates 28 routes; 27 travel to PSNS and Naval Station Bremerton and 1 to Sub Base Bangor.
Worker/Driver buses are driven by full time employees (“worker”) of the military facilities who are also part time employees of Kitsap Transit (“drivers”). Buses operate much like a large carpool. The driver boards their bus near their home in the morning and travels to work, picking up co-workers along the way. After work, they hop back in their bus with their co-workers and drop them off on their drive home.
Our ridership today is made up of both civilian and military personnel. We design and alter Worker/Driver routes to meet the needs of our passengers whenever feasible. Our current service area extends from Port Gamble to Burley in Kitsap County. (See the area map).
For more information, please see below links:
* Worker/Driver Routes & Schedules
* Worker/Driver Bus Fares
I'm not sure where this would work within TriMet but it's an interesting concept, especially with the express routes and OHSU routes. Let's say, oh, the 94, as an example.
The 94 would overnight in Sherwood at a designated location. The Worker/Driver would go to the bus, and drive the bus on a run to Portland, leaving the bus at a designated location while he/she goes off to their regular job. (TriMet would then send a driver or hostler to the bus so that it can be taken to the garage for maintenance.) The worker/driver would then pick up the bus in the afternoon, drive it back home and park it.
The benefit is that it provides additional bus service at low cost to TriMet.
As for the impact to Union drivers, I of course would make sure that no jobs are eliminated - impacted drivers would be moved to other routes. The worker/drivers would only be permitted one morning and one afternoon trip, so TriMet couldn't try and squeeze work out of them. And of course if a driver had a day off or couldn't drive the route, the route would go to a regular TriMet employee driver so there would need to be several drivers who could get to the bus and drive the route.
Of course, these routes would get TriMet's oldest buses...