On Wednesday evening, August 7th, I attended the North Whatcom Poverty Task Force meeting. If you aren't familiar with the task force, it is a seven-member temporary advisory committee formed by the City Council in February. The topic of this month's meeting was transportation, with two guest presenters from the Whatcom Transit Authority. They shared information about the metrics used by the WTA to evaluate and update service. Among their top considerations are the number of rides taken and rider hours on a particular route. They also shared that the majority of riders from Ferndale head to Bellingham.
During discussion about reducing barriers and improving ridership, I asked about whether or not they evaluate overall trip length when evaluating their routes and noted that it takes over an hour to reach the downtown core of Bellingham from the furthest part of the route through Ferndale. The time it takes to get to and from Bellingham by bus, makes it an extremely cumbersome, and downright inaccessible, mode of transportation for Ferndale residents.
I would like to see active conversations like these continue between the City and the WTA so we can improve how public transit serves our community. Improving transit services will improve accessibility to services for those who live in our city and will make it easier for visitors from around the county to come to Ferndale to see all of the great things we have to offer!