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April in Ketchikan can be such a glorious time. And one of the best deals in town this month is the borough bus or, as it’s known, The Bus.
Bus rides are free in April.
If you don’t have a vehicle, you probably already know about The Bus, so it’s nice to get the economic shot in the arm, saving a month’s fares. But if you have a vehicle, April is a great time to check out how leaving the car at home might fit into your daily schedule.
There are three bus lines, the Green?Line, Red Line, and Blue Line. The Red and Green lines both run to Wal-Mart and back to their points of origin; The Green Line is the early riser, starting at 5:15 Monday through Saturday mornings, and running until 9:15 p.m. Sunday hours on the Green Line are 9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The Green Line operates from Schoenbar and the Woodside Apartments to Wal-Mart.
Next is the Red Line, operating from Fawn Mountain School, where it stops at 5:45 a.m., to Wal-Mart. The Red line operates until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and 4:23 p.m. Sunday, according to the Transit Department’s website (www.borough.ketchikan.ak.us/bus/BusTimetable.htm.)
Riders don’t have to stop at Wal-Mart, though. They can ride the Blue Line, which goes 10 miles north, all the way out to Totem Bight park. The Blue, which begins at 6:45 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 8:45 a.m. Sundays, begins its daily journey at the Centennial Lot stop on Dock Street, near the entrance to Creek Street. It runs until 7:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, 6:45 p.m. Saturday and 3:45 p.m. Sunday.
Even people who know about The Bus might not be aware of the Flag Stop system, whereby outside of city limits, patrons can give a wave from a safe location along the route, and the bus will pull over and pick them up.
A list of all the stops is on the website and on printed schedules, which usually are available at the Ketchikan Public Library.
If the bus works out even one day a week, it’s a boon for the consumer, who saves fuel money, and the commuting public, who have less traffic to deal with. At a buck a ride (50 cents for seniors and students), it’s a great deal. (Cash only; the driver can’t make change or take checks.) Children 4 and younger ride free, as do children 11 and under, when they are with an adult.
Monthly unlimited passes are available ($25, or $20 for students and seniors)?and so are 25-ride punch cards ($20, or $10 for students and seniors). You can buy passes at the borough office, or from the driver, again, with cash.
Enjoy free ride month —?give the car a rest while you give The Bus a chance.