Island Transit adding service between base, Navy housing

Navy personnel who live in base housing will be able to get a free lift to work.

Island Transit recently announced that it is starting an express commuter service between Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s Ault Field base and Navy housing. The free service will run Monday through Friday, twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon, according to the agency.

The commuter service will receive priority base access.

“Sailors will now have access to work on the base, medical and dental facilities, and Navy housing on and off the base,” Executive Director Todd Morrow said in a press release. “The family car can be left at home.”

Base officials said the commuter service is a great opportunity for sailors and civilian workers to beat the morning and afternoon traffic.

“We continue to actively explore ways to cut down on traffic, especially around the Ault Field gates,” the base said in a statement, “and we are encouraging our Navy personnel to take advantage of this service.”

The new route is one of several changes that will begin May 28. Island Transit is discontinuing Route 56 on South Whidbey because of a lack of ridership. When it comes to Saturday service, Route 60 will be added to serve Langley via the Clinton ferry and Bayview; Route 1N will no longer serve Langley but will increase from six to nine trips a day between Oak Harbor and the Clinton ferry.

Information about all the service changes is online at www.islandtransit.org

The new express commuter service to the Navy base will be for base personnel only. All riders will be required to provide the proper credentials to obtain base access, according to Island Transit.

According to a press release, Morrow said Island Transit is looking forward “to provide service to strengthen the economic health of Island County.”

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