Kitsap Transit gets $17 million through RAISE Grant Program

Kitsap Transit gets $17 million through RAISE Grant Program Main Photo

5 Jul 2024

Transportation, Kitsap Transit, Infrastructure

TACOMA, WA – Today, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will be awarding more than $18.3 million in federal funding to two projects in Washington’s Sixth Congressional District through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program for 2024. This funding includes $17 million for Kitsap County Public Transportation Authority (Kitsap Transit) and more than $1.3 million for the Makah Tribe.

Earlier this year, Rep. Kilmer wrote to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in support of both Kitsap Transit’s and the Makah Tribe’s applications to the RAISE discretionary grant program.

“This is a big deal,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06). “These investments in projects across Washington state will help move people and freight better. That’s important for our local economies, for quality of life, and for helping community connectivity.  Having the federal government provide this grant funding means we will see improvements without the cost being borne entirely by taxpayers in our neck of the woods. That’s a huge win for our region.”

Kitsap Transit will receive $17 million to construct a full-service maintenance facility and procure five double decker routed battery electric buses.

The construction of a full-service maintenance facility is a new initiative by Kitsap Transit to strategically address the challenges posed by the outdated Charleston Base facility. This 1940s maintenance facility, currently operating at full capacity with only three maintenance bays, has become increasingly overcrowded and is inadequately equipped to handle the evolving needs of Kitsap Transit's expanding fleet. With an anticipated annual growth of their electric fleet as they work towards their 30 by 2025 goal, the current facility's limitations in handling battery replacements, ensuring safe access to the tops of buses, and providing charging capabilities in the maintenance bays pose a significant concern. This new federal funding will assist in the construction of a new full-service maintenance facility that would address these challenges by providing the necessary infrastructure to support the maintenance and charging requirements of the expanding electric bus fleet, ensuring the safety and efficiency of Kitsap Transit's operations.

The facility will include updated maintenance workspaces with crane lifts, elevated walkways, and high voltage protective equipment. The facility will also incorporate designs for the inclusion of internal charging infrastructure and onsite green energy production. The success of this project aims to not only fortify Kitsap Transit's vital transportation network, but also contribute significantly to environmental sustainability and enhanced service provision throughout Kitsap County.

“Having a maintenance facility that can accommodate Kitsap Transit’s new electric buses is vital for the agency’s future operations, creating a more equitable and environmentally friendly transit system for the residents of Kitsap County and beyond.  We are so excited, as this project will not only save taxpayers millions of dollars in spent fuel, labor costs, and vehicle miles traveled over the next three decades, but it will significantly cut agency emissions and reduce traffic congestion on some of our busiest roads.  It will also provide us with a much-needed backup for our 1940’s-built maintenance facility that is small and not designed for either battery buses or double-decker buses. Kitsap Transit appreciates the continued support from the Department of Transportation and is grateful for this new opportunity,” said Kitsap Transit’s Executive Director, John Clauson

“The City of Bremerton greatly appreciates this major investment in our public transit system which many of our residents rely on. This funding will help support current service needs in the county as well as our growing population while helping to electrify the transit fleet to reduce carbon emissions for our local communities,” said City of Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler and Chair of the Kitsap Transit Board.

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