Unalaska tests public bus service
August 18th | Carey Restino
As part of a larger transportation study, the city of Unalaska is offering free public transportation during the day this week in an effort to find out more about the transportation needs of the community.
The free rides, which started on Monday and run through Aug. 20, will be offered between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. on a 12-seater city-owned bus. Participants will be asked to complete surveys asking about their experience and opinions about public transportation.
The bus will travel from Overland Drive past city hall, grocery stores, the airport and Westward Seafoods before ending at Gordon Jensen. From 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. the route will also include stops out to OSI and UNISEA. All stops will be marked with a sign saying "bus stop" but pedestrians may flag down the bus as it drives by if they are in a safe location and the bus has room to stop. Riders may only get off at designated stops, however.
The study will also evaluate traffic counts and patterns as well as vehicle types using temporary cameras mounted to various city buildings. According to a pamphlet put out for the public explaining the study, the city's "linear layout presents challenges for pedestrians, tourists and processors who must often bear through our island's extreme weather, too."
The brochure noted that the cost of bringing vehicles to the island continues to increase, and the environment is especially hard on vehicles, adding to maintenance and ownership costs.
"As we look to the future with Comprehensive Plan 2030, we need to be aware of the challenges that our community faces over the next decade," the city wrote. "Your help is important so we can present the best possible options for our community's future."
"Slime line" rain gear and dirty coveralls, however, will not be allowed.
Brochures detailing the bus schedule will be available at city offices and bulletin boards around town.