Service improvements in the works by TranGO, the Okanogan County public transit agency, may include a park-and-ride lot in Twisp as well as improved schedules for commuters, the Twisp Town Council learned last week.
Brent Timm, who the TranGO board named as the agency’s new general manager in January, discussed transit plans including “a more workable schedule for commuting” both within the Methow Valley and between the valley and Okanogan County communities on the other side of the Loup.
Timm said TranGO has grant funds available to explore options such as a designated park-and-ride site in Twisp. He said the agency would initially look for a spot that could accommodate at least 10 cars with room for possible expansion. “That would be a good start,” he said.
As for connections between Twisp and Winthrop, Timm said, TranGO could look at schedule adjustments that would provide trips “early enough and late enough” to make job commuting more workable.
“The public wants more of the commuter service so they can get to work,” Timm said.
Timm said TranGO is working to rebuild its ridership, which had been steadily increasing before a drastic falloff with the onset of the COVID pandemic. He said ridership is at about 50% of what it was before the pandemic hit. TranGO recently re-instituted its $1 fares for individual rides, which had been suspended for a time during the COVID protocols.
Twisp Mayor Soo Ing-Moody said the town may have property that could work as a park-and-ride site, and asked what improvements would be included. Timm said any improvements such as striping, paving and installation of an electric vehicle charging station would be covered by TranGO through grant proceeds. No town expenditures would be necessary, he said.
For more information, visit www.okanogantransit.com.