Kids Ride Free

The announcement of completely online schooling has hit many local families hard. While necessary, the new school environment will be especially difficult for parents who work full time. To help alleviate some of the burden, Twin Transit is offering free transportation to all children. This includes kids under the age of six, those in grade school and high school students.

Kids age 10 and up can ride Twin Transit buses on their own. Children nine and under must ride with someone who is at least 16 or over, so older teens can take a younger sibling on the bus with them. Twin Transit advises each family to determine what is best for their children.

“Kids of all ages ride the bus frequently,” said Twin Transit Community Relations Director Andrea Culletto. “Our drivers keep an eye on them and always help them get where they need to go.”

Kids can use the transit system to get to a family member or friend’s house. Or, they can ride it to access a tutor or kids’ club/childcare location. This will alleviate some of the stress working parents face as they navigate this new aspect of post-COVID life.  And parents can rest assured that Twin Transit continues to use strong health and safety measures including bus sanitization, face coverings, Plexiglas shields, and social distancing. Each bus is also limited to 10 passengers to facilitate social distancing and help slow the spread – but don’t worry, if the bus is already full, there’s another one just five minutes behind it.

Parents are encouraged to visit TwinTransit.org for up-to-date route and schedule information. Be sure to check out these Tips for Riding the Bus

Twin Transit Goes Green

Twin Transit has placed the official order for two grant-funded electric buses. Expected to arrive in December 2020, these vehicles will power environmentally friendly public transit between Centralia and Chehalis, starting in early 2021.

The new buses will decrease emissions and make public transit more affordable. In addition, each bus is “recycled” from a current diesel bus, following grant requirements. This ensures that carbon and other hazardous emissions are reduced, while maximizing on pre-existing resources – a win on all fronts.

The electric buses are only the first step in a new wave of green technology integration. Twin Transit will soon begin construction on two electric transit stations, each outfitted with wave induction charging to power the electric buses in-route.

The new Mellen Street e-Transit Station will begin construction in September and the National Avenue e-Transit Station will commence construction in early 2021. Each e-transit station will also include electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle and pedestrian access, and visual enhancements. These projects will be the first of their kind in Lewis County and will provide significant economic stimulus.

“It’s an exciting time,” said Community Relations Director Andrea Culletto. “Twin Transit has worked toward integrating green technologies for a long time. To see that dream becoming reality is truly fantastic.”

This is just the beginning. As we embrace these new technologies, we are laying the foundation for widespread adoption; a more environmentally friendly and fiscally responsible future; and large-scale economic invigoration.

There are remarkable things on the horizon.

Twin Transit Introduces Back-to-Back Busing

Due to state-wide COVID-19 restrictions, Twin Transit buses have limited capacity. As ridership increases in response to county-wide reopening, a new model is needed to ensure safe social distancing. Twin Transit has developed an innovative solution, in order to continue serving everyone who relies on public transit to access work, education, and essential amenities.

Starting Monday, July 6, each Twin Transit route will be supplemented by two back-to-back buses, traveling approximately 5 – 10 minutes apart. If the first bus reaches capacity, it will display an “out of service” sign and bypass regular bus stops. These stops will be serviced by the second bus soon thereafter.

This model will ensure compliance with capacity restrictions, allow for safe social distancing, and reduce risk, while continuing the service Twin Transit clients depend upon.

Passengers are encouraged to limit trips to reserve space for essential travel; specifically, those traveling to work, school, medical appointments, or grocery shopping. For more information, to find your route, or view your bus’s current location, please visit TwinTransit.org.

Walk, Run, Bike and Get Outside!

After several months of staying home to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Lewis County is finally reopening. Many of us find ourselves not quite as healthy post-stay-home-order as we were in the beginning. According to recent Census Bureau data, nearly 35% of Washington residents are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression.

There are many ways to treat these conditions, including eating healthy, connecting with friends and family, medical intervention, and talk therapy. Another well-established treatment option is physical exercise. This latter option is especially appealing now that the rain has retreated and summer has finally arrived!

Twin Transit is encouraging everyone to walk, run, bike and get outside. This more physically engaged lifestyle can improve health and increase social connections – while physically distancing.

Some of the healthiest communities in the world are known for their more active lifestyle. Counter to popular belief, this isn’t about intense exercise and punishing workouts. It’s actually about moving continuously throughout the day.

In a nutshell, the more you move, the healthier you’ll be.

Lewis County is an exceptionally beautiful place. Why not get outside, breathe the fresh air, take in some sun and savor it? You can enjoy a plethora of local parks and trails, like the Willapa.

Many local residents live within a few miles of a grocery store, which means your weekly errands can be done while getting out and getting healthy.

For those who live outside this range? “Twin Transit buses are outfitted with bike racks,” said Community Relations Director Andrea Culletto. “You can easily combine bike riding, walking or running with using public transit if you’re going further than you’re comfortable traveling on your own.”

 To really make the most of your time, combine walking, running or bike riding with friends and family members. “These are all great activities that we can do outside, while socially distancing,” Culletto said.

Twin Transit is encouraging healthy outdoor activity with a team-wide step challenge. “We divided our staff into two random teams,” explained Operations Director Melissa Shoemaker. “Whichever team gets in the most steps, wins. We’re having a healthy-food potluck at the end to announce the winner.”

“This is a fun way we can all get a little healthier together,” said Culletto. “COVID-19 was hard on everyone. But we have to take care of ourselves and each other. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s walk, run or bike there together.”

Fare Collection to Resume July 1

Fare collection will resume on July 1, 2020. Passes will be available beginning on June 25 through the Token Transit app, at the Centralia Safeway and at Fullers.

Twin Transit will resume weekend and evening service beginning on July 6, 2020. From this date forward, bus service will operate Monday – Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday – Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Next Board Meeting Scheduled for June 30

The regular Board Meeting of the Lewis Public Transportation Benefit Area
(dba Twin Transit) originally scheduled for June 16th, 2020 at 8:00 am has been postponed.

The next regular Board Meeting will be held virtually on June 30th, at 8:00 a.m. To access the meeting, call 1-509-824-1900 and enter Conference ID: 721 779 78#.

Weekend Service Will Resume July 6

Twin Transit will resume weekend and evening service beginning on July 6, 2020. From this date forward, bus service will operate Monday – Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday – Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Fare collection will resume on July 1, 2020. Passes will be available beginning on June 25 through the Token Transit app, at the Centralia Safeway and at Fullers.

Contact Info@TwinTransit.org for further information.