Kitsap Transit should make paper transfers permanent | In Our Opinion

The Kitsap Transit Board of Commissioners got it mostly right by bringing back paper transfer tickets, those paper passport slips that inevitably end up as knots in the laundry.

Riders without ORCA cards, who pay with cash, were forced to pay $2 a transfer, making commutes requiring more than one route prohibitively costly.

Worst of all, the paperless experiment punished those who depend on public transportation the most, the poor.

Although it is the right move, and shows a responsiveness by our elected leaders, the board failed when it didn’t take the opportunity to permanently reinstate the paper transfer tickets. As it stands now, Kitsap Transit will likely attempt a paperless transfer system again.

But the issue here isn’t nostalgia for paper, or $10,000 in savings, it’s a spur off a tangled discussion about how our society treats the working class and the poor.

In this case, those without access to the Internet, a bank account, or transportation to one of the three places in Kitsap one can charge an ORCA card, were not considered.

Additionally, those who either cannot — or do not want to — pony up more than the standard fare at any one time, were forgotten.

While many Kitsap Transit riders adjusted, those who didn’t were punished.

If the so-called digital divide can be bridged, if those who have been left behind are to catch up, it’s going to take better ideas than force from our elected leaders. We need mayors and councilmembers willing to holler to the driver if they see somebody running late chasing after the bus.

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