Bus Buddies Return - South Sound YMCA

Bus Buddies Return

The local Thurston County YMCAs are now open, and the bus buddies are ready to show you how to get to the Y for free on local Intercity Transit buses.

Since mid-March, the Bus Buddy Program from Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, which works closely with Thurston County’s Intercity Transit, has been idling by the curb waiting for the approval to resume business. Well, the buses are running again at a reduced schedule, and starting October 1, 2020, the bus buddies returned to the road and are ready to help. There are new safety protocols in place to protect the client, the bus buddies, and everyone riding the bus. These protocols will be explained to each perspective client when they call to book a buddy.

As fall approaches, the Intercity Transit buses are running and our volunteers are itching to resume helping everyone get to the Y. The buses in Thurston County are free, the weather is warming up, and we’re ready to go! A bus buddy helps new riders gain confidence riding the bus which gives them enhanced mobility and increased independence, expanded transportation options, and improved quality of life.  Just leave your car at home and take the bus to the Plum Street or Briggs facilities.

The Bus Buddy Program, such as the one in Thurston County founded in 2014, has now spread into one dozen states and one Canadian province, and continues to grow and expand. There are currently 12 volunteer bus buddies, working as travel companions providing personalized support, teaching new bus riders how to get to new destinations, transferring to other buses, and connecting with other regional transit services. On a one-on-one basis, they travel within Thurston County all the way to Yelm. If you’ve never ridden the bus, what better time to give it a try!

If you’re interested in learning how to ride the bus, just give Scott a call at 360-688-8832 and he’ll provide more of the new protocols and details. You can also email him at ScottSc@ccsww.org or busbuddies@intercitytransit.com. Ages 16 to 116 are eligible – just give us a call. Now’s the time – we’ll see you on the bus. And we’ll see you at the Y!

Scott Schoengarth
Thurston County Bus Buddy Coordinator