News Updates

Construction forces relocation of the RIDE bus stops

Due to the Sawmill Creek Road Resurfacing and Pedestrian Improvements Project, two of the RIDE bus stops will be temporarily relocated from Monday, July 25, through the winter shutdown in November 2022.

The stop currently located at Sawmill Creek Road and Baranof Street will be relocated to DeGroff Street and Baranof Street. The stop currently located at Sawmill Creek Road and Biorka Street will move further down Sawmill Creek Road to the entrance of the recycling center (about 80 feet beyond the end-of-project location at Jeff Davis Street).

For updates about the construction project, go to http://www.sawmillcrk.com or email info@sawmillcrk.com.

City relocates downtown bus stop for the RIDE

The RIDE will be relocating to a new bus stop in the downtown area across from the Bayview building near the Crescent Harbor parking entrance on Lincoln Street. Parking is NOT permitted in this new bus stop which is painted red. Relocating the new bus stop creates additional parking in the Crescent Harbor parking lot. Beginning June 1st, the old RIDE pickup area located in Crescent Harbor will be available for day-use parking only. Please contact the City and Borough of Sitka Public Works Department with any questions at 907-747-1804.

the RIDE posts updated bus schedule through the end of May

To make it easier for passengers, the RIDE is offering an updated version of our limited Covid-19 schedule that people can print out and carry with them. This schedule will be good at least through the end of May 2022. The link below opens as a PDF, which can be downloaded to your computer for printing. Printed copies also will be available at various places around town, such as Visit Sitka and Harrigan Centennial Hall.

• Printable bus schedule for the RIDE through May 31, 2022

the RIDE to alter Red/Green Line route when Lincoln Street closed

This summer, because of the predicted record number of cruise ship visitors, the city is closing Lincoln Street downtown to reduce traffic on days with more than 3,000 cruise ship visitors. Due to these closures, the RIDE will have to adjust its Red/Green Line route. Lincoln Street will be closed on days when a large number of cruise ship visitors are expected in town, the dates marked with the boat logo. When this happens, the Red/Green Line will not be able to get to its stop in front of Random House on Lincoln Street so that stop will be skipped. On days without the boat logo, we will run our usual route. Our buses still will go to our Crescent Harbor parking lot stop.

the RIDE seeks three new full-time, benefitted drivers

Are you looking for a full-time, fully benefitted job? Sitka’s the RIDE needs three new drivers to fill its staff. the RIDE runs from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and in normal times there are three routes. The starting wage has been increased to $18 per hour, and there is premium pay when Sitka’s Covid alert level is Moderate or above. The benefits package includes health insurance, paid sick and vacation leave, and a pension plan. A CDL is not required, but is preferred. This is a year-round position. In addition, the RIDE needs part-time on-call drivers. For more details, email jobs@sitkatribe-nsn.gov or call 907-747-3207.

Face masks still required on the RIDE

Even though a federal judge in Florida struck down the national requirement for face masks on Monday, April 18, the RIDE will continue to require them on its buses. The Sitka Tribe of Alaska, the governmental entity that operates the RIDE, voted for the mask mandate on the RIDE and has not lifted it. Continuing to require face masks is consistent to what’s happening with several other transportation agencies in the country, such as with the New York City subway system. On May 3, the CDC posted a recommendation on its website for continued mask-wearing on public transit, including buses, https://www.cdc.gov/…/2022/s0503-covid-19-travel.html

the RIDE is running, but we are monitoring COVID-19 situation

We’ve had a lot of people ask if the RIDE is still running. The following comment is from Gerry Hope of Sitka’s the RIDE:

“the RIDE is operating at 75 percent capacity. We continue to monitor COVID-19 in Sitka. If conditions warrant, the RIDE may decrease seated passenger capacity to 50 percent, or if necessary the RIDE will consider suspending operations.

“Since July of 2020, the RIDE put in place the requirement to wear a face mask prior to boarding the buses and to maintain wearing a mask while onboard the buses. We also offer a free mask to those customers who do not have one. In addition, the RIDE placed a protective barrier around the drivers, and each bus that was in operation is sprayed each night after operation to protect the passengers and drivers. Finally, Sitka has more than 70 percent of the population that has been vaccinated with at least one dose and more than 60 percent are fully vaccinated. Last year, there were no vaccines available, just to mention the contrast from last year to this year.”

 

the RIDE is down to two lines right now

Due to maintenance issues, the RIDE is on limited, two-line service. At this time, the Green Line is being absorbed into the Red and Blue line schedules using the time posted here (note, the Blue Line only is going as far as Whale Park right now). We may be in limited, two-line service for a week or two, but will go back to normal three-line service as soon as we can.
 

Please check our Facebook page for route and weather updates

We don’t like it, but sometimes a bus breaks down, we get snow, or there is a construction project on one of our routes that impacts our schedule. Please watch our Facebook page for route updates. If there is a weather schedule/route change, it will be announced on our local radio stations before it shows up on Facebook or the website, or you can call the RIDE at 747-7103 for more details.

Find the RIDE on Apple Maps

Did you know you can now find the RIDE on Apple Maps? You can find schedules and route maps for the RIDE on Apple Maps. We’re helping keep you connected to public transit in Sitka.

Please keep bus loading zones and bus stops clear

In recent weeks there have been several drivers parking in the bus loading zone in the Crescent Harbor parking lot or at marked bus stops downtown. Please don’t do this, especially since the safety of our riders depends on us pulling the buses into these marked spots so riders can safely board or get off the buses. The Sitka Police Department does ticket vehicles parked in bus-loading zones/bus stops, as you can see in the photos from Crescent Harbor. There were at least seven vehicles ticketed the morning of Aug. 16, 2018.

At Crescent Harbor, the entire row of parking spaces next to Harbor Drive is designated as a bus loading zone from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on week days. Even one car next to the bathrooms can force our buses out into the driving lane. The only time you are allowed to park there is on weekends and holidays.

We also have several people parking in marked bus stops in front of the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi on Katlian Street or the framing shop on Lincoln Street. These spots are for buses only (not charter fishing vans). We need to get our bus completely out of the driving lane to pick up passengers, and it’s unsafe for our drivers to have to unload riders from the middle of the street.

Your help keeping these bus stops clear is greatly appreciated.

Find the RIDE on Google Maps

Want to know how long it takes to get from the ferry terminal to Whale Park with the RIDE? It takes 55 minutes, according to a search on Google Maps, http://goo.gl/nkjvzE. To enter a query, go to https://www.google.com/maps (or use the Google Maps app on your cellphone). In the upper left corner of the screen will be a blue diamond that says “Directions” when you click on it. After you click on it, look for the bus icon (third from the left, between the car and the walker) and click it. Then type where you are and where you need to go in the two lines beneath it. Easy peasy