The Birch Bay area has three separate WTA services, each filling a different niche.
1. The first is Route 55 which is scheduled service between Blaine and Bellingham via Birch Bay. It is a 'flex' service, meaning that the bus can divert off-route within a defined area and pick/drop people who live too far from a bus stop. Route 55 provides 2 trips on weekdays (primarily meant as mid-day service) and 3 trips on Saturday.
2. The second service is Route 70X which is a standard non-flex route connecting Blaine, Birch Bay Square and Bellingham with weekday commuter hour service.
3. The third service is a local Dial-A-Ride service that operates in the Blaine/Birch Bay area only during most of the day (Monday-Saturday). This is unscheduled service and requires a call ahead to schedule a ride.
Feb. 2010 WTA in Birch Bay Update
WTA now offers 3 trips per weekday on Route 55 (up from 2 trips per day).
In 2007, WTA averaged 25 passengers per day boarding at Birch Bay Square. In 2009, WTA averaged 40 passengers per day.
In 2007, WTA averaged 6 passengers per day boarding in Birch Bay proper. In 2009, WTA averaged 20 passengers per day.
While these passenger counts are still fairly modest, taken together, WTA has experienced a near doubling of Birch Bay ridership since 2007. Clearly, ridership is moving in the right direction! Thanks to Maureen at WTA for this info.
Just for Fun
M.V. Plover Ferry
M.V. Plover Ferry In the northern most part of Whatcom County, at Blaine Harbor, a small, summer foot-ferry, the M.V. Plover, runs a short, scenic tour Fridays through Sundays across Drayton Harbor between Blaine and Semiahmoo.
The M.V. Plover is the oldest passenger foot ferry in Washington State. Built in 1944, it was originally used to shuttle workers to the Alaskan Packers salmon cannery on Semiahmoo Spit, the present setting for Semiahmoo Resort.
Rides on this, the most unique of all of the ferries in Whatcom County, are free. The M.V. Plover runs Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends, Friday thru Sunday.