Several changes are coming to Ben Franklin Transit - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Several changes are coming to Ben Franklin Transit

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KENNEWICK, WA - If you don't usually see buses on your way to work, that could change starting next week on Monday.

Ben Franklin Transit's commutes will look a whole lot different, with mass routing changes, extended hours, and WiFi on every bus.

Ben Franklin Transit has seen the rapid increase in people moving into Tri-Cities over the recent years, and they've made small adjustments to accommodate those increases...which they say complicated the system's routes and made commutes longer than necessary.

But starting Monday, BFT is revamping its entire system: shifting routes to make them more direct, installing WiFi on every bus, and making efforts to launch a new website. And most importantly for many people, they are extending operating hours.

"It gives you more flexibility with hours, you definitely don't have to leave places early because the buses are going to be running later now," said Kristen Zufelt, who rides the bus from Richland to Pasco.

Zufelt says her commute from Richland to Columbia Basin College could be much shorter than it is right now...and with the route changes in effect starting Monday, she says a shorter bus route would provide a big relief.

"Going from where I live in Richland to CBC takes well over an hour, and with the more direct routes it will be a lot quicker and I won't have to leave as early," she explained.

And no matter how long your commute takes, you can use the WiFi that will be available on every bus to get a jump-start on your day...or finish up some work for your evening commute home.

These are sweeping changes both with route numbers, commute times, and stops, so BFT encourages everyone to go online and see how they'll be affected starting Monday.

You can view a map on Ben Franklin Transit's website that'll show you all of the changes. Just go to bft.org and click on the banner at the top of the page announcing the changes.

Also, BFT will be free for all riders next week as these changes get implemented.

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