On Thursday, a new Twin Transit bus stop on Market Boulevard in Chehalis was dedicated to longtime transportation activist Jean Fairgrieve, who was instrumental in making the bus and transportation service a reality in Lewis County.
Employees of Twin Transit, County Commissioner Sean Swope and Chehalis City Manager Jill Anderson met Fairgrieve at the bus stop to present her with flowers and show her the plaque that was cemented into the ground next to the bus stop.
The new covered bus stop was recently completed. The shoulder of the road was widened so buses can pull over and not block traffic.
“You’re a blessing to our community. This small recognition doesn’t speak to all that you’ve done,” Joe Clark, executive director of Twin Transit, said to Fairgrieve.
At the Chehalis bus stop, Fairgrieve recalled assembling a group of citizens in the early 1970s who began advocating for a reliable public transportation system. Back then, the bus system in Lewis County was operated by a man in Olympia who one day decided to stop the service. Fairgrieve said she was waiting at the bus stop one day, ready to run some errands, when the bus never came.
In about 1971, Fairgrieve and a citizens committee started gathering signatures on petitions, contacting the state Department of Transportation and collecting data from frequent bus riders in an effort to bring the bus back or start something new. She found out that the county was required to form public transit to transport seniors to and from the senior center in order to receive funding. The public transportation measure was put on the ballot in 1976. It passed and Twin Transit was born.