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Project Aims To Create Connections Among Commuters


Some commuters on the morning ferry from Bremerton to Seattle have been getting to know each other a little better, thanks to a project dubbed “Rock the Boat.” Chris Dimmitt is the one who came up with the idea after moving to Bremerton in April and commuting to Seattle every day for work.

Dimmitt noticed pretty quickly that most of his fellow passengers were playing on their phones or reading a book. Some of them were even getting a few more precious minutes of sleep.


“There’s just all these people that commute for an hour or two hours every day with each other," he said. "And I thought it would be amazing if all these people would be connected.”


He tried his idea out last month for the first time when he brought a bunch of mini pumpkins and markers onto the boat. Dimmitt asked people if they’d like to decorate them to get into the Halloween spirit.


“You’re talking and laughing and having a great time and not even thinking about the commute, or work, or all the things that people think about on the commute. Either you’re on a bus or in a car and you’re stressed out because you’re thinking about all the things you have to do when you get to work,” he said.


Dimmitt says the positive responses led him into putting together another event. This time with a Thanksgiving theme that includes origami turkeys and pumpkin pie. Dimmitt's hoping all of this will inspire other ferry commuters to do something similar on their own boats.


“It’s not about me," he said. "It’s more about how people can be a contribution to each other.”


Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX.