Additional service for Bend fixed-route transit service began Monday, the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and Cascades East Transit announced.
The transit expansion includes: three additional routes, weekday hours of operation extended to 8 p.m., weekday bus frequency increased to 30/60 minutes, and Saturday bus frequency increased to 60 minutes. Overall, the public will experience about a 35 percent increase in transit service in Bend.
Expected outcomes of the transit expansion are more convenient and reliable transit service in Bend, as well as better access to the medical district, higher educational institutions and improved connectivity between the east and west sides of Bend. More information is available at cascadeseasttransit.com.
A group of local partners known as the Bend Transit Expansion Partners began working on the transit expansion by revisiting the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization’s “Public Transit Plan and Transit Corridor Land Use Assessment” and previous input that stated the community’s transit needs. At the helm of the partnership committee were Amy Tykeson, former CEO of Bend Broadband, and Tammy Baney, Deschutes County Commissioner who led the group through a six-month process of identifying service that would meet the transportation needs of the community. The partners — City of Bend, St. Charles Health System, OSU-Cascades, Central Oregon Community College, Deschutes County, Bend Chamber of Commerce, Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization and Bend Park and Recreation District — coordinated funding the fixed-route service expansion in Bend by formalizing commitments totaling $3.4 million over the next three years. Additional assistance was provided by the Oregon Department of Transportation who helped COIC secure grant funding.
“COIC is delighted to be able to respond to community needs with a more robust transit system in Bend. This is the first major expansion of its kind for Bend riders and we are eager to work on improving the entire regional transit system next,” said COIC Executive Director Andrew Spreadborough.