By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Public transportation is getting a regional reroute.
Starting February 1st, Cascades East Transit will launch a Saturday Community Connector Service traveling between Bend, Redmond, Prineville, La Pine, Madras, Sisters, and Warm Springs.
“The Saturday service piece is huge because so many of the people who live and work in Central Oregon work Monday through Friday, maybe don’t have a car, and need to get to a neighboring town,” said Kim Curley, community engagement coordinator with Commute Options. “If you live in Prineville and you need to go to Redmond to Freddy’s, it’s hard to do that on the weekend if you don’t drive.”
The service had been a part of CET’s 2013 transit master plan.
Seven years later, they’re finally able to make it happen.
“So a lot of folks use our services, particularly in the rural areas, to get to either medical or shopping or work,” said Andrea Breault, senior transit planner with Cascades East Transit. “And funding in the past has only allowed us to do that on the weekday. However, with new state dollars we’re now able to expand to Saturday.”
Curley says public transportation is becoming more and more accessible in Central Oregon.
Ride Bend, the on-demand van service, announced they will be continuing service through March, providing locals with even more ways to get around other than a car.
“Central Oregon is blessed and cursed by having places and people far apart from each other,” Curley said. “So those longer trips are really difficult to make if you’re not driving your own car. Public transit gives an option to people to get to those places that they need to go.”