Starting June 1, Cascades East Transit (CET) will launch Route 31 — an employee-focused summer transit service between La Pine and Sunriver — and begin operating more frequent weekday schedules for Bend and regional Community Connector routes. Increased frequency along CET routes allows more options for physical distancing. All CET weekend services will remain suspended until further notice.
The Route 31 La Pine to Sunriver service is a Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) project that is being implemented to fill existing transportation gaps and provide greater access to jobs and other essential services. The 2020 summer service will operate seven days per week from June 1 through September 7. Bus stops along Route 31 will be located at Fourth and Huntington, St. Charles Family Clinic and Wickiup Junction in La Pine and at the Library and Resort in Sunriver.
Deschutes County Commissioner Patti Adair mentioned, “The new La Pine to Sunriver summer transit service will connect La Pine and Sunriver residents to employment opportunities, health care needs and other essential services. This vital transportation link between La Pine and Sunriver will help foster economic development and job growth in Southern Deschutes County.”
“This bus line was the result of lobbying by all of the Deschutes County Commissioners who saw a need for a specific transportation service between La Pine and Sunriver, and realized this was an intended use of the 2017 Transportation Bill additional State funding,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Henderson. “We worked to accelerate this process.”
“I look forward to riding the new route,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone.
The La Pine and Sunriver Area Chambers of Commerce, the City of La Pine, community partners and residents contributed to Route 31 planning efforts and are eager to see the project come to fruition. John Holland, board president of the Sunriver Area Chamber of Commerce, noted, “This new service will provide a convenient and efficient transportation option for residents and employees to travel between the communities of Sunriver and La Pine, thus helping to revitalize our economy as we recover during this unprecedented time.”
CET continues to follow Oregon Health Authority guidelines by disinfecting high-touch surfaces on buses and at facilities every four hours, requiring face coverings for drivers and passengers, temporarily suspending fare collection, posting maximum occupancy notices and providing signage and visual cues on buses to encourage passengers to stand and sit at least three feet away from other passengers and six feet away from drivers. More information about the Route 31 schedule and CET’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 can be found at cascadeseasttransit.com.
Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) was designated a Council of Governments in 1972 under ORS 190. Cascades East Transit, operated by COIC, provides fixed-route and Dial-A-Ride services in Bend, Community Connector regional services, general public Dial-A-Ride services in Redmond, La Pine, Prineville, Sisters and Madras, flex-route service in Warm Springs and recreational routes like Ride the River, Lava Butte and the Mt. Bachelor shuttle.