It’s important to realize that the operation of the transit system and facilities belongs to COIC, not the City. The intergovernmental agreement between COIC and the City of Bend identifies the City as a partnering agency to provide some funding for transit.
The City and COIC shares many goals, including lessening the impact of transit in the Bend Central Area by developing mobility hubs where needed, and expanding much needed service throughout the city.
We’ve been coordinating with COIC’s Cascades East Transit on their Master Plan update for the duration of the Transportation System Plan (TSP) update. COIC’s planning work is very consistent with the City’s transit recommendations.
Bend’s TSP recommendations are for those aspects of the system that the City has jurisdiction over — essentially the right-of-way — recognizing the value of high capacity north-south and east-west transit routes; probably on Third Street and Greenwood, although CET will make the final determination on the routes. Our work would be around “intelligent signals” that allow the buses to hold the green, improving access to transit routes (i.e., better sidewalks and crossings) and helping locate Mobility Hubs, which can be thought of as mini-transfer stops and the location for “last-mile travel” equipment such as e-bikes, ride-share, etc. Mobility Hubs may lessen the pressure on Hawthorne.
There is some funding for transit items in the short term list under consideration for a bond. Also, CET is requesting more money to be included in the bond. The Council is still in the process of refining a viable bond package.
The City’s legal requirement in transportation planning is to coordinate with CET, and we’ve been doing that — it’s a great partnership.