The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) says improvements are coming to regional transit service on Cascades East Transit in the near future. COIC’s announcement comes on the heels of receiving a formal approval from the Oregon Transportation Commission who made their final decision last week on awarding ConnectOregon fund. The Redmond transit hub was one of 39 multimodal projects in the state awarded grant funding. The award from the State of Oregon ConnectOR VI grant completed the necessary funding to allow CET to implement a slate of transit capital improvements across the region aimed at improving public access to employment, education, health care and other essential destinations.
Regional Transit Capital Improvements
- Redmond transit hub and park-and-ride lot – construction to begin summer of 2017
- Enhanced bus stop shelters for major Bend stop locations – in progress
- Enhanced bus stop shelters for the Community Connector system – 2018
- La Pine transit hub – 2018
- Transit style (low floor) buses – 2017
A key catalyst for the development of these regional transit improvements was the Central Oregon Regional Solutions Committee, which highlighted transit as a regional priority by securing state funding to increase transit access to the new OSU-Cascades four-year university campus in Bend. The Committee contributed funding for the new Redmond transit hub and park-and-ride lot, the La Pine transit hub, the major stops in Bend, and one low-floor bus. Additional funding sources for the regional improvements are the State of Oregon STIP/Enhance program, ConnectOR VI, the City of Redmond, the Oregon Community Foundation, and COIC.
“CET is pleased to provide improved transit service across the region to meet the growing needs of Central Oregon,” remarked Karen Friend, COIC interim executive director. “Regional transit is essential to supporting Central Oregon’s access to employment, education, and affordable housing.”
The Central Oregon Regional Solutions Advisory Committee unanimously supported the OSU Cascades Campus as the most important economic development priority in the region. The committee recognizes the critical role that transit plays in connecting people to where they work, go to school, live and recreate. In addition to the investment for a Redmond transit hub, The Central Oregon Regional Solutions Advisory Committee invested in a La Pine transit hub, enhanced bus stops in Bend, and a transit style bus.
“The goal is for OSU Cascades to serve as a cornerstone for increasing transit access in Central Oregon” said Mike Hollern the convener of the Central Oregon Regional Solutions Committee.
Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council was designated a Council of Governments in 1972 under ORS 190. Cascades East Transit, operated by COIC, runs a fixed-route, community connector shuttles, and general public Dial-A-Ride services. CET provides services in Bend, Redmond, La Pine, Prineville, Sisters, Madras, Metolius, Culver, and Warm Springs. Cascades East Transit is the largest transit provider in the state of Oregon without dedicated local funding.
Outreach and Engagement Administrator
Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council
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