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Fixed bus route returning to Redmond Campus


After being closed for over a year, the Redmond Campus bus stop will open as soon as Feb. 15 due to a coalition of students, faculty and local nonprofits. The campus bus stop will be funded for 17 months by the Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College and Partnership to End Poverty.
Scott Greenstone
The Broadside

A request for $12,500 was submitted to ASCOCC for their Jan. 11 meeting toward the reopening of the Redmond Campus bus stop by Gordon Price, director of student life, and Kelly Huskey, ASCOCC director of Student Organizations.
The cost to fund the fixed route for 17 months is $40,155, $25,000 of which will be funded by Partnership to End Poverty.ASCOCC approved $4,500 toward the bus stop funds on Jan. 11, according to Kurt Killinger, director of legislative affairs, with the intentions to put in $8,000 more.
“Everything over $5,000 has to go through the Budget Fees Committee,” said Killinger. “But we voted on a Referendum of Understanding… [which] is as close as we can get to a promise that once the Budget Fees Committee clears it, we’ll approve the $8,000.”
If the additional $8,000 is approved, everything but $2,155 will be covered.
Cascades East Transit’s previous Redmond Campus stop was moved to the library in downtown Redmond route in 2011, according to Price, director of Student Life. This change was not optimal for students, however, who are now forced to walk or pay extra to commute to the campus.
“We were talking with folks out in Redmond campus,” said Price. “They saw that there was a problem and said, ‘what can we do to fix it?’”
A committee comprised ofplanners from Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, faculty from Redmond Campus and representatives of local aid groups like Partnership to End Poverty and NeighborImpact decided that reopening the Redmond Campus bus stop was the most efficient answer, according to the ASCOCC funding request put together by Price and Huskey.
This change will particularly affect those traveling between Redmond and Bend, according to Scott Aycock, transportation planner at COIC. Aycock was asked to join the project in late summer 2012.
“Right now it’s not very convenient,” said Aycock. “This is going to make it a lot easier for students.”
One of the minds behind the project is Chris Redgrave, director of manufacturing at Redmond Campus, who saw the problem with the bus stop transition firsthand.
“The hub is 1.63 miles from the campus,” said Redgrave. “[Students] have to cross U.S. 97, which is a busy highway… On Veteran’s Way, from U.S. 97 to 1st Avenue, there’s no sidewalk.”
Students can use the services of Dial-A-Ride, but have to schedule a day in advance, according to the funding request. The request also states that they have to pay additional fare beyond the multi-zone pass, and wait up to half an hour to be picked up.
Partnership to End Poverty is funding the project because of Redmond Campus’ involvement and proximity to poverty-aiding programs, according to Jason Carr, executive director of partnership to End Poverty.
“Redmond COCC campus houses the Department of Human Services and WorkSource Oregon, and NeighborImpact is right there in that area,” said Carr. “It also presents significant employment, so it’s a no-brainer.”
Huskey called Redmond Campus a “one-stop shop” for people struggling financially.
“You can get food stamps, unemployment,” said Huskey. “All government agencies in Redmond are there.”
Once ASCOCC approves $12,500, Price is confident that the rest of the funding will be easy to procure.
“$2,100 is a lot easier to come by than $40,000,” said Price.
The bus stop should become operational as soon as Feb. 15, according to Price, but it could be as late as March.
(Contact: sgreenstone@cocc.edu)

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