Central Oregon Community College, as well as Oregon State University-Cascades, has joined Cascade East Transits Core Partners (CET) in expanding the local public transportation system.
Many saw a need for changes in the previous system, and CET responded with a proposal. COCC saw an opportunity that could greatly benefit the community of Bend and the students attending COCC and OSU-Cascades, according to Matthew McCoy, the vice president of administration.
“There is a group of community-based organizations that are interested in expanding the bus system in Bend. The Bend system is connected to the Cascade East Transit.” McCoy said.
The school has been a part of the processes and the meetings involved from the beginning. COCC and OSU-Cascades do not have the parking space they need to accommodate every student, according to ASCOCC President Connor Westover. The hope is that more students will choose to use public transportation, thus helping alleviate parking for all, McCoy added.
The new expansion brings a set of new routes on Greenwood, Colorado, and NW 14th Street. There will be 30- or 60-minute cycle times, and 30-or 60-minute headways which is a 15-minute increase than before. One of the most useful changes for students may be the change to the bus schedule: the bus will now run until 8:00 p.m. on weekdays according to CET’s informational brochure.
The next ASCOCC and CET goal is to help students pay for bus passes:
“We are going to have fewer discounted passes to give out, but are going to see if students are willing to have an increase in fees in order to cover a group pass rate for students,” Westover said. “Our biggest concern is always making sure we are doing what is best for the students.”
Although there is a little work left to be made with the pass prices and deals for students, Westover and McCoy think the change will be good for all.
Liz McKeown | The Broadside