Students traveling on the bus between Bend, Redmond, Prineville and Madras will soon see their bus pass prices drop by $40. Central Oregon Community College students have already received discounted monthly bus passes for travelling within Bend, but there had been no discount for students travelling to or from the city.
The Associated Students of COCC (ASCOCC) and the Office of Student Life have teamed up to expand the discounted Cascade East Transit bus passes.
“The new bus pass rates will be available starting in February,” according to COCC Director of Student Life Gordon Price.
COCC distributes about 200 discounted monthly passes a month, according to Price. COCC receives the passes at a discounted rate from CET while ASCOCC and the Office of Student Life cover the additional price reductions. Since the passes can’t be returned if unsold, about 150 a month are usually purchased. If the demand is higher than 150, Student Life can go to CET and ask for more passes, according to Price.
“There’s no cap on the number of passes we can get,” said Price.
Students coming from Redmond, Madras, Warm Springs and Prineville currently pay the standard rate of $100 for a monthly pass for transit between any of those cities and Bend. The monthly bus passes for multi-zone travel will soon cost $60 for unlimited rides.
ASCOCC and the Office of Student Life arranged the multi-zone discounted rate with Cascade East Transit. With more than 10,000 credit students coming from all over Central Oregon, many students have struggled with the high costs of transportation.
The new bus fares will affect many students who come from outlying areas. Michael Bash, a manufacturing major at COCC, is a long time bus rider travelling from Tumalo every week.
“It will be cheaper, which will help,” said Bash.
He compared the costs of public transport in Central Oregon to other cities in the state.
“It’s better than it was, but it’s still quite high,” said Bash.
For more information on bus pass costs, students can contact COCC’s Office of Student Life at 541-383-7590.