Cascades East Transit adding 3 'low-floor' buses

Public invited to take a ride at Nov. 30 launch

BEND, Ore. - (Update: Details of bus cost, funding sources)

Thanks to its funding partners, Cascades East Transit has purchased three low-floor buses that will serve Bend’s busiest transit routes, the organization said Tuesday.

Low-floor buses include back doors to improve passenger circulation, in addition to wheelchair ramps that allow mobility-limited passengers to quickly board the bus without assistance from the driver.

The addition of low-floor buses to the existing fleet will increase the reliability and frequency of Cascades East Transit fixed-route bus service, officials said.

When asked how the new buses will improve public transportation services in Central Oregon, CET Senior Planner Jackson Lester said, “We are working hard to make transit more dignified in Central Oregon. These low-floor buses will make bus arrival times more consistent, boarding faster and more comfortable for disabled riders, and overall service more reliable for the entire community.”

Cascades East Transit will launch the new fleet of Gillig low-floor buses during a Thursday, November 30 event at Hawthorne Station, located at 334 NE Hawthorne Avenue in Bend. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held promptly at 11:30 a.m., where the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council Executive Director and funding partners will make special remarks.

Following the ceremony, event participants can take a ride on a new low-floor bus as it departs from Hawthorne Station at noon. Tours of the bus will be offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and light snacks will be provided.

The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council said three of the four buses have arrived, with the last due next spring.

Each cost about $400,000, funded by different parties: ODOT, the Oregon Business Development Department and the Federal Transit Administration.

The expected useful life for such a large, heavy-duty bus is 12 years and 500,000 miles.

Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council was designated a Council of Governments in 1972 under ORS 190. COIC provides service to the counties of Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson as well as to the cities of Bend, Culver, La Pine, Madras, Metolius, Prineville, Redmond, and Sisters.

Cascades East Transit, operated by COIC, runs a fixed-route service in Bend, community connector shuttles, and general public Dial-A-Ride services in Redmond, La Pine, Prineville, Sisters, and Madras.

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