Bus system budget

New bus shelters, a ‘shopping bus’ and a variety of services are in the works for Lincoln City residents thanks in part to the Lincoln County Transit Service District.

At the July 10 joint work session with the City of Lincoln City Council and the County Commissioners, Program Director at Lincoln County Transit Office Cynda Bruce gave a quick update on all the services provided to residents in Lincoln City.

Some of the services include the popular Dial-A-Ride service, which runs Monday through Friday. The intercommunity transportation service, which is a route from Lincoln City to Newport provided seven days a week with five round trips daily, Monday through Saturday, and four round trips on Sunday.

Bruce also mentioned the Connector Alliance program, which offers daily rides to Tillamook and rides to Grand Ronde and Salem three days a week. The Transit District’s Lincoln City Loop has recently expanded to run every day of the week including holidays with the exception of Christmas and Thanksgiving.

“That's one that we've been working on and the City is really wanted for some time,” Bruce said. “So I'm pretty pleased with that one.”

Last summer, the County Transit District started what they call a summer mill program in Lincoln City. In partnership with the Lincoln County School District, the schools provided the program for some of the low-income residents in town, and not just the children but the families as well. Families were provided special passes so that they would be able get to the mill sites.

“The first year we were able to provide services to 50 families and the school district was very pleased with that and asked that we expand that to throughout the county, which we started this year,” Bruce said. “I'll be back to report on that later… but it seems to be going well and I'm hoping we can provide a lot of service to folks out that are needing it.”

Bruce also spoke about a new program allowing students to ride county transit for free anywhere in the county.

“What I thought would work best for the community, the students, the parents would be to have them use their student body cards as passes and just open up the entire system to them within the county boundaries,” Bruce sad.

Since the program was just set in place this summer, Bruce was unable to give any usage data for the new program, but stated that they will be tracking how many students are using the service to gauge its success.

“It's still pretty new, but I'm hoping that that it's successful,” Bruce said.

Projects in the works

The Transit district is launching a new program soon called the ‘shopper bus.’ Similar to the Dial-A-Ride service, residents will call and register for the service. The shopper bus can be used for any kind of errands and will be one day a week in each area of the county.

“It will be a smaller van than even our dial-a-ride,” Bruce said. “What we've run into is that there are a lot of people within our community that we can't get to in some of the really more isolated smaller spots with our regular sized busses.

“It's a pilot project, and we'll see how that works.”

Bruce also noted that the Transit District recently purchased eight bus shelters for Lincoln City through a grant, which will be installed soon. The original shelters put up for the County Transit system were found to be no longer compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.

“I was able to secure a grant for the bus shelters and I was able to pull down $20,000 to give back to the City for installing them,” Bruce said.

The new shelters will be completely ADA accessible and Bruce said they are grateful to be able to work closely with the City on resolving issues like these.

“You guys are great partners and when I can successfully write a grant like that, I want to be able to contribute back for all the work you do as well,” Bruce said. “We appreciate you all.”

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