Transit to add Saturday service
Beginning the first weekend of February, Cascades East Transit will be adding Saturday service to its Madras to Warm Springs and Madras to Redmond bus routes.
"A new project that is funded through new state dollars is going to help pay for Saturday service," said Andrea Breault, senior transit planner for the service, which is under the umbrella of the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council.
The Saturday service will follow the same schedule as the current weekday service, and schedules are timed so that passengers from Warm Springs do not have to change buses if they want to travel to Redmond.
A stop at Redmond Walmart is also being added.
On the Warm Springs route, buses leave the Madras DMV at 8 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 2:52 p.m., and return at 9:08 a.m., 12:42 p.m. and 3:59 p.m.
On the Redmond route, buses leave the Madras DMV at 9:08 a.m., 12:42 p.m. and 3:59 p.m. and return at 10:56 a.m., 2:32 p.m. and 5:49 p.m.
Breault said the service was identified in COIC's master plan, as well as Jefferson County and Madras' transportation system plans.
"And the largest gap was weekend," Breault said. "We heard a lot of public say, 'You don't provide service even though I work on the weekend.'"
Breault said the expanded service won't require new buses, but "we are hiring drivers as well as drivers who are interested in more hours."
"Jefferson County received somewhere around $530,000, and that is what is helping pay for these enhancements," Breault said.
More additions in Jefferson County are planned, including a medical and shopper shuttle for Madras, Metolius and Culver that would take people door to door rather than on a fixed route.
And when Jefferson County completes its public health campus, a transit hub is planned for St. Charles Madras, with a loading zone for buses and electric vehicle charging.
In October, the Madras to Redmond route provided 3,480 rides, and the Warm Springs to Madras route 1,765. Cascades East also has dial-a-ride and elderly and disabled ride service.
Fares for a single ride with no transfers in Zones 2 and 3, which includes Madras and Redmond, is $1.50 for adults and youth and $1.25 for seniors and disabled people. Ten-trip punchcards are $15 and $12.50. Fares for a single ride in Zone 4, which includes Warm Springs, is $1 for adults and youth and 50 cents for seniors and disabled people.
"We would love to hear if it's working and if it meets the needs," she said.
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