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CC Rider had proposed significant cuts, but will retain current service through winter term

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - In addition to 40-foot buses, CC Rider also operates smaller vans for routes that typically see just a few riders on each trip.After talks with Portland Community College, Columbia County Rider has decided to continue the current PCC line 2 service through March 20, when the winter term ends.

Line 2 currently runs from St. Helens to PCC Rock Creek and Willow Creek Transit Center four times each weekday. After PCC's winter term ends, CC Rider will cut one daily trip.

CC Rider staff had proposed cutting one daily trip starting in January or eliminating the entire route.

CC Rider Transit Director Todd Wood said that keeping line 2 service as-is for a few months will offset his proposed savings by roughly $10,000, "meaning it may take a bit longer to pay off the county debt than originally hoped."

PCC funds part of the line 2 service. CC Rider staff had been negotiating with the college through PCC's Parking & Transportation Manager Michael Kuehn to find a way to cut costs without losing the PCC funding.

"Our goal was not to lose our current PCC funding level which is based on four trips. They agreed to allow us to reduce to three trips and keep the funding the same as long as we agreed to maintain the current service until March 20," Wood explained in an email last week.

"This is because students have already signed up for winter classes and they do not want students to be left stranded as many will have made plans based on our current service hours," Wood continued.

Registration for PCC's winter term opened Nov. 11, before CC Rider had publicly proposed major cuts to line 2.

Line 1, which travels from St. Helens to downtown Portland, will retain the daily Sauvie Island trip until March. CC Rider had used funding to add a half-trip from St. Helens to Sauvie Island, where riders could transfer to TriMet, the Portland public transit provider.

One of CC Rider's proposals released last month was to eliminate that trip and add Sauvie Island as a stop on one of the full trips into Portland.

CC Rider officials will bring their proposals to the Columbia County board of commissioners at the board's next meeting, which will take place Wednesday, Jan. 8.

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