Officials wonder how proposed changes will affect riders

by: POST FILE PHOTO: JIM HART - POST FILE PHOTO: JIM HART A SAM bus stops to take on passengers at one of the many stops in Sandy before making another of its round trips to Gresham. All bus routes will be shortened in January, ending at the new transit center.Sandy Area Metro (SAM) riders from Sandy, Gresham, Estacada and the mountain villages soon will notice some changes in the routes and times throughout Sandy’s transit system.

But before Transit Manager Julie Stephens and the Transit Advisory Committee settle on the changes, which will involve shortening routes, they want to talk with the people they serve.

Local residents should expect the proposal to have the Estacada bus going to the new transit center to connect with the SAM bus.

“Beyond the routes being shortened, the Estacada bus may have a different route,” Stephens said. “We’re not looking at big changes (on this route). We have a very constant ridership (to and from Estacada), and we’re hoping not to displace that ridership.”

Larger changes are likely to occur because the Sandy routes will need to be shortened, eliminating a number of stops on the east side of town.

Stephens said the decision on route and time changes must be made by mid-December.

The reason a decision on the changes is needed soon is because the new transit center is expected to be open for use Jan. 7, 2013, and the new time schedules and routes must be printed before that date.

A public meeting of the Transit Advisory Committee is scheduled from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Sandy’s Operations Center, 16610 Champion Way.

At the meeting, a public workshop will be held to help area residents understand the proposed schedule and route changes and offer any comments that could guide the decision makers.

Stephens said she and the committee want to listen to public viewpoints.

The meeting will be less formal than other public meetings such as the City Council. Stephens says she wants the meeting’s atmosphere to encourage public comment on how the changes might affect the people the buses serve.

Stephens said the routes are likely to change more than the times.

“We expect the times to be very similar,” Stephens said, “but there might be some time differences. All the routes will be different because they will be shortened to end at the new transit center.”

The changes are made necessary because the city of Sandy is completing the new transit center at Centennial Plaza (west of the museum and north of City Hall) in downtown Sandy.

The new center will become the eastern terminus for Sandy Transit as well as SAM, and it will serve as a transfer point for riders who wish to connect with other area transit services.

Upon completion of the new center, several bus stops will be eliminated, including: City Hall, Wolf Drive and Pioneer Boulevard, Langensand Road and Highway 26, Langensand Road and McCormick Drive and the Sandy Post Office as well as both Revenue and Meinig avenues where they intersect with Proctor Boulevard. The local dial-a-ride service, STAR, will be available to serve these areas.

For more information about the transit center project, route changes or the Transit Advisory Committee meeting, call Stephens at 503-489-0925 or send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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