Free Saturday bus rides this September
Many bus riders in the region were buoyed when Salem Area Mass Transit District, aka Cherriots, announced it was restoring Saturday services, which have been unavailable since 2009.
They may be further pleased to learn that a month of free Saturday rides are in store for September.
The Cherriot's Board of Directors voted unanimously to provide free rides on Saturdays, Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28, to celebrate the return of service.
"We are excited to provide this service to our community," said Ian Davidson, president of the board. "We invite everyone to come check out our service and enjoy the ride. It's on the house."
The additional Saturday options include several stops on Routes 10X and 20X: the former serves Woodburn, Gervais and Brooks; the latter Woodburn, Mount Angel and Silverton.
According to the Cherriots website, a ride on those routes costs $2.25; $4.50 for a day pass and $60 for a month pass. Seniors, people with disabilities and Medicare card holders receive a reduced fare: $1.50, $3 and $30 respectively. Youth, $1, $2 and $20.
Saturday service was discontinued in 2009 due to budget cuts in the wake of a pair of failed levies in 2006.
The current enhanced service changes, which also includes later evening hours, were made possible by funding approved by state legislators in 2017. Those funds were dedicated to fortify mass transits throughout the state. This marks Cherriots' largest service expansion in its history, according to SAMTD General Manager Allan Pollock.
Cherriots also announced that it is replacing dozens of vehicles driven past their recommended useful life, including those providing Cherriots Local, Cherriots Regional, and Cherriots LIFT services.
Cherriots has also hired and trained 30 new operators to cover the expanded services. Additional positions have also been hired in maintenance and customer service.
For information, visit Cherriots.org.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.