Three’s a crowd, eh? We are all feeling the impact of the growing population in Central Oregon. One of the benefits of more people here is that we have better ways to get around. The Ride Bend free shuttle is a perfect example of how more people can get around downtown Bend without a car. The OSU Mobility Lab and Cascades East Transit has created a new program to hail a ride on a sweet shuttle with the swipe of a finger!

Our transportation challenges are not unique to Central Oregon. Along the Front Range in Colorado, transit agencies and governments are working together to find solutions to the overcrowded road situation. Shoshana Lew, CDOT’s new executive director and financial chief of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the Obama administration says “As that population density increases, almost out of necessity it pushes people and the market to think about more choice. As the cities along the north Front Range and south Front Range grow, you start to think about things differently.”

Getting around Central Oregon is doable on the bus however getting to Central Oregon is more challenging. The Breeze can get you to and from Portland, and with high demand we could see more frequent trips and less travel time. Heading east? You can always rely on the People Mover to get you out to enjoy the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway. Going even further? The Eastern Point can take you all the way to the Idaho border! Read more about the other bus options in and out of Central Oregon.

As our mountain towns continue to grow consider skipping the hassle of parking, avoid dealing with traffic, and just enjoy the ride. Maybe just around town, or maybe on an adventure to a new place. The bus is there for you!