BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors have agreed to partner with Visit Bend and the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) to offer a free summer shuttle service. COIC Executive Director Karen Friend says what’s being called “Ride Bend” is an effort to ease congestion in high-traffic areas, "It will run from 2-10 [p.m.]. The idea was that it would capture people trying to go to dinner; give them both a ride there and home. People kind of recreate in the morning, and that was the timing that would work for people." She tells KBND News, "It will have 15 minute service; it will be the highest frequency of service in Central Oregon."
Bend City Manager Eric King says Councilors realized something needs to be done to mitigate parking and traffic problems. "Especially in the downtown/Old Mill District, if there’s a way to alleviate that through a circulator shuttle. So we’ve worked in partnership with COIC to make that happen."
Friend says this summer is a pilot, "It’s going to be fare free, so no cost to ride. It gets them downtown, Old Mill, Galveston, 14th, OSU. So, breweries and restaurants; sort of doing a circulator." It’ll operate June 23 through Labor Day, through Cascades East Transit