BEND, OR -- Ride Bend, the free summer shuttle offered by Cascades East Transit (CET), kicks off its second year of operations Friday. Derek Hofbauer, with CET, says its a good way to have fun and leave the driving to someone else, "It's basically a circulator shuttle that goes around greater downtown Bend. It connects Downtown Bend with the Old Mill District, with Century Drive and with Galveston. It's a lot of destination points along the way."
With more visitors expected in Bend, this summer, Hofbauer says Ride Bend aims to ease traffic congestion during tourist season, "A lot of visitors come to recreate here and go to all our craft breweries and visit all of our great restaurants, so this free shuttle that allows people to leave their car at home or leave their car at the hotel and just hop on a shuttle and get to where they need to go." He tells KBND News, "It's promoting community livability, it's promoting economic development, and it's a good way for folks to just get around. Especially, if they've been out and they've had a few drinks they can just take the shuttle around to get them home and leave the driving to us."
Ride Bend is funded through a partnership between the city of Bend, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and Visit Bend. The organizations will kick-off the season's first trip at 11:30 a.m., Friday at the corner of Wall and Franklin, with food, speeches and a bus trip that tours each stop. It runs every 15 minutes, between noon and 10 p.m., every day until Labor Day.