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BEND, OR -- Cascades East Transit is celebrating 10 years of bus service, in conjunction with the Oregon Drive Less Challenge, which kicks off Monday and runs through October 15. 

Derek Hofbauer says it's CET's birthday, but riders are the ones receiving gifts, like free rides. "Free Transit Tuesday on each of the Tuesdays during the Drive Less Challenge; and that’s to really encourage people to try transit. And, that’s on Bend’s fixed route and community connector services." He tells KBND News, "And then we’re going to be doing some special events at our Hawthorne Station on Tuesday, October second, and then also at our new Redmond Transit Hub on Tuesday, October ninth. So, we’re going to be greeting riders, having snacks, giving them some little blinky lights, because it’s going to be getting dark sooner." Tuesday's rider appreciation, October second, at Hawthorne station is from 7:30 to 10 a.m. And, next week’s event at the Redmond Hub is from 2 to 4:30 p.m. 

The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) created Cascades East Transit in 2008 to provide public transportation options in outlying areas; it merged with Bend Area Transit in 2010. Hofbauer says they’ve grown exponentially in the past decade. "I think one of the things we’re especially proud of is our recreational services: Ride the River and Ride Bend and Lava Butte. We’ve had some really unique partnerships, also with Mt. Bachelor. Not a lot of cities and jurisdictions do that."

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