Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bracing for cuts to Rogue Valley Transit

Rogue Valley Transportation District bus
Image source: Rogue Valley Transportation District on Facebook
A loss of bus service on Saturdays and reduced-frequency of weekday routes will make a huge difference in when and how my family travels between Ashland and Medford, Oregon.

For the Ashland Daily Tidings, staff writer Damian Mann reports that Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) is bracing for cuts to its routes.

Proposed changes will be addressed during a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Jackson County Courthouse auditorium, 10 S. Oakdale St. in Medford (a short distance on-foot or by bicycle from RVTD’s downtown Front Street Station).

Saturday service is expected to end in March.

By June, Route 10 will reduce its travel frequency from 20 minutes to half-an-hour.

Take it from this rider, RVTD’s Route 10 often operates “standing room only,” as Mann relates in his news article. He’s talking about its weekday operation, but the Saturday run is even-more so.

When a bus comes only once per hour, it has a lot of demand. And if its bike rack is full, a denial-of-service may not be such a big deal if the next bus shows up in 20 minutes.

But if you can’t load your bike on the Saturday bus, your options are to wait an hour and hope you can load your bike, or bike-ride back to Ashland (which can be done, and rather pleasantly via the Bear Creek Greenway).

The one source of optimism is that RVTD staff recommends continuing to offer service past 7 p.m. on three of the most popular routes, including Route 10. Routes 40 (Central Point) and 60 (White City) would also continue weekday-evening services.

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