It’s time for A Better Cherriots. As the project name suggests, Cherriots is working to provide better bus service in Salem-Keizer and the surrounding region. With the passage of Oregon House Bill 2017 (HB 2017), Cherriots will be getting more resources in 2019 to provide a major expansion in service and address other longstanding needs.
A Better Cherriots
Over the past few months, Cherriots has refined the plan to enhance service using the funds that we'll receive from the Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund. This plan was recommended for approval by the Statewide Transportation Improvement Advisory Committee to the Cherriots Board of Directors on October 15, 2018. The plan was approved by the Board on October 25, 2018 and was submitted to the Oregon Department of Transportation on November 1, 2018.
The first phase of the plan for enhanced service will start in September 2019 and continue into future years. The first enhancement to Cherriots Local will be Saturday service and later weekday evenings starting in September 2019. For Cherriots Regional, we'll also add Saturday service and additional trips to some routes on weekdays. See below for maps outlining the proposal. The second phase of service enhancements will come in May of 2020. This will include some Sunday service and service on additional holidays for Cherriots Local routes.
Additionally, this plan includes a reduced youth fare for riders aged 6-18 which will be implemented in July of 2018. Stay tuned for updates; we'll let you know as soon as our application is approved by ODOT!
Every two years, Cherriots staff are tasked by the Board of Directors to evaluate the current fare structure. Cherriots staff created a fare proposal and presented it to the public in May and June 2018 to gather rider input. The goals were to:
1. Help families and low-income riders
2. Simplify fare structure
3. Facilitate transfers between local and regional buses
4. Encourage youth to ride
5. Ensure fare structure is equitable
During the public engagement period, we hosted a number of events to give people more details about our proposal, give them a chance to ask questions of the staff, and offer their feedback in person. These events were held at the Downtown Transit Center, Keizer Transit Center, and Chemeketa Community College.
We brought the public feedback to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund Advisory Committee for them to read and discuss. Their recommendations were included in the application we submitted on November 1, 2018 for STIF dollars. The last draft of the plan will go to the Cherriots Board of Directors in the coming months for final approval. We'll post that plan as soon as it's complete.
Based on the results of the November 2017 needs assessment, staff have developed a service proposal with proposed changes in September 2018 and September 2019. You can read the full proposal, which includes maps of routes running on the weekends, by clicking below:
We reached out to the public in February and March for input on our proposal and received a great response. We held open houses and information events at locations like the Downtown Transit Center, Broadway Coffeehouse, Chemeketa Community College, Center 50+, and many others. Staff walked through the proposal with attendees, answered questions, and received feedback. We'll use that feedback to make adjustments to the proposal. Read the report on our findings by clicking below:
In November 2017, Cherriots staff conducted a needs assessment. In addition to analyzing shifts in population and travel demand, staff conducted a rider and community survey and a survey of Cherriots frontline employees—those who interact directly with riders on a daily basis. This report can be found by clicking below: