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It's My Ride: Kathy Lincoln Profile

Color Me Green

When Kathy Lincoln hops aboard a Cherriots bus, she first takes a quick look around inside. A bus packed with passengers gives her a sense of satisfaction.

“I get on the bus, see who’s there, and kind of count,” Lincoln said. “People say the buses are always empty. Well, no, they’re not always empty.”

Lincoln marched in a parade celebrating the first Earth Day in the spring of 1970. Forty-eight years later, she is still a defender of the Earth. These days, she is an advocate for sustainable transportation.

The avid bicyclist serves on the Cherriots Board of Directors. In 2015, she became part of the unpaid, volunteer board that determines policies for the public transit agency.

The retiree, who lives in Keizer, had a 17-year career as a senior assistant attorney general for the Oregon Department of Justice. She advised state agencies, primarily the Oregon Department of Transportation, on land use and environmental compliance. 

Lincoln, 67, also serves on the Keizer Traffic Safety, Bikeways and Pedestrian committee. She enjoys tending her garden and volunteering with the SMART reader program at Cummings Elementary School.

Why she rides

Lincoln worries about climate change, calling it the “biggest threat to our world.” Using a bus pass, instead of riding in a single occupancy vehicle, can help solve the dual problem of carbon emissions and traffic congestion, she said.

To do her part in helping the environment, Lincoln avoids driving her car. Her favorite grocery store is within easy walking or bike riding distance. When she takes Cherriots, she usually rides Route 19 and Route 21.

“I can go three or four days without getting into a car,” Lincoln said.

As the region grows and traffic problems worsen, public transit becomes even more important.

“We can’t build enough infrastructure to get rid of congestion,” said Lincoln, who has been a long-time opponent of the proposed third bridge across the Willamette River in Salem.


Lincoln urges commuters to leave their vehicles parked in the driveway and give Cherriots a try. Besides being the sustainable choice, Cherriots certainly costs less than buying gasoline and renting a parking space.

Cherriots is poised to deliver better service. The transportation package passed by state lawmakers in the last session will provide funding to restore services lost to budget cuts nine years ago, including Saturday service, sometime in 2019.

“It’s really exciting to be involved with an opportunity to expand service rather than cut down service,” Lincoln said. This year, Cherriots staff and the Board of Directors will gather information from the community to help shape service improvements planned for 2019. 

--Michael Rose

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