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Other cause: TCTD Routes 60X/70X service suspended
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It's My Ride: Sam Spink

Riding with a transit super-fan and human bus database

Cherriots super-fan Sam Spink visits the Downtown Transit Center regularly to say hello to his favorite drivers and see which buses are driving on which routes. If you ask him about any bus number, he can tell you the make and year that individual bus went into operation. He even follows some of his past favorite buses on social media when they go to auction after serving at Cherriots. He’s found videos of Cherriots buses driving around cities as far away as Los Angeles!

Sam rode Cherriots buses with his dad for a couple of years when he was a kid. Then when Cherriots offered free Saturday service in September of 2019, Sam started riding on his own and became a fan. He rode to classes at McNary High School, where he currently attends. Sam also rode in those early days to deliver food boxes to families in need, which his youth group at St. Edward Catholic Church prepared.

Sam enjoys riding Route 1X to Wilsonville, where he discovered there are two different ways to get to Portland. From Wilsonville, he rode TriMet’s WES train up to the Beaverton Transit Center. Then, it’s just an easy connection by bus or light-rail all over the west side of the Portland metro area. Another option from the Wilsonville Transit Center he discovered is SMART Transit’s Route 3X to the Canby Transit Center, then Canby Area Transit’s Route 99X to the Oregon City Transit Center. From there, TriMet buses can take you all over the east side of the metro area.

Since the introduction of the new audio announcements on the bus, Sam has been helpful in catching some small pronunciation issues. With so many stops and announcements, we missed a couple words, but we were able to tell the computer to pronounce them phonetically and get it right thanks to Sam. He says he does miss the former voice on the bus though, provided by Operations Supervisor Keith Rosentrater, who recently retired.

Sam is just one of those riders who brightens everyone’s day. We love seeing his smile on the bus and downtown. When we asked him what others should know about Cherriots, he simply says, “The buses are clean, the operators are nice, and the fares are reasonable.” We couldn’t have said it any better than Sam, the Cherriots super-fan!