Communities with public transit systems not only grow, they thrive.
The Salem Area Mass Transit District, more commonly known as Cherriots, is a community lifeline connecting people to the places where they live, work, learn, shop, and explore.
Formed in 1979 as a municipal corporation, Cherriots provides fixed-route, paratransit, regional, and rideshare services. The Cherriots mission, connecting people with places through safe, friendly and reliable public transportation services, Cherriots buses provide transportation throughout Marion and Polk counties with easy connections to other counties and cities.
People depend on Cherriots to meet their transportation needs and expect a safe, friendly and reliable experience with every ride.
A strong public transit system is the backbone for environmentally friendly and economically thriving communities. The Cherriots vision statement, mission statement, and values represent the guiding principles for long-range transit planning.
Making a positive difference by enhancing community livability through innovative, sustainable regional transportation options.
Connecting people with places through safe, friendly, and reliable public transportation services.
Safety – Cherriots emphasizes safety, providing safe, secure, and clean public areas and work sites.
Service Excellence – Cherriots takes pride in the delivering services that improve the daily lives of customers and enhances community livability. Cherriots serves the public and its business partners with friendliness, courtesy, and respect.
Communication – Cherriots promotes an open, respectful culture that values candor. Cherriots listens to its customers, community partners, and employees and actively engages them in conversations.
Innovation – Cherriots encourages and respects new ideas from employees, partners, and the public. The District embraces innovation, new technology, and best practices.
Accountability – Cherriots holds itself and individual employees accountable as stewards of public funds and community trust. Cherriots will honor this commitment with transparency, honesty, and integrity.
Provide an Exceptional Customer Experience
The foundation of an exceptional customer experience is to receive a safe, friendly, and reliable ride. Cherriots will focus on the fundamentals. The District will provide clean and accessible bus stops, consistently deliver reliable bus service, and assure transit users can easily access the information they need in-person, from customer service staff or online.
Cherriots continually looks for ways to attract new customers and expand the availability of public transit. To improve the customer experience, Cherriots will implement new technologies and strategies, including an electronic fare system and real-time bus tracking. Targeted outreach campaigns will make potential Cherriots riders aware of the advantages of public transit and that it is an attractive alternative to personal vehicles.
Culture of Excellence: Team Cherriots
There’s the “Nordstrom Way,” the “Ritz-Carlton Way,” and the “Southwest Airlines Way.” Cherriots wants to attain a similar reputation for service excellence the Cherriots Way: Every Interaction, Every Customer, Every Day. Everyone on Team Cherriots will intuitively know their responsibilities for supporting a positive experience for both internal and external customers. The culture of excellence mindset will extend to all community members, stakeholders, and fellow employees.
Enhance Community Engagement
Good relationships with community partners are essential. Cherriots cannot respond to changing transit needs without the public’s participation and confidence. Cherriots will continue to build positive relationships with organizations, individuals, neighborhoods, decision-makers, businesses, and others. These relationships, both formal and informal, are the essential building blocks for effective transit growth. Cherriots, as a taxpayer-funded special district, also has an obligation to encourage public participation and transparency. The District will make good-faith efforts to keep the public informed with timely, accurate, and engaging communication.
Cherriots has developed and is now executing a Community Communication Plan. The District also has formalized its public outreach mobilization plan, which assigns specific roles and responsibilities to members of the Board and the senior leadership team.
Ensure Organizational Viability
Enhancing community livability with transportation services is a long-term ambition that requires responsible growth and cost-effective operations. Cherriots, through its actions, will demonstrate that it’s a good steward of financial, capital, and human resources.
Building public trust and building understanding of the value of Cherriots is key to growing and delivering a robust public transit system.
Whether it’s maintaining a balanced budget, planning for future facility needs, or investing in workforce development, Cherriots will continue to look ahead and adjust its strategy. The organization will meet community needs with cost-effective operations.
Be an Environmentally Responsible Organization
Riding the bus is one of the easiest ways to go green. Cherriots is going a step further by improving the sustainability of its daily, in-house operations.
The District’s plans call for documenting current sustainability practices and developing sustainable products and services purchasing policies. Cherriots formed a Sustainability Committee and its members established a purpose statement: To create a culture of environmental stewardship and promote sustainability in the community we serve by the incorporation of sustainable concepts into all functions of District activities. Cherriots will investigate ways to improve the energy efficiency of transit facilities. The District also will establish a Board-adopted environmental sustainability policy statement.
Rebranding to Ensure Relevance
Cherriots has a firmly established brand, but it was becoming outdated. The goal was not to eliminate or diminish the brand value that had been developed over the years, but to update it so that it stays relevant.
The old brand did not reflect Cherriots evolution or help tell its story. Cherriots is a complex services. There is a low level of public awareness that these services are all connected to the District.
This brand revitalization creates a stronger connection between the Cherriots name and visual identity. Through the brand refresh Cherriots will tell its story more broadly so that people know about the resources, support, and services the District brings to the community. Read more about our rebranding efforts in the Cherriots Brand Refresh FAQs below:
The Cherriots logo may be used for informational and news purposes only. Modifying the logo in any way is forbidden. Use of the logo may not imply representation of Cherriots in any way. The logo may not be used to sell anything or promote any goods or services.
Media partners may use the following photos with credit given to Cherriots. To request additional photos, contact email@example.com or call 503-588-2424.
Questions about Cherriots? Our Public Information Officer is Patricia Feeny, Director of Communication. She can be reached during office hours at 503-361-7515 and after hours at 971-719-3097. She is also able to help with media records requests.