My initial response to reading about the new fixed-route public transportation system for Bend was “It’s about time.” Upon further thought, I believe the system as planned is not adequate by any means, but certainly an improvement over the old Dial-A-Ride System.
I think, and others I’ve talked with agree, that the coverage area is sadly inadequate. It doesn’t service the entire city and doesn’t begin to address the real need of public transportation to and from outlying areas.
I find the attitude of the city’s Public Transportation Mobility Manager Heather Ornelas to be cavalier, evidenced by her artful dodging of a direct question regarding the under-services areas. Her response was “this does so much more than we are doing now and we are using the same amount of money.” How about a pointed answer to a pointed question, Ms. Ornelas? Does Bend have plans to improve upon the fixed-route to cover the entire city or outlying areas, and if so, when?