Cascades East Transit (CET) staff attend community meetings and actively seek out public feedback about our services. A frequent request has been for service that extends into Southeast Bend.
We heard from people submitting comment cards to our front desk staff. We heard from neighborhood associations. We heard from churches, HOAs, school groups, and groups representing the elderly and disabled.
It’s taken a lot of preparation and too many delays, but this route is here for you.
A significant amount of construction has taken place along this route in recent years. The Murphy Corridor Project brought new connectivity to Southeast Bend and raised street conditions from county to city standards, including sidewalks and safe crossings. The Wilson Avenue Corridor Project – still ongoing! – is making an industrial zone more accessible to different uses. And several destinations along this route simply did not exist just three years ago! Alpenglow Park, Caldera High School, the Larkspur Center, and entire neighborhoods like Luderman Crossing weren’t there when planning began on this route.
Expanded service to Southeast Bend was called for in CET’s 2040 Transit Master Plan and the City of Bend’s Transportation System Plan. Work formally began on creating this route in 2019, but was soon interrupted by the pandemic. As neighbors settled into doing work by Zoom, outreach and consultation took place with members of the community. Bus stop fixtures were constructed in 2022 and early 2023.
Now, we’re ready for service.
In addition to the local challenges mentioned above, when long stretches of 15th Street and Murphy Road were each closed for construction, pandemic impacts curtailed services across our regional system for a long time. We’re still not fully recovered (restoring early morning and late evening service is next on the roadmap!). However, CET is seeing significant improvements in ridership across Central Oregon and in Bend. That tells us it’s time to try new things.
More importantly, our team is growing to where it needs to be in order to support our community. CET has improved wages and benefits for drivers, maintenance, and support staff. That’s seen our workforce stabilize and we’re now hopeful that we can launch this new Route 9 serving Southeast Bend.
As our team grows and the city changes shape, our services will respond. We hear you.