New Bend-La Pine shuttle starting Monday

There is a new transit shuttle route being offered by the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council between Bend and La Pine that goes into effect this Monday the 4th. Here’s some text from the email I received:

Beginning Monday, August 4, the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) will begin offering a new shuttle route between Bend and La Pine.

COIC has added a completely new route to accommodate people living in South County who work from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or traditionally, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

"We want clients to understand that this schedule is only a starting point for the new route to and from South County," said COIC Operations Director Karen Fenty Friend. "This schedule will adjust through time, but for now it gives transportation options to La Pine residents who need to travel to Bend doctor appointments or to work," she said.

Apparently, there was a non-profit transit shuttle between the two towns but that’s being halted on Friday—and it was such a vital service that COIC stepped in to help.

I’m not totally clear on the backstory, but it looks like COIC has an entity known as "Cascades East Transit" which provides shuttle service between area towns—prior to adding this new La Pine route. They require reservations and round-trip fares are $6.25 ($5 for seniors and the disabled). I’ve attached their revised schedule here (PDF).

I didn’t know there was such a service (beyond BAT); seems to me that’s something the COIC or somebody should be advertising and talking about more.

2 thoughts on “New Bend-La Pine shuttle starting Monday

  1. Hello,

    Thanks for including this new service on your site. You got it right! COIC has been operating Cascades East Transit over the last year or so, which provides local demand-response services in LaPine, Madras, Prineville, Redmond, and Sisters, as well as host of "community connector shuttles" between those communities and to Bend.

    The one link that we were not offering was the LaPine-Bend connection, which Central Cascade Lines was serving. When they announced the suspension of their service earlier this week, Deschutes County called us and asked if we could fill the gap in the interim. We’re planning to do so starting Monday, and are scrambling to figure out how to stretch our existing resources a little thinner to make it happen.

    Finally, we’re right in the midst of developing a marketing/outreach campaign with a new logo, "look and feel", website, vehicle design, etc., etc., which is why we have not been aggressively marketing the service to date. Our plan was to do so beginning in September, but hey, sometimes the buzz precedes your strategic planning!

    Thanks,

    Scott Aycock, Program Administrator, COIC

  2. If Central Cascade Lines get no funding and stop running between Bend and LaPine the people who ride that bus will quit taking buses and will drive in.
    They are NOT happy with the cost of riding COIC’s bus to LaPine.
    They can shove it!

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