Transit Advisory Committee members in attendance were Juli Gregory, Kristi Avery, and Debbie Pedro. Barb Martin, Dean Fialka, Jason Edmiston, and Jennifer Roberts were not present. Also present were Council Representatives Doug Primmer and Rod Hardin, Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan, ODOT Region 5 Coordinator Frank Thomas, CTUIR Planning Director JD Tovey (arrived at 4:18pm), CTUIR Scheduling Coordinator Susan Johnson (arrived at 4:18pm), and Executive Assistant Lilly Alarcon-Strong.
Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan opened the meeting at 4:03pm, and asked Frank to tell the Committee a little about himself and his position.
Frank Thomas stated he is the new Region 5 Coordinator for ODOT’s Rail and Public Transit and will be assisting the Transit Advisory Committee with any information and resources that he can. Frank also gave information regarding funding from ODOT and special transportation funds provided by HB2017.
(JD and Susan arrived 4:18pm)
KAYAK Update-Scheduling and Routing
Susan reviewed ridership information with the Committee and stated on July 26 no riders used the bus system.
The Committee specifically focused on many stops that had little to no riders and that are not being used consecutively. The Committee read suggestions from 2 letters; 1 from a citizen and the other from the bus driver.
Mark stated most of the comments received continue to be that the full loop route takes too long to ride and that is why people do not want to use the system.
Susan stated based on the feedback received at the last meeting, a test run of the new route with suggested changes showed the bus loop went from 1 hour and 17 mins to 1 hour and 2 mins.
Councilor Primmer suggested the Committee possibly eliminate all the stops that have less than 15 to 20 riders in the 9 month period that the bus system has been in place, the Committee agreed.
After some discussion, the Committee concluded that it would be best to completely remove the bus stops at:
- SW 11th & Joseph Ave.
- Riverfront Park
- SW 15th & W. Sundland
- NE Aspen Drive near the Aspens Apartments
- NE 13th & NE Madrona
- Hodge Park parking lot
And relocate the following bus stops at:
- NE 10th & E Ridgeway Ave to the south to NE 10th & E. Main
- NE 6th & E Montana Ave to NE 4th & E Oregon Ave
- Alley on NE 4th between Main and Gladys to the North a little so the stop is just south of Gladys.
Mark asked if each loop was timed at 1 hour or less, if it could be a possible to have a total of 6 loops each day; 3 loops in the morning and 3 loops in the afternoon.
JD stated it could be a possibility and would have the driver make a timed test run with all the changes.
Susan stated she will work on the new revised schedule and changes can be made as soon as October 1st, if the Committee wanted to make changes this soon.
The Committee agreed the October 1st time line would work but wanted to have another meeting prior to this so that the public had enough notice of the proposed changes and may attend the meeting and voice any recommendations prior to these changes taking affect. The next meeting was scheduled for Monday, September 25th at 4:00pm.
The Committee felt that there should be more advertising regarding the route, and make knowledge of the bus system more easily accessible to the public as there are still many people who do not know it is available.
Mark stated the Council recently approved an advertising increase and he will be meeting with Charter Communications for advertising services.
JD stated advertising is also done by Kayak; and, just recently, all buses have been equipped with GPS so people can see exactly where the bus is at and when it will get to the destination they want.
There was some discussion regarding how the BUS STOP signs are difficult to see as they are small, but Good Shephard has funding that can be used for this. The Committee agreed that before more permanent BUS STOP signs are placed throughout the City, bus stops need to be better established without all the continued changes that have been being made.
JD stated the Oregon Transit Association Conference and the Roadeo Competition, a skills and safety test, will be held at the Pendleton Convention Center. The Conference will be held October 1st thru the 4th and the Competition will be held on September 30th. JD encouraged everyone to attend and stated the Competition is very entertaining. This is the first time the Conference and Competition have been held in NE Oregon.
There was no other business and the meeting was adjourned at 5:09pm.