Local bus service in Coos County will be faster and more convenient thanks to a federal grant obtained by the Coquille Indian Tribe and Coos County Area Transit.
By improving bus access to education services, health care, public agencies and job sites, the project is expected to double the ridership on CCAT, from the current 25,000 rides per year to 50,000. Riders will reach their destinations in half the time they spend now.
“We are thrilled to have a part in bringing better public transit to Coos County,” said Tribal Chairperson Brenda Meade. “CCAT is an absolute lifeline for so many people in our community.”
The $200,000 grant comes from the government’s Tribal Transit Program, but Meade emphasized that CCAT’s improved service will benefit the whole community.
“The Coquille Tribe lives by the potlatch tradition of sharing resources with those around us, and this project fits that philosophy perfectly,” she said. “It benefits our Tribal members, and it benefits our neighbors throughout the community.”
The grant lets CCAT reorganize its two Connector Routes by providing more frequent service and more convenient transfers from one bus to another. That’s made possible by the addition of an Intercity Route linking the Connector Routes.
- The existing West Connector Route travels from Charleston to Coos Bay, then to Pony Village Mall and the Department of Human Services office on Newmark Avenue.
- The existing East Connector goes from Eastside to Pony Village.
- The two routes currently meet at Pony Village and at Walmart. This duplication of stops lengthens both routes. As a result, the wait between buses at each stop is about an hour and 45 minutes.
- The new Intercity Route will eliminate the duplication by providing a link between the two Connector Routes. It will include stops at Walmart, North Bend Medical Center, Bay Area Hospital, Pony Village, the Coos County Annex and Southwestern Oregon Community College
- With the Connector Routes no longer duplicating stops, buses will be able to serve each stop every 55 minutes. That’s twice as frequent as the current schedule.
- The increased service will add convenience not only for local riders, but also for passengers transferring from buses serving Myrtle Point, Coquille, Bandon and Brookings.
The starting date for the expanded service has not yet been determined.