We hope to identify opportunities to improve the level of service and efficiency of public transit in Bend through an on-demand or “microtransit” model. 

OSU-Cascades has authorized a contract with Downtowner to pilot test Ride Bend, an on-demand, app-based, dynamically-routed transit solution in Bend. Within the defined service area, Downtowner picks up riders at their door and shuttles them to their destination with others heading the same way. The service will enhance overall mobility and reduce parking demand and congestion in popular areas of Bend (including Downtown Bend, the Old Mill District, and along the busy Galveston Avenue corridor). Funding has been provided by the City of Bend, the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization, and St. Charles Health System.

The goals of the short-duration pilot study are to:

  1. Offer a new form of transit service (micro transit) in the area of Bend that was once served by Cascades East Transit’s Route 12 (between OSU-Cascades and Central Oregon Community College).
  2. Test whether on-demand pooled services can cost-effectively provide transit access in an area of Bend with relatively low population and employment density.
  3. Attract new riders, including residents of Bend’s west side that may choose to share a ride and leave their personal automobile at home.
  4. Reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips.
  5. Enhance transit performance (reduce wait time, increase reliability) relative to fixed-route service. 
  6. Inform the Central Oregon Transit Master Plan update and the City of Bend Transportation System Plan.