CET bus
Sep 11, 2015

Students and faculty at Oregon State University - Cascades will begin the academic year with new identification cards that will each include an annual transit pass for all Cascades East Transit bus routes in Bend. 

The passes will be provided at no additional charge to campus community members to encourage bus commuting.  The student passes were funded through student fees.  Identification cards will be distributed to students and campus employees beginning this month. 

The bus pass program is part of a larger endeavor underway at all levels of the OSU-Cascades community to develop a campus culture that embraces sustainable transportation. 

Kelly Sparks, associate vice president for finance and strategic planning, oversees the campus expansion and said, “Students, faculty and staff members are actively planning ways to lessen dependency on single occupancy personal vehicles and encourage other modes of transportation.” 

Other efforts, either completed or underway, toward developing a multi-modal campus include:  

  • A shared investment in CET that will benefit both students and community members.  In June, OSU-Cascades contributed $100,000 toward the expansion of CET bus services, joining partners that included the City of Bend, St. Charles Health System and Central Oregon Community College.  Among the additional services made possible because of the investments are new bus routes, including a route that will run between Central Oregon Community College and the new OSU campus, later service hours and shorter waits on some routes.
  • A pilot campus bike share program.  In February, four orange bike share bicycles named Benny, Bernice, Betty and Norman were made available to faculty and staff from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays when campus is open. The bikes are being used for both official business as well as personal errands.  Efforts are underway to extend the program to students on the new campus.
  •  A slate of recommendations for transportation and parking developed by a campus-community task force.  The complimentary bus passes were one of 21 recommendations made by a Campus Expansion Advisory Committee task force focused on transportation and parking.  More than half of the recommendations are to be implemented on the new campus, including amenities and convenience services for bike commuters, a flex vehicle program, tiered parking fees, priority parking spaces for carpool vehicles, and education and incentive programs.  The balance of the recommendations are being analyzed for next steps.
  •  A $738,000 transformative transportation grant from the Central Oregon Regional Solutions Center. Recommendations developed by the CEAC transportation and sustainability task forces, and prioritized by the Regional Solutions Advisory Committee were impetus for a grant that will enhance public transit infrastructure for students and community members throughout the region.  

In June 2014 OSU-Cascades adopted a vision for sustainability that was put forth by another CEAC task force focused on economically, socially and ecologically.

“The collaboration between students, faculty, community members and many external partners is helping us create a campus that is sustainable in many ways,” said Sparks, “with the transportation aspect being one the most crucial to address.”

About OSU-Cascades: Located in Bend, Ore., Oregon State University’s branch campus features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Eighteen undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism and outdoor leadership. The branch campus will expand to a four-year university beginning fall 2015.