(Adding video, comments from CET, COIC Outreach and Engagement administrator)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Imagine a "mobility hub" where you can easily access an Uber or Lyft, shuttles, bikeshares, and also get a bite to eat. Cascades East Transit is planning on creating just that.
The transit agency just wrapped up its Bend Mobility Hub Feasibility Study, which will help the organization identify easier ways for people to get around without a car. The project has been in the works for over a year.
“The findings showed that the preference for a mobility hub would be in some of the priority areas of Bend," Derek Hofbauer, outreach and engagement administrator for CET and the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, said Wednesday. "So we have downtown, east Bend over near St. Charles, and then in the Old Mill District, as well as OSU-Cascades and COCC.”
Based on a summer public outreach process, Hofbauer said that nine out of 10 Bendites expressed support of the mobility hubs.
“Topics that came up were covered shelters, benches, and food trucks were mentioned. Also, having on-demand shuttles," Hofbauer said.
CET is also looking to incorporate the Bird e-bike share system that started this year.
Scooters however, have yet to be discussed.
The immediate priority, Hofbauer said, is to pilot a mobility hub project, potentially in downtown Bend. That trial period will help see how well it can function.
To build and develop such hubs, $5 million in funding for the project comes from the Statewide Transportation Improvement Projects (STIP) fund.
Another $8 million to $9 million will come from Bend's voter-approved transportation general obligation bond measure, for the mobility hubs and transit network.
Hofbauer said ridership has been rising back to pre-pandemic levels, but there’s still a need for more bus drivers.