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Free La Pine-Sunriver shuttle returns for second summer, starting Saturday

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Cascades East Transit will launch the second season of the Route 31 Free Summer Shuttle connecting La Pine and Sunriver on Saturday, May 29. The accessible shuttle service will operate on a frequent schedule through Labor Day, September 6.

The Route 31 Free Summer Shuttle is a Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) project that connects employees in La Pine with summer job opportunities in Sunriver, as well as locals and visitors who use the service to access health care, shopping destinations and recreation opportunities.

The 2021 summer service will operate seven days per week, with bus stops located at 4th and Huntington in La Pine, the La Pine Senior Center, Wickiup Junction, Sunriver Resort, and the Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic and Recreation Center (SHARC).

“The La Pine to Sunriver route is a fantastic resource that will help connect La Pine and Sunriver residents to employment opportunities, health care needs, and other essential services,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Patti Adair, “We’re so excited to see this new route return for its second summer.”

Jamie Donahue, manager of the La Pine Senior Center, mentioned, "Transportation is a challenge for many seniors in La Pine and the new CET bus stop at our location will provide our community with a safe and accessible transportation service to reach Sunriver without driving a car."

CET staff will promote the Route 31 Free Summer Shuttle during an outdoor, social-distanced tabling event in Sunriver on Friday, May 28 from 11 am - 1 pm at the new bus stop located at the SHARC facility in the main parking lot.

CET staff will encourage both employees and visitors to try the Route 31 Free Summer Shuttle for their commute, shopping and recreation trips. Event attendees will receive route schedules, maps, CET rider safety guidelines, and information about available jobs in Sunriver, in addition to free hand sanitizer, face masks, and LED safety lights.

"The Sunriver Owners Association is excited to support the continuation of the free Route 31 summer service between La Pine and Sunriver,” noted Keith Kessaris, assistant general manager of the Sunriver Owners Association. “The new stop location at the SHARC facility will ensure both employees and visitors can access the popular Sunriver recreation area using public transportation."

Dan Youmans, president & board chair of the Sunriver Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, noted, “The La Pine and Sunriver Area Chambers of Commerce, the City of La Pine, Sunriver Owners Association, community partners, and residents contributed to Route 31 planning efforts and are eager to see the second season of transportation service. This new bus service will provide a convenient and efficient transportation option for residents of Sunriver and La Pine to access services, recreation, and employment opportunities.” 

Route 31 schedules can be accessed at CET continues to follow Oregon Health Authority guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by requiring face coverings for drivers and passengers, sectioning off seats to maintain social distancing requirements, enforcing maximum bus capacity limits, and frequently wiping down high-touch surfaces.

Article Topic Follows: La Pine

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