Lane Transit District wants to restructure its bus routes in the Eugene-Springfield area. LTD says the new system will be more accessible for underrepresented community members.
The LTD initiative is called Transit Tomorrow. Assistant General Manager Mark Johnson says they’re taking a look at the bus system’s structure.
“We haven't done a comprehensive look at our system in more than 20 years really,” said Johnson. “So the community's changed and people's behaviors have changed in regard to transportation.”
The plan is designed to provide more frequent rides to all residents—specifically people of color, low income individuals, and seniors. Johnson says the goal is to increase ridership in order to help the environment.
“The best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to get people in buses and out of their cars,” said Johnson. “So we're creating a structure that will have more frequent service in more places that we know drives ridership.”
Some Eugene residents have objected to the transit changes because they say they’ll lose service.
At a January school board meeting, 4J parent Maya Rabasa spoke against the LTD changes. She says the removed portions of routes would impact transportation to and from 12 schools.
“Currently, 4J does not provide transportation to our high schools,” said Rabasa. “This list of impacted schools includes three of our four neighborhood high schools. And the students at these high schools who will be most impacted are those whom alternative transportation to school is not an option.”
But LTD General Manager Aurora Jackson says the proposed system directly corresponds along routes that have middle schools and high schools.
“Currently, if a student is on a route that only comes every 30 minutes, and they miss that bus, that student will be late to school or have to be out there early and waiting longer,” said Jackson. “And what the proposal is, is that if those routes came by more frequently, more students would be riding them, they would have less and better service, and prevent overcrowding on routes that serve high schools.”
LTD will hold a public listening session about Transit Tomorrow on February 20, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Home2Suites, 102 W. 11th Ave., Eugene, OR 97401.
For a list of LTD’s events and public listening sessions, click here.