Bus cut a shot for the identity of Corvallis


Part of the Corvallis promise is that residents don’t need automobiles and can rely on alternative modes of transportation.

People can walk, cycle, and skateboard along the streets and tree-lined paths. Heck, you can unicycle around town while juggling basketballs, and that’s not a theoretical example.

Since 2011, residents can also take the bus for free, which is a very good price, as our friend Tom Peterson said.

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So Corvallis felt a little less utopian on Monday, Sept. 19, when service cuts to the Corvallis transit system took effect and left some residents in the lurch.

Among the impacts are a suspension of weekend service at Corvallis for the time being, the elimination of certain routes that did not have many riders and cuts to the Philomath connection on Saturday.

Do you rely on a bus to get to work on Saturday and Sunday and you don’t have a car? If you have mobility issues, you’re out of luck.

A shortage of workers, which almost all sectors are currently experiencing due to COVID-19 and other factors, is to blame for the cuts in public transport, according to a press release. But Corvallis bus drivers are also poached by other transport companies.

Corvallis Transit System’s Seattle-based contractor, MTRWestern Inc., is trying to hire more drivers. Starting pay isn’t that great at $20.35 an hour, according to a listing on Indeed.com, and that’s for tough work that requires specialized training.

While raising salaries to be more competitive with other workplaces might be a solution, at least new hires get a $5,000 bonus, which is a nice incentive.

Given the situation, the cuts in public transport are understandable, but it still seems regrettable.

Public transport is part of the fabric of Corvallis, and some people live here hoping to rely on bus service. Reporter Cody Mann spoke with a few of those residents for a recent story, including David Anderson, who has spinal cancer and is unable to walk any distance. “It’s my only means of transportation,” Anderson said. “So what am I going to do on the weekend?” »

Kael Jaeden Rezanow was hoping to volunteer at an animal shelter, but the bus she would take wouldn’t work. A benefactress has been outwitted by the system, and we’re sure she’s not the only one.

We hope the cuts are temporary, but fear they will be long term. And if that happens in progressive and highly educated Corvallis, which is striving to make public transportation a priority, there’s little hope for reliable bus service in the small Oregon town.

Paralysis of analysis at Corvallis

Corvallis’ government tends to focus on process rather than results and it’s easy to joke about how the city council has to form committees, sub-committees and task forces to explore issues before moving forward. take a decision.

Or not to make a choice, as was the case with home energy audits and whether these should be a mandatory part of the home buying process. Buyers would get an idea of ​​the cost of powering a home and make comparisons; the more energy efficient a home is, the more it can be worth.

After discussing the issue several times since January, the board determined 5-4 that it would be best to put the issue to voters in November. It all felt like a colossal waste of time and, uh, energy.

Mayor Biff Traber was too harsh in his criticism of council at its Sept. 6 meeting, but he was right.

The city council is elected to make decisions like this and act on behalf of residents rather than pass the buck.


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