Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council - 
Cascades East Transit


annual rides


of intercity trips for work or school


service hours provided in 2015


Scroll down to learn about Cascades East Transit's Better Transit goals, service enhancements and impacts, and to hear local stories of how Better Transit would impact the people of this community.

Click here to view or download a PDF.


1 in 6 newcomers to Oregon comes to Central Oregon, and the region’s population is expected to grow by 34% by 2035. Cascades East Transit hopes to play its part in increasing the quality of life for this growing population, and it has identified the following goals to meet the current and future needs of the region.

Make Transit a Lifestyle Choice

Provide expanded service for students at Oregon State University - Cascades and Central Oregon Community College, and make it easy for people to commute in both urban and rural areas.

Support Economic Development

More effectively transport employees from around the region to growing job centers in Bend and Redmond.

Promote a Healthy Environment

Make transit a vital mechanism for reducing Bend-sprawl and help meet the regional goals for denser, more pedestrian friendly cities.

Serve the Transit Dependent

Provide reliable and affordable access to goods and services for students, elderly and people with disabilities living throughout the region. 


With Better Transit, Cascades East Transit could better connect the large Central Oregon region. It could open new routes and expand existing service between urban centers and the small rural communities it serves. 

Note: All proposed Better Transit Service enhancements are contingent on the availability of additional transit funding


  1. Sisters and Bend - New intercity route between Bend and Sisters
  2. Sisters - Add new flex-route service within Sisters
  3. Northeast Bend - Add new fixed-route to currently unserved part of Bend
  4. Redmond, Prineville, Madras and La Pine - Convert Dial-a-Ride systems to flex-route service
  5. Expanded service hours - Include early morning and evening service
  6. New Saturday service - Add Saturday service to routes currently not running on the weekend
  7. Better Saturday service - Expand Bend Saturday hours and increase frequency
  8. Bend fixed-routes - Increase frequency on Bend fixed-routes and extend service to 8pm
  9. Intercity routes - Add mid-day and evening commuter trips to service between La Pine/Bend, Redmond/Madras, Redmond/Prineville and Redmond/Bend.
OTA Performance Groups v2Artboard1
ACCESS TO HOUSING 44% more affordable housing units served by transit
Better Transit Impacts
FREQUENT TRANSIT 120% more residents served by frequent transit
Better Transit Impacts
MORE SERVICE 83% increase in total service hours
There are going to be more people living in little pockets around town. We’ve got to find a way to encourage them to be less reliant on cars.
— Sara Thompson, OSU-Cascades Campus Librarian

Meet Sara Thompson

"I use transit every single day to get to work and to get home."

Sara rides the bus to and from OSU-Cascades campus every day, and so do many of her students. However, nearly 30% of OSU-Cascades students come from outside of Bend, and their preferred way to get to campus is still by car. As OSU-Cascades continues to grow, and Bend itself becomes more congested, Sara knows it will be important for more people to take public transit to and from school.

"If we don’t get expanded route access and more frequent timetables, a lot of our folks will not use the bus at all.”

OSU-Cascades is leading the way in creating a sustainable transportation program and has invested in a multi-modal transportation strategy for students and employees. However, many of OSU-Cascades' students and employees live in areas where transit isn't even an option. If the region wants OSU-Cascades to succeed in being an accessible, sustainable institution for all, Central Oregon needs enhanced public transportation options. This will not happen without Better Transit.

Meet Molly Baker Ray

“I have been taking CET since it started. I take it to work and back every day.”

Molly, like many living in La Pine and other rural parts of the region, commutes into Bend for work. Rather than drive in increasingly bad traffic, or dangerous winter conditions, Molly prefers to take transit. However, because the route between La Pine and Bend only runs twice a day, she has to strictly schedule her work around the bus. With more midday and later evening trips, Molly could work a more flexible schedule, or even spend time with friends after work.

“As more people move to La Pine for affordable housing, we’re going to need extra routes!”

Molly has been a longtime La Pine resident, and in recent years she's seen more people moving to town to avoid the rising housing costs in Bend. With most of the jobs and medical facilities located in the city, there are more and more cars on the roads, and an even greater need for transit. Molly believes that with more trips available, people would realize that the bus is a safer, more enjoyable way to commute.

Meet Jordan Ohlde


Jordan uses a wheelchair, and as much as he can, he uses the bus for his transportation needs. Because he can’t drive, he depends on CET to keep him mobile. Unfortunately, because the bus doesn’t run later than 7pm, he sometimes has to ask his mom to drive him places. As a working adult, this makes him feel less independent, and he would much rather have the option of taking a later bus to get home on his own.

"I often have to wait 45 minutes to an hour for the bus"

Jordan and many others that depend on transit in Bend are forced to wait up to an hour for a bus. People like Jordan have asked for increased frequency and longer hours for years, but without Better Transit CET isn't able to make the necessary improvements. It's time to make transit a more convenient and reliable option for everyone.