Community Connection of Northeast Oregon -
served by NEO Transit
service hours provided in 2015
Scroll down to learn about NEO 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.
NEO Transit serves a large region, providing public transportation to Union, Baker and Wallowa counties. In a region where people often travel long distances to access their everyday needs, NEO Transit is a vital resource for its riders. However, they don’t currently have the funding to adequately meet the demands of the region. NEO Transit has identified the following goals to meet the current and future needs of the community.
Serve the Transit Dependent
The majority of NEO Transit’s riders rely on public transit to get to medical treatments, commute to school or work, and access shopping within city-centers. NEO Transit wants to ensure these riders have access to transportation when they need it.
Parts of the region are major tourist attractions during the summer months. NEO Transit wants to make sure these tourists have a safe and reliable transportation option that gets them where they need to go.
With Better Transit, NEO Transit could provide more frequent service and longer hours, granting greater access to opportunities for elderly, people with disabilities, low income residents, people seeking jobs and tourists seeking places to spend money.
Note: All proposed Better Transit Service enhancements are contingent on the availability of additional transit funding
Fixed-routes - NEO Transit would enhance all of its current fixed-route service, providing more regular trips, longer operating hours and weekend service to its highest ridership routes:
- Wallowa Link – Inter-city service between La Grande-Enterprise-Joseph
- La Grande Trolley – Inner-city service in La Grande
- Baker City Trolley – Inner-city service in Baker City
These few enhancements would include:
- Increased frequency – Double the frequency on inner-city routes, and expand the intercity routes to include more trips per day and more days per week.
- Increased morning and evening service – Expand current inner-city routes to offer more trips during the morning commute and later evening hours on weeknights
- Weekend service – Expand current route offerings to include Sunday service
Wallowa Lake Tourist Shuttle – NEO Transit would also enhance the Wallowa Lake Tourist Shuttle, starting the service earlier in the tourist season and running it for longer hours, allowing tourists to access the goods they need without a personal car.
MEET NORA CROUCHER
"bEFORE NEO TRANSIT...IT WAS A BLACK HOLE!"
Nora Croucher has lived in La Grande since 2001, and as a person living with Cerebral palsy, she is unable to drive a car. While she has relied on friends and family for rides in the past, she prefers to get around independently, and to do that she depends on NEO Transit. Before NEO Transit, there were no options other than expensive taxis to get to work, to medical appointments, or even downtown to shop and socialize with friends.
“If one piece of my support structure drops out, can I still 'do'?”
For Nora and many others, public transit is part of their support structure. For people in the region that need to make it to the doctor or access vital social services, NEO Transit provides a safety net that otherwise would not exist. With resources already thin, NEO Transit needs a Better Transit in order to maintain and enhance this safety net.
MEET ANGELA REFIOR
"As we get older, we get smarter, and I got smart and used the bus."
Angela Refior is 82 years old, and has been riding the public transportation system in Baker City, Oregon for several years. Angela stopped driving eight years ago after she had an accident. She didn’t want to take a chance and drive again, which might risk hurting another person or herself. Since that time, she has used public transit to go grocery shopping, to the doctor, or anywhere else.
"if more people would ride the bus, they’d realize it’s less wear and tear on a vehicle and there are no gas costs."
Angela also has part time work at the Salvation Army, and she works as a Senior Companion, so access to the bus is critical and allows her to stay active and able to work. She likes the independence it allows her, since she has few people locally who are available to give her rides when she needs them. She feels grateful for what NEO Transit brings to her life, and hopes that Better Transit will attract more riders to the benefits it provides.
MEET WINNIE ANDREWS
“I don’t want to be a burden”
Winnie Andrews will turn 73 in January. While there are a few years left on her license, she hasn't driven since 2012. Winnie prefers not to rely on family and friends for her mobility needs. She depends on ADA Paratransit and (on days when she's able) Fixed Route services oered by NEO Transit almost daily. Before NEO Transit, her options were limited to taxis which can be over four times as expensive. "That's hard on people living on a fixed income."
“The consequences of missing the BUS can be dire.”
In addition to local rides, Winnie and other passengers with chronic conditions count on NEO Transit for regional trips to doctors and specialists. Better Transit is a critical component in preserving a network that is wide but exceptionally thin.