Salem-Keizer Transit - Cherriots / CARTS
residents served by Salem-Keizer Transit
service hours provided in 2015
Scroll down to learn about Salem-Keizer 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.
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Salem-Keizer Transit serves a large area, connecting people to jobs and services throughout the Mid-Willamette Valley. However, under current conditions, many of the region's transportation needs remain unmet. Salem-Keizer Transit has worked with the community to identify the following goals to meet the current and future needs of the area.
Serve the Transit Dependent
A large portion of Salem-Keizer’s riders are those that have no other option. To better serve these residents, Salem-Keizer Transit needs weekend and evening service.
Make Transit a Lifestyle Choice
Create better connections and increase route frequency to make it easier for students and commuters to use transit and get out of their cars.
Support Economic Development
Make transit an amenity to the business community by operating for longer hours and every day of the week.
Since 2009, Cherriots has been unable to provide weekend transit service. For a community of its size, this level of service should be a baseline for transit provision. With Better Transit, Salem-Keizer Transit could provide weekend and evening service, and other improvements needed for making transit a viable option for everyone in the community.
Note: All proposed Better Transit Service enhancements are contingent on the availability of additional transit funding
- Weekend service – Cherriots fixed routes will operate 7 days a week, allowing more people to use transit. CARTS will offer Saturday service.
- More & longer hours – Existing weekday routes will operate later and more during midday.
- Increased frequency– More frequent service on more than 20 Cherriots fixed-routes, providing better and more reliable access to housing, jobs and services throughout the region.
MEET MARJA BYERS
"TRANSPORTATION IS THE BLIND COMMUNITY'S BIGGEST CONCERN BECAUSE IT DEFINES OUR INDEPENDENCE."
Marja Byers started to lose her vision at age 27. She now rides the bus in the Salem area, going as far as Portland and Vancouver, WA from time to time. As an advocate for the visually impaired, she knows how difficult it can be to adjust to a life without sight.
"WE CAN’T PARTICIPATE IN CULTURAL ACTIVITIES ON THE WEEKENDS UNLESS THEY ARE IN WALKING DISTANCE."
One of the biggest challenges facing visually and physically impaired transit riders in the Salem area is the lack of late night and weekend transit service. Marja believes that the lives of the visually impaired should not be dictated by the first and last bus of the day. The people of Salem, whether able bodied, blind, or sighted deserve Better Transit.
MEET JAN SMITH
“Independence. Community. Wellness.”
When Jan moved to Salem to live closer to her son, she made the decision to use public transportation as her primary means of getting around the community. Jan is part of the fastest growing segment of the population in Marion and Polk counties. By 2025, about 34,000 people will be 65 years or older. Additionally, more than 14 percent of the two-county population reported a disability, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Decisions made today on how best to invest in transportation options for seniors and people with disabilities will affect the future quality of life for thousands of Marion and Polk county residents.
“Without Cherriots, I wouldn’t be able to function the way I do. I view public transit like a community.”
She strongly encourages other seniors to consider using public transit for economic, social and health benefits. She enjoys the walk to her three different stops and urges other seniors to get out of their homes.