RVTD considers adding evening, weekend bus service

Rogue Valley Transportation District has proposed expanding bus service at nights and on weekends to deal with surges in school enrollment and changes in employment patterns.

The RVTD Board of Directors will consider this proposal at a public hearing scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and at the same time on Feb. 22 at the Jackson County Auditorium, 10 S. Oakdale Ave. Medford.

RVTD has received a $983,052 air quality grant that will help pay for the expanded service. Other grants and contingency dollars will make up the difference for a program estimated to cost $2,077,800 over a three-year period.

Paige Townsend, senior planner at RVTD, said both Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University offer more night classes to accommodate additional students.

As a result, five routes, including the most popular from Medford to Ashland, will run until 8 or 8:30 p.m.

The change will also help deal with businesses that stay open later and employees working until later in the evening.

In addition, Saturday routes are being added because more people are working Tuesday through Saturday shifts, Townsend said.

Ridership, which currently runs 1.1 million a year, should see an increase of 285,000 under the new program, Townsend said.

— Damian Mann

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