Public transportation is a problem facing most rural communities; and Jefferson County is no exception. Lack of transit options affects employers, individuals without the means to afford a vehicle, and elderly or disabled people that are unable to drive.
Jefferson County, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, and The Central Oregon Partnership (among others) had been meeting on a regular basis since November 2002 to explore transit options. This Oregon Solutions project team collaborated to implement a transit plan. The transit plan focused on commute patterns of employees of local businesses, in addition to access to critical services for residents of lower income neighborhoods.
There was a lack of mobility options for residents to participate in the needs of daily living (such as jobs, education, healthcare, services, etc.). Resources that did exist were:
• not coordinated,
• inequitable, and
• focused toward traditional solutions.
Create a sustainable system of transportation options for Warm Springs Reservation and the Jefferson County Highway 97& 26 corridors that is responsive to the community and provides access to daily living needs, through coordination of existing resources and efforts, and accessing additional resources needed.