GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Some Grants Pass residents depend on the bus routes to get to and from work or school. Now there’s a possibility a route could expand down I-5 into Medford.
Riders got off the bus in Grants Pass Tuesday afternoon, headed in a variety of directions.
“Work, doctor’s appointments, any other appointments, shopping, grocery shopping,” said Grants Pass resident Chastity Pinedo.
Right now bus routes make stops throughout Grants Pass, Cave Junction and Merlin, but soon Medford will be added to that list. The Josephine Community Transit has applied for funding for a bus to make 5 trips to Medford a day — two in the morning, one at noon, and two in the afternoon.
Bus rider Jamey Owens said the new route would bring her and her daughter to Medford more often.
“It would be good for her to be able to visit other parks other than just the two around here in town that most people go to,” said Owens.
The funding for this pilot program comes from federal programs aimed at areas with air quality problems.
“To fund projects in areas around the nation that have air quality problems. Grants Pass was designated as an air quality impact area years ago,” said R.V.C.O.G. Planning Coordinator Dan Moore.
The new route is just one of several projects with the air quality maintenance plan, and officials expect it to continue after the 3 year pilot.
“It’s designed to be self-sufficient based on the fares and the partnerships that will provide additional funding,” said Moore.
Stops could also be made in Rogue River and Gold Hill if a commuter called ahead to arrange the stop.
Riders said they’ll be taking advantage of the new route once it starts.
“I would go shopping all the time! I’d be hitting up Medford every payday,” said Pinedo.
The pilot project is in the early planning stages, but is expected to be running in September.