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Guest Author | 01/01/2023 | Corvallis News & Information, Transportation

If you're new to town, or just visiting, the Corvallis Transit System (CTS) is a valuable community asset that is unlike most public transit nationwide. What's so special about it? For starters, it's free. There are no fares - you can just hop on and ride.

The city council voted to fund public transit in 2010 through a Transit Operations Fee on single-family residential customers' monthly bill as part of three sustainability initiative fees that also fund maintenance of sidewalks and city trees. This fee replaced a portion of the city's general fund from property taxes previously dedicated to transit, allowing those funds to go towards the library, parks, and recreation, police and fire departments.

As of September 2019, bus services were extended to Sundays, making public transit available seven days a week. Through the Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund, a three million dollar two-year grant expanded bus services to Sunday from a state transit tax that doesn't require renewal. Along with daily transit options, there are "Night Owl" late buses that run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. All are bus services are open to both students and the general public.

(As of September 2022, driver shortages have necessitated temporarily ending weekend service and curtailing some other CTS routes and services. Click here for more information. The City of Corvallis hopes to return to full service in early 2023.)

Philomath Connection, Linn-Benton Loop and 99 Express still charge fares, but student commuters traveling to Linn-Benton Community College can ride free with a student ID.

Since 2011 when fareless transit began, over 1 million rides are provided to the community annually through CTS, with peak usage during the month of October, and least used during the month of December. In its first year going fareless, CTS usage increased 37.9%.

All CTS buses run on bio-diesel. As part of the CTS mission statement, the Corvallis Transit System aims to preserve the environment and enhance neighborhood livability while reducing air pollution, energy consumption, and traffic. The do this while providing a viable transportation alternative for all citizens, reducing the need for infrastructure and parking.

Universal access to an alternative transportation option provides a social service to the community, giving transportation to youth, elderly, disabled, and low-income citizens, promoting economic vitality. This also generates an economy where employers can increase their employment pool by providing transportation to those who have no other means of travel to their place of employment.

For routes, stops, and resources like the "Where's My Bus?" feature that offers real-time information, visit the CTS website.

Getting To and Around Corvallis

You’ll find that Corvallis is an easy place to navigate. The downtown and University neighborhoods are highly walkable, and the city has been named one of the nation’s most bicycle-friendly. There are plenty of choices when it comes to Corvallis transportation, including city buses, taxi cabs, shuttles, and car and bicycle rentals.

Learn more.

Article by Randall Bonner. Featured photo and "Getting To and Around Corvallis" photo by Steve Morgan (CC BY-SA 4.0). Keep up with Corvallis news, events and happenings by signing up for our email newsletter.

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