Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 28th, 2011 at 4:37 pm
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced today that, starting Monday (5/2) they will increase the frequency of shuttle bus service around the closed Arch Bridge between Oregon City and West Linn.
The more frequent service comes as a response to high demand and the coming summer season, says ODOT spokeswoman Susan Hanson. "Ridership has been growing since January and we felt with the good weather, we're likely to see even more ridership."
Hanson reports that some of the shuttle trips have been over capacity and they've had to install straps inside the buses to accomodate more passengers.
The 88-year old bridge closed back in January and will remain closed for two years while crews perform major renovations. While motor vehicle traffic can easily detour around the closure and use I-205 to cross the river, it's a different story for people on bikes and foot. To retain some level of convenience during the closure, ODOT is spending $550,000 on the shuttle bus service.
Starting Monday, the shuttle bus will take 15 minutes instead of 20. With less wait time between trips, ODOT is able to offer more frequency. The shuttle also runs later now; until 9:00 pm on weekdays and 8:00 pm on weekends (and starts at 5:00 am and 7:00 am respectively). Hanson says the changes also come as a response to rider feedback.
The shuttle can carry up to seven passengers, four bicycles and one wheelchair. Since the shuttle started on January 15th, it has carried 5,633 riders, 591 of which were riding a bicycle. On an average weekend day, ODOT reports that nine people riding bikes use the shuttle.