Katelyn Buxton/ The Mainstream
Umpqua Transit makes one of their many stops at UCC. Regular transit fares cost just $2 for one way.

Umpqua Transit:
$50/term passes get students to class cost-effectively

Transportation is just one of the many struggles students face when attending college. Few students live close enough to walk or bike to school, so without access to a car, many turn to the bus system to get to classes.

In Roseburg and its outlying areas, this means taking Umpqua Transit. At $2 a ride or $5 for a day pass, some already consider it an inexpensive option. However, UCC students can also benefit from purchasing a $50 pass that lasts for the entire term. Additionally, veterans, seniors and those who have a disability qualify for the rate of $1 for each direction, or $25 for a month pass.

“As someone who rides it daily, it’s extremely cost effective,” Christian DeWeese, a UCC student, says. “It usually costs $2 one-way, so I’d be paying some $80 a month for rides. Being a student, I take advantage of the $50 pass that is good for the entire term.” The pass may be purchased in the LaVerne Murphy Student Center.

Umpqua Transit buses are also able to accommodate wheelchairs. “The buses are super wheelchair accessible,” says Boone Olson, an AAOT student at UCC. Riding Umpqua Transit two to three times a week, he’s noticed that the buses are lift-equipped, making it easy for anyone to ride. Additionally, each of the buses feature a bike rack that allows passengers who arrive at the bus stop on a bike to take it with them.

Umpqua Transit also offers their schedules in easily accessible formats upon request. While the timetables and locations of each stop are available on their website, they also offer large print and braille versions for the visually impaired.

However, one of the problems associated with public transportation is the ability to arrive at a destination on time. “It is usually a little late,” DeWeese said, referring to Umpqua Transit’s reliability. “Pick up times shouldn’t be taken as granted.” However, he also notes that the drivers usually make up the lost time on the way to UCC.

The drivers at Umpqua Transit undergo ongoing training to maintain proficiency as well, which includes defensive driving practices, first aid and passenger assistance. “All of our drivers have a Class B commercial driver’s license,” says Cheryl Cheas, the general manager for the Transportation District at Umpqua Transit.

Umpqua Transit is also planning a lot of improvements over the next two years, after recently obtaining new funding through HB 2017. “Buses will be coming more frequently,” Cheas says. “We’re looking at running a little earlier in the morning and a little later in the evening.”

Besides an updated schedule, Umpqua Transit will also be adding new routes. One of these is ready to put into place as soon as they get new buses and drivers. It will begin at West Harvard Shopping Center and make stops at places like the YMCA, the movie theater, the office of Veteran’s Affairs and the downtown area.

The schedules for the routes Umpqua Transit buses currently run can be found on their website, UmpquaTransit.com. On the homepage of their website, there is also a trip planning calculator that enables users to input their starting city or location, as well as their destination. Clicking “Get Directions” will show the next bus departing from that point via Google Maps. The calculator’s results can be narrowed by departure time as well, by selecting the Schedule Explorer on the Google Maps page.

Umpqua Transit also has routes that run to the outlying areas of Douglas County one day a week, reaching Oakland, Yoncalla, Drain, Tenmile, Camas Valley, Azalea, Glendale, Glide, Idleyld, Elkton, Reedsport and Lakeside. The schedule for each of these can also be found on their website, under the UTrans Lifeline Route.

College students face many challenges in their day-to-day lives, and getting to classes is an important part of that. Umpqua Transit enables students to get to UCC in a cost-effective manner.

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