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Plagued by traffic, CC Rider tests alternate routes

Bus agency looks to reduce commute times on Portland routes

CC Rider, the county’s bus agency, is testing out routes to reduce late buses and speed up transit times to and from downtown Portland.

SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - A CC Rider bus waits to depart from the transit yard in St. Helens. Recently, the bus agency has been testing out alternate routes and departure times to and from Portland.Last week, the agency reported delays in its evening runs out of Portland, as buses were plagued by heavy traffic on area freeways.

It wasn’t the first time the buses ran late because of heavy traffic on Portland routes.

“It’s been brought to our attention for a while,” Janet Wright, director of CC Rider, said Wednesday.

The recent slowdowns led the agency to roll out a pilot program to test new routes and departure times.

The bus agency runs a line from St. Helens to Southwest Salmon Street and 6th Avenue in downtown Portland, seven days a week.

“We understand that there has been concern that the bus is consistently running a half hour, or more, late and we are trying to look at ways to fix the schedule to deal with this lateness issue,” Wright stated in a news release last Friday, Feb. 26.

So far, no permanent changes have been implemented.

“We’re trying to use some alternative routes that might get us down there and help us be on time,” Wright said. “We’re gonna continue to explore some options.”

On Tuesday, a CC Rider bus tried to find a quicker route into downtown Portland, using side streets instead of I-405 freeway.

The bus never got stuck in traffic, but it slowed down the commute and didn’t save any time, the agency reported.

For now, CC Rider is advising its riders to stay up to date on any prospective route changes through the agency’s website, Twitter page, or Facebook page.