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MailTribune.com
  • Eagle Point looks into RVTD bus service

    Officials will survey residents on possible property tax hike
  • EAGLE POINT — City officials and the Rogue Valley Transportation District are studying a plan to extend bus service to this community.
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  • EAGLE POINT — City officials and the Rogue Valley Transportation District are studying a plan to extend bus service to this community.
    A transit study conducted in April determined it would cost up to $236,000 annually to provide bus service to Eagle Point and expand service in White City to serve Rogue Community College.
    Eagle Point is surveying local residents to see if there is any appetite for increasing property taxes by 17 cents per $1,000 in assessed valuation, or $26 a year on a $150,000 house.
    "We're talking about the cost of about one latte a month," said Julie Brown, general manager for RVTD.
    The survey is being conducted by Southern Oregon University and should be completed in the near future.
    The property taxes from Eagle Point would raise about $90,000 annually, which would cover only part of the cost, with the rest coming from fares and grants.
    The proposed bus route would start at the Cascade Shopping Center on Highway 62 in White City, follow Shasta Avenue through Eagle Point and into the downtown and then head west to Walmart on Highway 62, before returning to White City. In White City, riders could transfer to another bus or stay on the new bus and travel to the Rogue Community College site in that community. The entire route would take one hour to complete. The bus would operate 12 hours a day Monday through Friday and eight hours on Saturday at one-hour intervals.
    White City is already inside RVTD's district.
    Brown said RVTD would also provide van service for the disabled if Eagle Point residents decided they want to be annexed into the system.
    "If you have a bus route close to your home, it brings the value of your home up," Brown said.
    Expanding bus service into Eagle Point has been discussed for years.
    RVTD has undertaken several long-range goals recently, including expanding bus service to east Medford as well as Saturday and evening service.
    Paige Townsend, RVTD senior planner, said ridership estimates indicates the Eagle Point route would justify running a bus at a one-hour intervals.
    "In future, if there is enough demand, we could have 30-minute service," she said.
    Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @reporterdm.
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