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The public interest group OSPIRG (Oregon State Public Interest Research Group) urged local voters in the Cherriots transit district to approve a measure to restore weekend and evening bus service.
“Whether you are a senior citizen, student or average commuter, good transit choices can be critical for getting to work, school, the grocery store and more,” said OSPIRG executive director Dave Rosenfeld, “Measure 24-388 will help ensure that local residents have good transit choices when they need them.”
Measure 24-388 would assess a 0.21% payroll tax on businesses in the Salem-Keizer transit district (Cherriots) in order to restore weekend, holiday and evening (from 9pm to 11pm) bus service, as well as a bus pass program for area middle and high school students. Cherriots officials say that more than half of the businesses in the district will pay less than $170 a year for these services.
Rosenfeld pointed to studies suggesting that people in general and Millennials in particular are driving less than a generation ago. The reasons are not yet clearly understood, although unpredictable gas prices, the high cost of car ownership and the emergence of new ways of communicating appear to play a part.
Investing in Cherriots is a smart move for Salem,” said Rosenfeld, “If these driving trends hold, then improving public transit will be an important way for the Salem area to attract and retain the next generation of teachers, doctors, business owners and families.”
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