Umatilla County Receives Grant to Support South County Transit Route

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Umatilla County has been awarded a Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) Intercommunity Discretionary grant for $36,000 from the Oregon Transportation Commission.

This grant will allow Umatilla County to partner with the Grant County Transportation District (GCTD) to make an existing once-a-week transit route from Prairie City to Veterans Medical Center in Walla Walla, Wash., fare free for Umatilla County residents. GCTD, also known as “People Movers,” operates this route.

As a part of the agreement, GCTD is adding two additional stops in Pendleton at St. Anthony’s hospital, and on Main Street. Staci Kunz, who contracts through Eastern Oregon Business Source as the State Transportation Improvement Fund Coordinator for Umatilla County wrote the successful grant proposal. The motivating idea for the proposal was to provide south Umatilla County residents a “fare free” option to travel to services across the county and be able to make connections to statewide transportation such as airports, bus stations, and public transportation providers. This route is the only public transportation option serving the city of Ukiah.

“Our next step will be to advertise this fare free route to our residents in Ukiah and Pilot Rock and fully launch the project this fall,” Kunz said. The Oregon Transportation Commission awarded over $19 million in Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) Discretionary & Intercommunity Program and Statewide Transit Network Program funding during this grant cycle.

The once-a-week People Movers route runs a round-trip on Tuesdays with stops in Prairie City, John Day, Mount Vernon, Longcreek, Dale, Ukiah, Pilot Rock, Pendleton, Milton-Freewater, and Walla Walla.

For more information contact Umatilla County Department of Land Use Planning Director Bob Waldher at robert.waldher@umatillacounty.net.

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