by Pat Walsh, Lane Transit District
MIDDLE FORK WILLAMETTE WATERSHED, Sept. 12, 2022 — Lane Transit District’s (LTD) Diamond Express bus service between Oakridge and Eugene will resume its regular schedule Monday evening with the round-trip leaving Oakridge at 4:01 p.m., with a short detour.
After departing Eugene from the Willamette Street bus stop, the Diamond Express will make a stop at 5:45 p.m. at the Lane County Fairgrounds to pick up passengers staying at the emergency evacuation center before heading back to Oakridge.
Effective Tuesday, September 13, the Diamond Express will be back to regular service, with an added stop from the Lane County Fairgrounds at 7:50 a.m., 10:50 a.m., and 5:45 p.m.
The U.S. Forest Service shifted the Cedar Creek Fire designation from a Level 3 (Go Now) evacuation order to a Level 2 (Be Set) for Oakridge and Westfir.
“LTD is pleased that it is now safe to reconnect Oakridge residents with their community,” said Cosette Rees, LTD’s Director of Customer and Specialized Services. “If the Cedar Creek Fire situation were to change, LTD will be ready to go to support Oakridge residents.”
LTD had suspended Oakridge service on Friday, September 9, to divert the Diamond Express bus as well as three 40-foot buses and six RideSource vehicles to help evacuate Oakridge residents in the wake of the Cedar Creek Fire.
LTD was part of an evacuation effort that also included buses from First Student.
During Friday’s evacuation, LTD’s RideSource team took 21 passengers to Lane Community College. Traveling with those passengers were 20 dogs and five cats. The District’s 40-foot buses brought 35 passengers and their pets to safety.
In addition, LTD provided 160 fare-free bus passes for those staying at LCC and the Fairgrounds to use for travel around the area to visit friends and family, go to appointments or shop via regularly scheduled LTD bus service.