Freqently Asked Questions
How is the Diamond Express funded?
LTD Accessible Services creates partnerships to improve transportation for older adults and people with disabilities throughout Lane County using money from Oregon's Special Transportation Fund for the Elderly and Disabled (STF). And, in cooperation with the City of Oakridge, every two years LTD applies to the Oregon Public Transit Division for funds through the Intercity Passenger Program, Federal grants are awarded through this competitive process specifically to provide individuals who live in rural areas access to medical and other services, shopping, school, jobs, and connections to more distant locations.
State and federal funds pay for about 80 percent of costs while rider fares and a local contribution from the City of Oakridge cover the remaining 20 percent of the full cost of yearly operations.
Anticipated revenue for Diamond Express operations from July 1, 2010 through June 30 2011:
City of Oakridge Contribution
State Special Transportation Fund
Federal Intercity - Operations
Total Annual Revenues (July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2011)
Note: LTD donates Day Passes for riders who pay the round trip fare.
Is Oakridge now a part of LTD's service district?
No. In order to be part of LTD's service area and to get regular, fixed-route bus service, communities within Lane County must agree to participate in LTD's business payroll and self-employment tax program. The cities of Oakridge or Westfir do not participate.
However, LTD provides technical assistance to rural communities through Accessible Services and the point2point solutions programs. In this way, LTD has been able to help establish programs outside of its service area by pursuing other funding opportunities. LTD coordinates these services with the help and guidance of interested rural residents, local officials, and staff from social service agencies.
Who runs the Diamond Express service?
The service was created in 2003 through a partnership between LTD, the City of Oakridge and stakeholders from Oakridge and Westfir. It is administered through LTD Accessible Services. Special Mobility Services, Inc. (SMS), a non-profit agency, operates the service under contract with LTD. The Diamond Express manager and drivers are SMS employees.
For more than 25 years, SMS has operated RideSource, a curb-to-curb service for older adults and people with disabilities in Eugene and Springfield. SMS also operates the RideSource Call Center that serves to coordinate a variety of transportation services within Lane County. SMS was selected to operate the Diamond Express through a competitive Request for Proposal and selection process.
How much does it cost to ride, and how does it coordinate with LTD's fare system? Can I ride with my LTD group pass?
Each one-way trip fare is $2.50. Riders who pay the $5.00 round-trip fare when boarding in Oakridge will receive an LTD Day Pass that can be used on LTD buses throughout that day in the Eugene/Springfield area. The fare must be paid in cash with exact change or with Diamond Express tickets that can be pre-purchased at LTD Customer Service at the Eugene Station, 11th Avenue and Willamette Street. Only cash and VISA or MasterCard are accepted.
LTD group pass holders and other LTD passes cannot be used to ride the Diamond Express. Rider fares cover only a small portion of the cost of providing the service. Fares have been kept as low as possible and have not been raised since start-up.
What is the capacity for people, bicycles, and wheelchairs on the vehicle?
The primary Diamond Express bus is a 35 passenger vehicle with two spaces for persons who use a mobility device. This bus also includes a front mounted bicycle rack that holds three bikes. At the driver's discretion, additional bicycles can be placed on board. Sometimes the back-up vehicle must make the run. It is smaller and can only carry two bikes and fewer people.
What happens if the bus is full? Will another bus be sent out?
The Diamond Express operates on a first-come, first-served basis. If needed, a second vehicle will be dispatched for the 5:30 p.m. return trip to ensure that everyone gets a ride back to Oakridge.
How do I catch the bus if there is not a designated stop? Can I get on anywhere?
To be picked up, riders may hail the driver from a safe location, or they may ask to be dropped off along the route within Oakridge, except on Hwy 58. After leaving Oakridge, the driver will stop only at designated stops. (See the route map and schedule). On return trips to Oakridge, the driver will stop only at those locations where riders ask to be dropped off. For example, the driver may by-pass the Westridge stop on a return trip if no one on the bus needs to get off at that location.
Is there a Park & Ride location?
Currently, there is one informal Park & Ride location at the Westridge Middle School site to serve residents of Westfir. Oakridge riders will need to walk to the route or be dropped off to catch the bus, or may use available on-street parking near the route.
There are no designated Park & Ride locations within Oakridge.