The C-TRAN Facebook page receives all sorts of inquiries from riders, ranging from general questions to service updates. Recently, we received this message:
“I just want to ask if the Elmira-Corning bus is making runs.”
Elmira, N.Y., is about 2,300 miles from Vancouver, which is just a bit outside of our service area. C-TRAN doesn’t have a route there. But C TRAN (no hyphen) does. That would be the public transit system serving Chemung County in southern New York state.
It’s not the first time we’ve been confused with another transit agency of the same name. Turns out, there have been at least three other C-TRAN doppelgangers operating elsewhere in the U.S. in recent years. The C-Tran serving Clayton County, Georgia, sadly shut down in 2012. Another C-Tran in Cary, North Carolina, rebranded as GoCary in 2016. That leaves just C-TRAN (Washington) and C TRAN (New York) still carrying the banner.
C-TRAN, of course, isn’t our full name. We’re the Clark County Public Transportation Benefit Area Authority more formally. The C-TRAN name was selected shortly before we officially started rolling in 1981. And our original logo was designed by two Washington State University students later that year through a contest.
C TRAN (the other one) operates nine local bus routes that serve Elmira and other towns in Chemung County. It also provides commuter routes to Ithaca, Corning and other destinations in the region.
Route 20 is C TRAN’s Elmira-Corning bus. If anyone else asks, it is running.
You’ve probably heard by now that the northbound span of the Interstate Bridge will close for more than a week this September during a needed repair project. The trunnion replacement project will close the span for nine days, September 12-20, and traffic impacts are expected to be severe. Think miles-long backups and up to 20 hours of congestion per day.
In other words, it could be ugly.
Regional partners including C-TRAN have been preparing for the closure for more than a year. Traffic impacts are inevitable, but we’ll be doing our part to make sure the project – and cross-river travel – go as smoothly as possible during the closure. Here’s how C-TRAN will help keep the region moving:
Bus on Shoulder: By late summer, C-TRAN buses will be authorized to use the shoulder of southbound Interstate 5 to bypass traffic in Clark County. The bus-only shoulder lane will extend about five miles from 99th Street down to the Interstate Bridge, using the inside (left) shoulder lane. The I-5 Bus on Shoulder lane will remain permanent even after the bridge project is complete. C-TRAN buses will also be authorized to use shoulder lanes on I-205 over the Glenn Jackson Bridge for approximately one year as a separate pilot project.
Extra service: C-TRAN will be putting additional buses on Express routes during the project to maintain schedules and make sure commuters have access to transit.
Free parking: If you’re taking transit during the closure, C-TRAN already offers several places where you can park for free and catch a bus to Portland. Multiple Express routes serve 99th Street Transit Center, Fisher’s Landing Transit Center and the Salmon Creek Park and Ride. C-TRAN’s Evergreen Park and Ride and the Andresen Park and Ride also offer free parking and transit access to Portland, though on more limited schedules.
Partnerships: C-TRAN has been working with other agencies around the region to make sure this is a coordinated effort on a project that will affect thousands of travelers. That includes the Oregon Department of Transportation, which is the lead agency on the project, plus the Washington State Department of Transportation, the City of Vancouver and others. Better communication among these agencies means we’re better prepared before the project starts.
Regional leaders are asking commuters to do their part, too. Find an alternative to driving across the bridge if you can. Work from home if that’s an option. Carpool or Vanpool with others. Be patient. (And be nice.)
Got questions? Find more information about the Interstate Bridge closure at www.interstatebridge.org. You can also follow C-TRAN on Twitter and Facebook for the latest info leading up to and during the project.