Sustainability Month: How SOU is Encouraging Alternative Ways of Transportation

Image Credit: Dakota Runyon-Trapp

As part of sustainability month, SOU had hosted a Bike and Bus event on October 20th.

SOU hosted the event alongside Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) to promote increased use of biking, busing, and carpooling as an alternative way for getting to campus, work, and home. Tanya, the student who helped put this event together, wants to encourage drivers to drive less which helps protect the environment.

Representatives for RVTD were there, one being Edem Gomez who was more than happy to help students learn about RVTD’s buses. Edem had encouraged students to use the express bus or the 1X, the latter of which was created with SOU students and facility in mind and started back in September of 2019. This route goes straight from RVTD’s station in Medford, utilizes the highway, and gets to SOU in 30 minutes; this saves time compared to the usual 40 to 50 minutes of bus 10, which starts in Medford and goes through Phoenix and Talent to get to Ashland. While the Covid-19 pandemic had caused RVTD to exile the 1X bus, as of September of 2021 they restarted the route, and now students who live in Medford can easily travel Ashland. Please note that the 1X leaves only one time per the top of the hour from the Medford station, and the final time of the evening is at 7:00 PM.

RVTD buses run from Monday to Saturday, with limited hours on Saturday and no buses on Sundays. Gomez said that RVTD would like to start operating on Sundays, but they do not have enough drivers. Students can sign up for a free RVTD bus pass this term.

Biking is also an option promoted heavily by the event. RVTD even provided free bike repairs and checkups during the event.

For those that have a bike and are not able to work with RVTD’s bus scheduling, biking provides a great alternative to get around campus and town without needing a car. For those looking to buy a bike or to get a repair for one, a local shop can help you. One location is Get N Gear located at 340 A St, Ashland, OR 97520, which sells and buys used bikes and provides affordable bike repairs.

When asked what students can do during the freezing winters in Ashland, Tanya stated it would be best to take the bus or use a carpool. Furthermore, the Ashland connector is another transportation option. This service provides everyone within Ashland’s city limits a ride to most places in town at 2 dollars a ride and operates from Monday through Saturday, 9 AM to 6 PM. It works for any student who has morning or afternoon classes that live in Ashland but not on campus.

With the help of RVTD and even students choosing to bike or carpool to class, SOU is helping make sure we have a sustainable planet for all of us.

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