Curry Public Transit, Inc. (CPTI) will be donating two buses to Central Curry District 1 in Gold Beach and Curry Homeless Coalition. These buses have been used since 2013 and both have low mileage and have been well maintained. As soon as the two new buses for Curry Transit are outfitted with 2-way radios, the two gently-used buses will be donated to the Homeless Coalition and the Gold Beach School District. The buses can be driven by individuals that have regular driver licenses so both entities will have more flexibility in procuring drivers for the buses.
Beth Barker-Hidalgo, Director of the Homeless Coalition, was excited about the gift and will have a number of uses for the bus. “We want to thank Commissioner Sue Gold and Curry Public Transit Inc.’s Kathy Bernhardt and staff for the wonderful gift, and their support for our mission and vision, said Barker-Hidalgo.”
Some of the plans for the donated bus are:
1. The ability to transport clients to Coos County for orientations at the Coos Curry Housing Authority or social security appointments. Sometimes these trips can require an overnight stay and regular public transportation is not an option. Some clients have not been able to make the journey which means that they may miss out on valuable housing support and financial services. The bus will allow the Coalition to respond to these situations with flexibility so that their clients don’t miss out on services.
2. There are plans to hold a Homeless Connect event in Brookings and the Coalition is the contracted organization responsible for Point in Time Count, the annual homeless census in Curry County. The bus will be very helpful when transporting cargo to and from these types of outreach events.
3. The Coalition is a key agency planning for development of emergency/transitional and permanent supportive housing in Curry County. When these housing options come to fruition, the Coalition will have a vehicle to provide transport when non-emergent medical or public transportation options are not feasible.
Tim Wilson, Superintendent of Central Curry School District, and the board of directors are very excited to receive this donation from CPTl. “We plan to use the bus primarily for student activity travel,” Wilson said. “Smaller sports like cross country and wrestling as well as clubs like Knowledge Bowl and college visitation fit much more comfortably on this size of bus. It also allows teachers or non-bus drivers with the proper training and licensure to drive the vehicle. Many times during a school year, our activity travel conflicts with transporting students home at the end of the school day. This vehicle will provide additional flexibility in scheduling.”
Normally, the buses that are retired from the CPTI fleet are auctioned rather than donated because of the special way they were procured. In 2013, CPTI was in need of two new buses to replace two aging vehicles and they did not have the funds to do so. Rogue Valley Transit District (RVTD) heard that CPTI was in need of replacement vehicles. They had some leftover capitol grant funds, which normally are re-absorbed by ODOT and used for other grant opportunities. RVTD worked with ODOT to purchase two 24-foot Goshen buses for CPTI with these funds. Rogue Transit District retained the ownership, while CPTI used the vehicles. When CPTI was ready to replace these vehicles RVTD would decide how to dispose of them. In August 2020 CPTI let Rogue Transit District that the replacement buses were on their way and they asked CPTI to give the vehicles to a local non-profit or service entity.
Kathy Bernhardt had emailed non-profits earlier and no entities indicated that they were interested. When Commissioner Gold was informed of this, she said she would find two groups that could use the buses. Gold stated: “I am very pleased that the two organizations that are receiving these buses will be able to use them in a way that will benefit our community.”