We’re better when we speak together

By Rob Zako
April 9, 2014

People Talking TogetherUPDATED 5/28/2014, 6/25/2014, 8/4/2014 & 9/1/2014 to include current list of conversations and links to details.

BEST is lining up dozens of community conversations to learn why people think transit is important (if indeed it is) and what questions, suggestions and concerns they have. Some initial feedback:

  • Transit is a lifeline; I couldn’t live without it (from someone who is legally blind).
  • Why doesn’t Lane Transit District (LTD) go to the airport? (Part of the answer is that many flights leave at 5 or 6 in the morning, before it otherwise makes sense to start running buses.)
  • I use a wheelchair and often when the bus stops for me, both wheelchair bays are taken and I have to wait a long time for the next bus.
  • When will LTD be entirely supported by fares and not depend on taxes? (The last time was in the late ’60s when the private Emerald Transportation Company ran 18 Volkswagen microbuses … until it went out of business and LTD was formed.)
  • My talented employees can work anywhere in the country, but want to be in a place with a high quality of life. Good transit is one attraction that draws them here.
  • Can we convert more buses to hybrids or electric to reduce emissions? (BEST is supporting a federal grant application to convert 5 old diesel buses to all electric.)
  • We need to restore the School Bus Pass Program (from someone living in Bethel).
  • Why do I have to pay taxes to LTD when it doesn’t serve my business?

This summer, BEST will report back to the community on what we have heard, highlight areas of possible agreement, and suggest possible next steps for making transit better.

List of Community Conversations

If you want to help with one of these conversations, or if your group isn’t yet on our list, contact executive director Rob Zako at 541-343-5201 or (email).

Note: Categories are just intended to be suggestive, as some groups could fit into several categories. Conversations in bold have already occurred or are scheduled: click on dates for details.

General Public


  • American Institute of Architects Southwest Oregon (6/4/2014)
  • Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Industrial Corridor Community Organization
  • Springfield Chamber of Commerce (5/13/2014)


Environmental / Sustainability / Alternative Modes

  • Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (4/20/2014) (6/12/2014)
  • Eugene Sustainability Commission
  • Friends of Eugene
  • point2point Solutions
  • Greater Eugene Area Riders
  • GreenLane
  • Sierra Club Many Rivers Group



  • Active Bethel Citizens Neighborhood Association (4/3/2014) (6/7/2014)
  • Cal Young Neighborhood Association
  • Churchill Area Neighbors
  • Friendly Area Neighbors (5/12/2014)
  • Harlow Neighbors
  • Jefferson Westside Neighbors (5/13/2104)
  • River Road Community Organization (4/14/2014)
  • Santa Clara Community Organization


  • Eugene, Springfield, Bethel & Portland School Districts (5/22/2014)
  • Lane Community College (5/29/2014)
  • University of Oregon (5/21/2014)

Social Services

  • Alvord-Taylor Independent Living Services
  • Community Behavioral Health Consortium (5/13/2104)
  • Eugene Human Rights Commission (5/20/2014)
  • Human Services Forum (5/14/2014)
  • Lane Coalition for Healthy Active Youth
  • Lane Independent Living Alliance
  • Opal Network
  • Oregon Supported Living Program (3/26/2014)
  • St. Vincent de Paul