The City of Wilsonville’s South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART) agency has reached an agreement with the Oregon Institute of Technology to conduct a pilot project offering late-night bus transit service for students at the Oregon Tech Wilsonville campus. Starting in September 2013, a new SMART bus route available to the public will depart at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday from the Mentor Graphics Corp. headquarters on Boeckman Road with a stop at the nearby Oregon Tech campus and then proceed north along I-5 to the TriMet Barbur Boulevard Transit Sta tion and then on to downtown Portland’s Transit Mall area.
In consideration for this increase in service, Oregon Tech–in conjunction with the Associated Students of Oregon Institute of Technology (ASOIT)–is providing a proportional cost-share to the City for the new service. Oregon Tech anticipates that students attending college at night will take advantage of this new service, which also will be available to the general public for standard fare rate that is currently $1.50 for general fare to Barbur Station or $3.00 to downtown Portland.
SMART Transit Director Stephan Lashbrook said, “Our partners at Oregon Tech Wilsonville have been great to work with. As a pilot project, we will continue to work with them throughout the coming academic year to make sure this is meeting their needs and ours. Oregon Tech has quite a few evening students and we are hoping that they will want to take advantage of this new service.”
Dr. Mateo Aboy, Associate Provost and Vice President for Research at Oregon Tech, said, “The staff and students of Oregon Tech appreciate the wonderful welcome that we have had with the City of Wilsonville. As a nationally-ranked polytechnic university, we draw students across the region, many of whom regularly utilize public transportation. SMART’s new late-night service to Portland will facilitate the ability of students to attend Oregon Tech Wilsonville.”
The new pilot-project, late-night bus service, referred to as SMART Route 9X, is set to begin no later than September 23, 2013, and to continue until the summer of 2014. During this time, SMART and Oregon Tech will evaluate utilization of the service and related issues to determine if there is sufficient demand to continue the service beyond the one-year, test-pilot stage.
In September 2012, Oregon Tech opened its new, urban and industry-focused campus in Wilsonville. The Oregon Tech Wilsonville Campus currently enrolls over 630 students in engineering, technology, management and health sciences. The Wilsonville campus is expected to eventually serve over 1,000 students enrolled in high-demand degree programs. The university is ranked among the Top-25 Colleges for Best Return on Investment in the US and 35th among the best undergraduate engineering programs for BS/MS level universities in the nation according to US News & World Report 2013 ranking.