amtrak connector

Driver William Allison does a training run on the Corvallis-Amtrak Connector bus in this file photo from July 2017. The service is shutting down.

Benton County is halting its Corvallis-Amtrak Connector shuttle but plans to beef up daily service between Corvallis and Albany on the Coast to Valley bus line.

Aug. 19 will be the shuttle’s last day of operation, the county announced in a news release on Monday.

People who bought advance tickets for runs beyond that date can obtain a refund by emailing help@corvallistoamtrak.com.

The Corvallis-Amtrak Connector began as a one-year pilot program in August 2017 with funding from the Oregon Department of Transportation. Benton County continued to pay for the service after the state funding ran out last fall, but county officials say there’s no more money left in that pot.

In the meantime, though, plans are in the works to expand Coast to Valley bus service between Corvallis and Albany to eight runs a day from the current two using additional funding approved by the Legislature in 2017 as part of a $5.3 billion transportation package. That money will become available in October.

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Local officials are working with ODOT and other partner agencies to reorganize the routes and schedule on the Coast to Valley line to accommodate the expanded service.

"We've learned some lessons about the Amtrak Connector service and about what has worked for people," said Lisa Scherf, transportation services supervisor for the city of Corvallis, who is coordinating the project.

"We will be using that information as we design this expanded Coast to Valley service."

Additional bus service between Corvallis and Albany is available through the Linn-Benton Loop.

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