Community connections bus

Community Connections Assistant County Manager Danielle Brockamp checks out the Community Connections bus. Scheduled (dial-a-ride) trips are now free to anyone in Wallowa County. The free ride service is a significant help to many in the county.

Need to get to a doctor’s appointment on a rainy day? Go get some groceries? Visit a friend? As long as you schedule your trip ahead of time, Community Connection’s Dial-a-Ride will take you to your destination and home again, free of charge.

Free transportation is now available to everyone, regardless of age, thanks to a grant from the Statewide Transportation Improvement Network.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the Dial-a-Ride route begins in Enterprise at 7 a.m. and is meant to serve primarily residents of Enterprise and Joseph. On Tuesday and Thursday, Dial-a-Ride routes begin in Wallowa at 9 a.m. and are meant to primarily serve residents of the lower valley. Dial-a-ride does not operate on weekends.

“Reservations should be made at least 24 hours before the trip, and can be made up to three days in advance,” said Jennifer Hayslip, Community Connection’s Assistant Transit Manager. “It’s best to provide a specific pick-up time, an accurate address, and the address and name of where you are going.”

Dial-a-Ride also means that you may need to wait awhile to be picked up for your ride home. Hayslip suggested taking along something to read or otherwise keep yourself occupied. “Remember that we can have lots of people to get to a variety of destinations as well as getting home,” she said. “Patience is a good thing. We will do our best to pick you up ASAP.” Officially, the Community Connection’s vehicles may arrive 15 minutes early to 15 minutes late. In reality, sometimes they may be delayed longer.

The Community Connection vehicles are wheelchair accessible. Drivers are trained to assist persons with disabilities in boarding and de-boarding. Importantly, carry-on items are limited to what YOU can carry. Drivers cannot assist in loading parcels, groceries, etc. The buses are also equipped with bike racks for the convenience of cyclists.

You may bring a controlled (6-foot leash) certified service animal, but no “companion” or “comfort” animals are allowed, Hayslip said. “If you are taking your cat or small dog to the vet, that’s ok as long as they are in a crate, and, importantly, the crate does not block the aisle.”

“We are really happy to offer this transportation service to everyone,” Hayslip said, “and we hope lots of folks take advantage of it.”

To make a reservation for a Dial-a-Ride trip, call 541-426-3840. Dial-a-Ride service will not be available on Thanksgiving, Christmas day, or New Year’s Day.

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