NORTH BEND — The Coos County Area Transit (CCAT) was recently awarded with a Veteran Services Grant from the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) to help fund a new, free shuttle service to Roseburg for Coos County veterans.
The grant awarded CCAT with $130,840 to run a route from the VA North Bend Clinic to the Roseburg VA Medical Center. It will include in its budget the salary for the drivers, fuel, operating and maintenance services for the bus, insurance as well as the cost to purchase a new transit vehicle.
Sergio Gamino, the transit program manager, said they applied for the grant back in February and were happy to hear the news they received the funds.
“Recently, we found out that veterans were not able to make it out to their much needed medical appointments anywhere outside of the county,” said Gamino. “They didn’t have the transportation, and as a veteran myself I thought this was a very important project.”
According to Gamino, the shuttle service will run three times per week most likely on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They are still working on a concrete schedule and are hoping to have the service running in the next 30 days. Once they agree on a schedule the times will be posted on their website.
The funds were a part of the ODVA’s Veteran Services Grant Program, which awarded a total of $550,000 to 59 different proposals made throughout the state.
In addition to the new grant, the CCAT buses now have a new, colorful look. Last year, CCAT held a design contest asking for residents to submit artwork that both promoted public transportation and featured a distinct aspect of Coos County.
After a panel of judges shuffled through the entries, which were to include a piece that they felt was well-balanced and eye catching, the final selections were moved over for the Coos County Commissioners to decide.
The winners of the contest included local artists Valene Wolf, Heather Callihan and Corrina Rawlings. The designs picked were of the McCullough Bridge, a landscape scene of trees and waterfall, a salmon jumping out of water and beach scene of waves crashing near a shoreline. The artwork is featured on two buses, with designs on each side.