Sandy Transit Staff Report — December 2019

In December, bids were opened and scored for construction of 2 new Sandy Bus Barns. There were 8 responsive bids, 1 bid was not accepted as it arrived late. The winner of the bid process was Columbia Cascade Construction. City Council approved the City Manager to negotiate the contract. Also in December, Sandy Transit received 1 responsive bed for a new trolley style vehicle for the Estacada route.

The new STAR vehicles are in service. The STAR (Sandy Transit Area Rides) has been updated with a new SAM rides logo. This logo aligns with the Sandy city branding. Using the SAM branding ties the SAM fixed route and former STAR dial-a-ride together in the mind of the Sandy resident. It illustrates that although different types of service, they are all City owned and operated. Hopefully, it also makes it more visible as a service that is open to the public in general. We updated the photo, wrapping more around the back of the vehicle for visibility.

Another great addition to the new SAM rides wrap is a large, visible thank you to the Sandy business community for its support in the form of the business tax. The back of the SAM rides vehicles reads “SUPPORTED BY LOCAL BUSINESS”.

Sketch of New Wrap with New Logo and Layout


As of December 16, RoJoy Services LLC was dissolved and all Sandy and Mt Hood Express drivers were hired by the City of Sandy as temporary employees while the City seeks a permanent solution. The Board of County Commissioners sent the City Council a letter of support in this decision and the City and County continue to collaborate during the transition.

Transit Staff Report — November 2019

SAM services provided 10,431 rides in total, an overall increase of 13.7% compared to November 2018. SAM Gresham provided 7,584 of those rides as compared to 6,778 in 2018 (11.9% increase).

SAM Estacada experienced a 61.8% increase, from 526 rides in October 2018 to 851 rides this November. The Shopper Shuttle experienced an increase of 49% with 924 rides. STAR experienced a 16% decrease. ED had an increase of 17.9%.

In November, Sandy Transit released an Invitation To Bid on the construction of the 2 new Sandy Bus Barns. The bids were due by December 4, 2019. Also in November, Sandy Transit released an RFQ for a new trolley style vehicle for the Estacada route. Those bids are also due in December.

Two new vehicles for the STAR service arrived in November. Those vehicles, once registered and wrapped, will be put into service. Sandy Transit has updated the logo for the STAR route, changing the name to “SAM Rides”. This will allow the SAM logo to be used, representing to the public that the dial-a-ride service is operated by the City and is part of the Transit Department. Additionally, this name change reflects that the service is available to everyone and is a dial-a-ride service. As part of the logo and name update, Sandy Transit has also added “supported by local business” to the back of the vehicles to reflect the support of the transit tax for the services provided.

Also in November, Sandy Transit and RoJoy Services, LLC mutually agreed to terminate the Sandy Operations contract. This was not an easy decision for Sandy Transit or RoJoy Services. RoJoy, a small, local business has had difficulty recruiting qualified personnel and remaining competitive. Sandy and RoJoy had been working together to find solutions but were not successful. As of December 16, he City will hire Sandy and Mount Hood Express drivers as temporary City of Sandy employees and seek a permanent solution. Sandy Transit is grateful to the owner and operator of RoJoy Services, Joyce LeDoux, for all of her work on behalf of Sandy Transit. Joyce has been the Operations Manager for Sandy Transit since 2003. Joyce has decided to retire but remains willing to work with Sandy Transit as needed during the recent transition.

Transit Staff Report – October 2019

SAM services provided 12,008 rides in total, an overall increase of 14.3% compared to October 2018. SAM Gresham provided 8,485 of those rides as compared to 7,617 in 2018 (11.4% increase).

SAM Estacada experienced a 59.1% increase, from 648 rides in October 2018 to 1,031 rides this October. The Shopper Shuttle experienced an increase of 166% with 1,196 rides. STAR experienced a 4.1% decrease. ED had an increase of 10.5%.

In October, Transit staff published an RFP for new dispatch software, which will be funded with new STIF funds.  The Department also secured 4 new computers and 6 computer monitors.  All but 2 monitors were funded with the new STIF funding. 

Also in October, Transit staff and Board members (6 total!) attended the Oregon Public Transportation Conference in Seaside, Or.  The workshops were informative and of great quality.  The conference focused on “Communication, Collaboration and Coordination”.  Sandy was able to secure reimbursements from the State and other sources for all conference expenses.  And, there was a costume dinner since it was Oct. 30th (Sandy staff were Communication, Collaboration and Coordination).

Clackamas County providers caucused during the Oregon conference and have selected Sandy staff member, Andi Howell, to represent rural Transit on the Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation (ACT).  This is a great honor, as is being re-elected to serve on the Board for the Oregon Transit Association (OTA).  South Clackamas Transit District Director, Tom Mills will represent Transit at C4 and Teresa Christopherson with the County will act as the C4 alternate.  Andi Howell remains the Rural Transit Representative on the Special Transportation Fund (STF) Advisory Committee until fiscal year 2021.

In October, RoJoy Services, the SAM contractor, continued to experience a staffing shortage which caused SAM to miss providing rides for the Trick or Treat Trail event this year.  We continue to work with RoJoy to address the shortage of drivers available.


Transit Staff Report — September 2019

SAM services provided 10,578 rides in total, an overall increase of 8% compared to September 2018. SAM Gresham provided 7,763 of those rides as compared to 7,617 in 2018.

SAM Estacada experienced a 116% increase, from 428 rides in September 2018 to 925 rides this September. The Shopper Shuttle experienced a 74.9% increase with 892 rides. STAR experienced an 21.7% decrease, likely due to riders choosing the Shopper Shuttle.  ED had an increase of 33.3%.

The second round of meetings with Sandy stakeholders for the Transit Master Plan occurred in September. Outcomes from the public outreach events will posted on the Sandy Transit website soon. We are currently moving into the policy framework phase of the Plan.

Sandy staff represent rural transit on the Special Transportation Fund Advisory Committee (STFAC). This committee oversees the distribution of STF and 5310 funds. The committee is currently keeping up to date on the merger of the STF and STIF funds.

In September, the Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy 2019 Cohort kicked off. Andi participated as a member of the academy in 2018 and currently serves on the Leadership and Steering Committees. It has been such a pleasure to give back to this great group in a supportive role.

Transit Staff Report — August 2019

SAM services provided 11,627 rides in total, an overall increase of 3.6% compared to August 2018. SAM Gresham provided 8,593 of those rides as compared to 8,601 in 2018.

SAM Estacada experienced an 71.5% increase. The Shopper Shuttle experienced a 67.4% increase with 1,047 rides. STAR experienced an 24.8% decrease, likely due to riders choosing the Shopper Shuttle.  ED had a decrease of 54%.

Sandy staff represent rural transit on the board of the Special Transportation Fund Advisory Committee (STF). Staff participated in several meetings regarding updates to the Coordinated Transportation Plan for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities. These efforts, and other via subcommittee continue.

HB 2017 funds were received in July and the first round of reporting to the Oregon Department of Transportation was due in August. These funds have funded added service to the SAM Gresham, SAM Estacada and Sandy Shopper routes since January. Technical and Infrastructure improvements, such as new computers and monitors and new bus stop signs have been implemented as well.

The second round of meetings with Sandy stakeholders for the Transit Master Plan are scheduled for September.

Transit Staff Report — July 2019

In July Sandy staff participated in the Sandy Mountain Parade, taking home the first place ribbon in the civic vehicle category (again!). Staff and consultants with the Transit Master Plan also held a booth behind City Hall to survey the public regarding various future transit plans. We spoke with 140 people and gave them the ability to vote on four possible options.

The options were (in order most preferred):

  • Adding an express route through Boring and Damascus to Clackamas Town Center
  • Adding more weekend service
  • Investing in electric vehicles
  • Adding service to Vista Apartments

SAM services provided 11,307 rides in total, an overall increase of 4.9% compared to July 2018. SAM Gresham provided 8,404 of those rides, a drop of 2.4%. SAM Estacada experienced an 83.9% increase. The Shopper Shuttle experienced a 52% increase with 914 rides in July. STAR experienced an 11% decrease, likely due to riders choosing the Shopper Shuttle.  ED had a slight increase of 56 rides as compared to 52 rides in 2018.

Transit Staff Report – June 2019

In June, it was confirmed that Muna Rustam passed the CTAA certification exam and was recognized as a Certified Community Transit Manager (CCTM). The CCTM certification is a great recognition of the required knowledge and experience required in higher level transit positions. As the Transit Program Manager for Sandy, which includes a variety of administrative tasks for MHX, obtaining this certification demonstrates the level of professionalism expected from Sandy staff in the Transit Department.

Transit staff released an RFP for the replacement of a Freightliner vehicle in our fleet. This vehicle is primarily used for the Estacada route. The RFP is due July 15th from vendors. The RFP is to replace the high floor Freightliner with a low floor trolley style bus. At the end of June, Sandy staff met with Gillig representatives to finalize specifications for the 2 new Gillig Category A vehicles, expected at the end of December 2019. Two new vehicles for the STAR dial-a-ride program were expected in late June but have been delayed. Staff expects these vehicles by August.

An architectural team from Soderstrom Architects was chosen to design the 2 new bus barns at the Operations Center. In July, Sandy staff will present a pre-application proposal to the City for permits. Upon City approval, Transit will release an RFQ for construction of the new bus barns.

Staff continue to work with the consulting team on the Transit Master Plan update. In June, the consultant Michelle Poyourow presented results from the stakeholder meeting and public outreach to both the Planning Commission and City Council. Consultants that specialize in public engagement and City staff will present current priority topics to the public at Mountain Festival for feedback. An on-line survey will also be presented to the public and stakeholders one week after Mountain Festival in July.

Transit Staff Report – May 2019

In May, Transit Staff, Andi Howell and Muna Rustam attended the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) conference. At the conference, the Oregon Transit Association was named as the state organization of the year. Andi Howell holds a position on this board and both Andi and Muna were excited to be presented as the Association was presented with this award. The courses taken at the conference were engaging and inspirational

At the end of May, Transit put an electric bus in service for a day to see how this type of transit bus (made by BYD) would handle Sandy routes. This bus did very well on both SAM Gresham and SAM Estacada. Passengers, drivers and operations personnel were impressed. The bus was able to handle the routes, was easy to drive, and had a lot of power and range. Sandy continues to work with the Master Plan consultants, meet with PGE and speak with ODOT to plan for a future transition to electric. This process will require a large capital outlay and careful financial planning.

SAM services provided 11,670 rides in total, an overall decrease of 5.6% compared to May 2018. SAM Gresham provided 9,158 of those rides, a drop of 6.4%. SAM Estacada experienced a small, 4.1% decrease. The Shopper Shuttle experienced a 10.8% increase with 594 rides in May. STAR experienced a 3.5% decrease, likely due to riders choosing the Shopper Shuttle.  ED decreased from 110 rides to 66, a 40% decrease.

Transit Staff Report – April 2019

In April, the very important stakeholders group met to discuss Sandy’s future transit priorities. The meeting was held at the Community Center with 17 community members. Additionally, public outreach occurred in April, with both on board and online surveys. The Public Input Summary Phase One: Key Choices can be found on the Transit webpage.

Sandy staff were involved with the Mount Hood Transportation Alliance group which has begun holding their quarterly meetings at the Sandy Operations Center. The focus of this group is to prioritize transit projects, schedules and services in and around the Mount Hood Communities. The expansion of the Mount Hood Express service to Timberline Lodge arose from this group and they continue to seek solutions to the traffic and safety conditions in the Highway 26 corridor. Currently, members of this group are also interested in the “Vision Around the Mountain Plan”. Sandy is a participant in this plan and is working with other agencies, including Clackamas County and Hood River Special District to create transit service “around the mountain”.

SAM services provided 11,144 rides in total, an overall decrease of 1.5% compared to April 2018. SAM Gresham provided 8,675 of those rides, a drop of 2.2%. SAM Estacada experienced a small, 3.3% increase. The Shopper Shuttle experienced a 47.6% increase with 583 rides in April. STAR experienced a 6.7% decrease, likely due to riders choosing the Shopper Shuttle.  ED remained relatively unchanged providing 72 rides compared to 74 last year.

Transit Staff Report – March 2019

The TMP Update continues at a rapid pace.  The Choices Report is complete and available on the Sandy Transit webpage.  Michelle Poyourow, from our consulting team, introduced the choices report to the City Council and the Planning Commission in March.  The public survey is also available on the Transit webpage.  The survey will be given to riders and Sandy citizens.  Consulting team members will provide Sandy residents with the opportunity to take the survey in April at various in-town locations.

Staff were successful during the Special Transportation Funds (STF) funding process, however, 40% of those funds may be cut during this legislative session.  These cuts would translate to a loss of approximately 4,800 rides on the STAR dial-a-ride program in the coming biennium.  Andi Howell, the Transit Director, is working with the Oregon Transit Association (OTA) as a board member on ways to advocate to return this funding in full to the Governor’s Budget.

A project manager, Steve Kragrud,  was hired to manage the 2 construction projects currently underway in the Transit Department.  Two new bus barns and the repair and upgrade of the bus wash facility are in beginning phases.  Both construction projects are at the Sandy Operations Center.  Steve is from the CBRE firm out of Lake Oswego.  He has many years of construction project management experience, including the recent upgrades to the Cedar Ridge property (formerly Sandy High School).

SAM services provided 10,875 rides in total, an overall decrease of 3.7% compared to March 2018. SAM Gresham provided 8,394 of those rides, a drop of 5.4%. SAM Estacada experienced a small, 2.5% decrease.  STAR experienced a 10.6% decrease.  ED a 32% decrease.  The Shopper Shuttle experienced a 67% increase with 600 rides in March.