A special district is a nonpartisan governmental body led by an elected board whose focus is solely devoted to the district's reason for existence. Sunset Empire Transportation District focuses on one item only — transportation for Clatsop County residents, visitors and tourists.

Since the district's financial downfall eight years ago, SETD has risen to being a rural transit district respected throughout Oregon and beyond.

While SETD will never be the size, or have the number of routes or the tax money that a transit district such as TriMet in the Portland area has, we have moved forward in many ways. The board has worked hard together, made difficult decisions, carefully watched the financials and taken steps intended to increase ridership.

In 2016 the board adopted a transportation plan after spending 18 months talking with the public via open houses, stakeholder interviews and surveys in order to get the public's opinion of needed transit changes. Additional frequency on Highway 101 was added, and Route 15 was added to better serve Warrenton.

Fares were lowered to $1 per ride, replacing the higher zone rates. The cost of monthly passes, including low-income passes, was lowered. Electric buses, better for the environment, are being discussed. A transit app was added that can predict your bus's arrival time.

The board realizes the need for increased routes and less wait times. These issues are being addressed. Service improvement priorities recommended by the Transit Advisory Committee will begin in June.

Please join me in retaining the incumbent members of the board by voting for Tracy MacDonald and Lylla Gaebel.

CAROL GEARIN 

Warrenton

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