Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cherriots Board meets Thursday

The Cherriots Board meets tomorrow, Thursday the 25th, and though there's no big decision on the agenda, minutes and reports have three items interesting to note: Funding weekend and evening service, the South Salem Transit Station, and Cherriots' own branding.

The momentum for putting a payroll tax on the ballot continues to build, and at the May board meeting of Cherriots
Director Krebs moved that the General Manager prepare a payroll tax ballot measure for the November 2015 election based on . 21% of payroll, for review by the Board and other public officials having jurisdiction over the ballot measure prior to the deadline for placing on the ballot.
This is not surprising as the general public shows more interest in a payroll tax - which lots of other cities and regions use and is regarded as an important business investment in employee mobility, employee recruitment, and employee retention, not as a jobs-killing, anti-business tax - than in yet another property tax.

But somewhat surprising are notes on the South Salem Transit Center and a potential rebranding effort.

On the board agenda is a change order for work on the South Salem Transit Center, and one interesting detail is that there will be no public restrooms. I guess you use the Walmart facilities?

The Keizer Station one does have public bathrooms, and maybe they present operational difficulties or the added plumbing and sewer expense is too great, but it would be disappointing to see lots of fancy landscaping and surface water management without commensurate facilities for human wastewater management.

The Swale at Keizer Transit Center
There doesn't appear to be any planning for, or investment in, the adjacent traffic and multi-modal access on Commercial Street, so in the way it is proposed to be just plopped down in a Walmart, big-box parking lot shows the way it the transit agency is still constrained by the logic of hydraulic autoism. The plan doesn't really embrace a systems approach to mobility or the transit center as a real multi-modal hub.

Not branded with "Cherriots"!
Salem-Keizer Transit also does CARTS
Also on the agenda are also minutes from a board work session and contain a note about a project that is investigating the possibility of a wholesale rebranding of Cherriots.

Did you know Cherriots was thinking about rebranding?

I guess the issue is services like CARTS do not participate in the Cherriots brand or link visually to it and so some have suggested that all services should participate in one brand.

The Board seems to be leaning towards the idea that there's still lots of brand equity and history in "Cherriots" and so maybe we'll just see a brand or graphics refresh rather than full-on rebranding. Maybe CARTS will get a name change, too.

The Salem Area Mass Transit District Board of Directors meets Thursday, June 25th, at 6:30pm, in Courthouse Square, the Senator Hearing Room, 555 Court St NE.

There will also be a going-away reception for the two outgoing board members at 6pm.

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