Two words of advice for WAVE riders during the days leading up to the total solar eclipse and the August 21st event: planning and patience. (This would good advice for EVERYONE for getting through August 21st.)
There may be as many as one million visitors who gather along a 90-mile wide band of territory across Oregon called the path of totality, which is the prime viewing spot for the eclipse, including the southern area of Tillamook County.
Since the Coast will be the first area people can witness the eclipse an estimated 50,000 people may be visiting or passing through Tillamook County. That means heavy traffic and inevitable delays for bus routes. “We’ll get you there, but we just don’t know how fast,” said Cathy Bond, TCTD Marketing Coordinator for the WAVE. “We have a great new transit app called Swiftly. This allows riders to select a route and get real-time information on when the bus will arrive and the schedule for the day. During the eclipse, riders can track the bus directly as calling the office may be a problem if cell service gets limited as anticipated.”
To download the app, visit http://www.nworegontransit.org/realtime-data-for-tctd/
The WAVE anticipates visitors will begin arriving several days before the August 21st eclipse, which falls on a Monday. The WAVE will travel its normal routes the week before the eclipse and on eclipse day. However, like on a snow day, slow traffic will cause buses to run late. Meanwhile, the large influx of traffic expected for the eclipse may result in extreme delays. WAVE riders should plan ahead and catch an early bus and avoid waiting until the last possible route trip. Clogged roads will likely have transit users and motorist alike stuck in gridlock. Catching a bus ride might be less frustrating than driving, but it won’t be any faster.
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management advises all Oregonians to be prepared for crowds, lines and traffic. The agency suggests having snacks, water and first aid supplies on hand. Emergency planners also recommend buying groceries and running other errands well before the August 21st eclipse. Cellular phone service may also be disrupted because of the crowds. Of course, no one can say with certainty if eclipse-related problems will be serious or a minor inconvenience; but be prepared. For more information about the eclipse go to: http://www.oregon.gov/oem/hazardsprep/Pages/2017-Total-Solar-Eclipse.aspx http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Pages/Eclipse.aspx