Getting to the airport is going to get easier for Lane’s 120 Aviation Academy students. It’s also going to be easier for anyone taking LTD. Lane Transit District’s new Airport Connector, a bus route to Eugene Airport, will connect to Route 95, streamlining the process of the commute.
The route is the result of a partnership between LTD, Eugene Airport and Lane Community College. When Lane’s Aviation Maintenance program was founded, students worked out of Building 10 on Lane’s Main Campus. “They used to fire up engines back there, and they used to land planes in Lane’s parking lot,” Advanced Technology Division Dean Patrick O’Connor said.
In 2010, the program was moved to Eugene Airport, where Lane’s Flight Technology Program has existed since the 1930s. This change meant that students enrolled in both Aviation Academy and on-campus courses now had to commute between the airport and Lane’s Main Campus.
“I’d see one of our students get off the bus, and they’d have to make that two mile trek to the airport,” O’Connor said. “I’d pick them up when I saw them, because there’s no sidewalk between the airport and the bus route. I was always worried about those students.”
Now, students don’t have to walk. “The Airport Connector will integrate seamlessly with our existing system,” said Andy Vobora, Director of Customer Services and Planning for LTD.
While Lane celebrates a new option for student travel, LTD and Eugene Airport officials are optimistic about the Airport Connector’s broader appeal. “There has been a lot of interest from passengers, students and people who work at the airport for a public transit connection,” said Eugene Airport Director Tim Doll.
“I think this route fits with Lane’s goals of being safe and sustainable.” O’Connor said. “It takes a lot of the pressure off building more parking lots.”
LTD riders take Route 95 to Highway 99 and Airport Road, where they can transfer onto the Airport Connector for free with a valid Route 95 ticket or bus pass.
The service will run eight times per day from Monday through Friday, beginning at 6:15 a.m. and ending at 7:42 p.m., with no service available on weekends.