Solar Eclipse 2017

Two words of advice for Cherriots riders during the days leading up to the total solar eclipse and the Aug. 21 event:  planning and patience.

In Oregon, as many as one million visitors will gather along a 90-mile wide band of territory across the state. The path of totality, the prime viewing spot for the eclipse, includes the Salem area. 

Oregon Eclipse Path

An estimated 250,000 people may be visiting Salem or passing through the area. That  means heavy traffic and inevitable delays for bus routes.

“We’ll get you there, but we just don’t know how fast,” said Karen Garcia, security and emergency management manager for Cherriots.

Visitors will begin arriving several days before the August 21 eclipse, which falls on a Monday. Cherriots will travel its normal routes the week before the eclipse and on eclipse day. Like on a snow day, slow traffic will cause buses to run late. The large influx of traffic expected for the eclipse, however, may result in extreme delays. Cherriots riders should plan ahead and catch an early bus. Don’t wait 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.

Cherriots will be using Facebook, Twitter and the Service Advisories page to provide regular updates throughout the day on August 21.

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 21 eclipse. Stores may have trouble re-stocking shelves because of delivery delays. Credit and debit card transactions at businesses may take longer because of the high volume of visitors in the area.  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:

City of Salem and Marion County eclipse information

Oregon Department of Emergency Management

Oregon Department of Transportation