Transit programs celebrate expanded Gorge services

HUB of activity: Saturday’s transportation celebration at the waterfront at Riverside Drive and First Street.

Photo by Trisha Walker
HUB of activity: Saturday’s transportation celebration at the waterfront at Riverside Drive and First Street.

A “transportation celebration” happened at Hood River’s new bus stop at the waterfront Saturday, as a small crowd enjoyed coffee, donuts and some banjo tunes from Mayor Paul Blackburn, all as a way to bring attention to a variety of transportation links available in the Gorge.

“We were thrilled, for a transportation event, there were lots of people there,” said CAT board member Leanne Hogie. “And we almost ran out of materials both for the CAT schedule and the trolley, and there was lots of interest in the fixed route service.”

“We hope people will use it,” said Hogie, announcing that the CAT fixed route service — in Hood River only — will be free through July 11. Riders can catch it at designated stops or flag it down, she said.

Hogie noted that “The trolley is a fun thing for weekends, CAT bus is Monday through Friday.”

The bus stop at the Port of Hood River, between the Event Site and the Hood River Valero Gas Station, is the place to catch three services:

CAT bus, which on June 11 officially began Monday-Friday service on four fixed routes;

Columbia Gorge Express, which inaugurated its Hood River service last month;

Hood River trolley, which runs free service to the Heights and downtown and the waterfront.

CAT has just expanded service around town, the Hood River Valley and to The Dalles, on a new fixed route schedule indicated by new signage that’s cropping up like spring starters.

One makes the trip between Hood River and The Dalles about eight times a day, another goes from Hood River to Cascade Locks about seven times a day, one between Hood River City and Upper Valley that makes about nine roundtrips a day, and one in downtown Hood River that offers about 12 roundtrips a day.

On the fixed routes, one-way fare in Hood River and Wasco Counties is $1 and kids under the age of seven can ride free with an adult.

To Cascade Locks, one-way fare for non-residents is $2.50. Hood River County Residents will be charged the standard $1 fare. One-way fare for an ADA, paratransit or Dial-a-Ride service for those unable to use the fixed routes is $2.

The trolley is free, but donations are accepted on behalf of the Hood River Shelter Services program, which assists the homeless in Hood River.

Columbia Gorge Express makes several runs daily to Cascade Locks and Gateway in Portland and back. The waterfront bus station, with a new covered shelter, serves as a temporary transit hub for all of TransLink’s services passing through Hood River, as well as a Greyhound bus stop.

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