Vision: Public transit supports thriving Columbia River Gorge communities by providing access to critical services, higher education, jobs, and outdoor recreation while protecting the natural wonders of the Gorge.
The purpose of this project is to develop a roadmap for a regionally coordinated and integrated public transportation system in a rural 5-county, bi-state region adjacent to the large metropolitan areas of Portland/Vancouver.
What we did in Phase 1
Phase 1 concluded in Winter 2021 and focused on strengthening partnerships, analyzing local transportation plans in the Columbia Gorge, and developing a collective regional vision. The main objective of Phase 1 was to combine the goals, policies, and priorities of local transportation planning efforts to provide a foundation for the work of the regional stakeholders to develop the vision and goals that would guide the implementation strategies of the next phase. Learn more about the outcomes of Phase 1 in the Final GTS Foundations Memo.
The plan for Phase 2
Phase 2 work will focus on a more comprehensive implementation strategy including further data analysis, funding and financial planning, assessment of potential regional organizational structures, and operational and policy strategies.
At the end of Phase 2, we’ll deliver a document for adoption by each of the five counties with prioritized and actionable strategies and recommendations, including a transit map that clearly articulates the Region’s vision of a successful regional transit system.
This past fall, we held our first online open house and survey. We heard that:
- Increased transit service (i.e., increased service hours, higher frequency) in the Gorge was ranked as the highest priority to help people access places they need to go.
- Increasing first-mile / last-mile access, addressing geographical constraints (more stops, trips, and connections), and smoother transfers were also high priorities for respondents.
- People mentioned the need for transit service across the region. The locations people thought most urgently need transit service added are Lyle, Warm Springs, and Trout Lake.
We also conducted several interviews with local transit providers and agencies about their expectations and goals for the Gorge Regional Transit Strategy. Stakeholders emphasized the importance of the strategy to increase communication, maximize the economy of scale, improve consistency and usability, increase smaller communities’ access to resources, and expand transit ridership.
Feedback shared in the open house and through the interviews will be incorporated into the draft strategy. And while the online open house is closed for feedback, you can still take a look at what we shared: Online Open House #1.
We’ll share the final draft of the Regional Transit Vision Map, key initiatives, and priorities in our next online open house and survey in the summer of 2023.
- Gorge Transit Strategy Phase 2 Memo 4: Vision and Funding (PDF)
- Gorge Transit Strategy Phase 2 Memo 3: Regional Travel Patterns, Transit Gaps, and Opportunities Analysis (PDF)
- Gorge Transit Strategy Phase 2 Memo 2: Existing Framework (PDF)
- Gorge Transit Strategy Phase 2 Memo 1: Public Involvement Plan (PDF)
- Final Report Gorge Transit Strategy Phase 1: Foundations Memo (PDF)
- Gorge Transit Strategy Phase 1: Public Involvement Plan (PDF)