The Columbia Gorge Express is a pilot bus service connecting Gateway Transit Center in Portland with Rooster Rock State Park and Multnomah Falls. It operated Friday through Sunday and federal holidays from May 27 through September 25, 2016. Service is expected to resume in May 2017.
The Columbia Gorge Express will operate as a pilot service in summer 2016 and 2017. As the pilot progresses, ODOT and project partners will evaluate the service on an ongoing basis and continue to explore options for expansion beyond 2017. Near-term service expansion could include increasing the frequency of the existing intercity transit service between Gateway Transit Center and Hood River traveling along I-84 with stops at key destinations. Public transportation service is currently provided two days a week by Columbia Area Transit.
The Columbia Gorge Express pilot service is funded by ODOT. Partners involved in the Columbia Gorge Express include:
Columbia Gorge Express service is expected to resume in May 2017 and operate throughout the summer months. To receive the latest updates about 2017 service, sign up for our mailing list!
Riding the bus (information from 2016 service)
The bus operates Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and federal holidays) from May 27 to September 25, 2016. The first bus departs Gateway Transit Center at 8:45 a.m. and the last bus to Gateway Transit Center departs Multnomah Falls at 6:40 p.m.
The Gorge Express departs Rooster Rock for Multnomah Falls every 15-45 minutes. A large tour bus is available between these stops. Smaller, 20-seat buses travel to and from Gateway Transit Center in Portland. If there is room on the Multnomah Falls-bound buses from Portland, you are welcome to catch a ride. Please note, full buses originating from Gateway Transit Center may not stop at Rooster Rock.
No, parking is free in Gateway Transit Center Park and Ride lots and Columbia Gorge Express riders park for free at Rooster Rock State Park. You can park free of charge up to 24 hours at Gateway Transit Center. Overnight parking at Rooster Rock State Park is not permitted.
Round trip tickets from Gateway Transit Center to Rooster Rock and Multnomah Falls are $5 per person. Riders boarding at Rooster Rock State Park or Multnomah Falls can ride the Columbia Gorge Express for free.
At this time, we are not able to offer any discounts for seniors, students or children. Small children seated on an adult's lap ride for free.
We encourage riders to purchase tickets online in advance to avoid boarding delays. Riders can print their tickets or show electronic confirmation to the driver. Tickets are also available for purchase on the bus, but cash fares are not accepted.
Prepaid debit cards, purchased with cash, can be used for this purpose. Grocery stores near the Columbia Gorge Express bus stop at Gateway Transit Center sell pre-paid debit cards.
At this time, only day tickets are available.
Purchasing a ticket online does not reserve a seat on any bus. Buses will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tickets purchased to ride the Gorge Express are dated, but not restricted to that specific date. As long you have not used the ticket, you may show your ticket to the driver on another date. If you desire to request a refund, please contact our transit vendor, MTR Western, at 877-247-0053 (toll free) or 503-247-0054 (local).
We encourage riders to plan ahead and not wait until the last bus departs. The peak travel period to Multnomah Falls is mid-day. Visitation often tapers off in late afternoon. We will be monitoring ridership closely and will be prepared to make adjustments as needed, such as adding a final (unscheduled) bus to return overflow riders to Rooster Rock and Portland.
Tickets are not purchased for specific buses, and buses will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Standing is not permitted on the bus.
A large tour bus is available between Rooster Rock and Multnomah Falls. The buses that originate from Gateway Transit Center fit 20 passengers each or 16 passengers plus two wheelchairs. Full buses originating from Gateway Transit Center may not stop at Rooster Rock.
Your baby is welcome to ride with you, and car seats may be secured with a lap belt. Please note a $5 ticket is required for an infant car seat secured in its own seat. Only fully collapsible strollers are allowed as a carry-on as space allows.
Yes, all Columbia Gorge Express buses are wheelchair accessible.
Each bus can accommodate three bikes on a bike rack. Limited additional space may be available inside the bus if not already taken by persons with disabilities or other passengers.
Only service animals are allowed on the bus.
Yes, every seat on the bus is equipped with a lap belt.
No, the buses are not equipped with restroom facilities. Public restrooms are available at Rooster Rock State Park and Multnomah Falls.
Yes, all buses are air conditioned.
Other than water, open food and drink is not allowed on the Columbia Gorge Express.
WiFi and electrical sockets are not available on the Columbia Gorge Express.