POINT’s reduced fares help grow options for getting around in the Willamette Valley

March 24, 2022
ODOT has reduced fares by 15 percent for trips between Eugene and Portland.

Tickets for the POINT’s Willamette Valley bus route have been reduced by 15 percent, offering riders a discounted trip between Eugene and Portland, Ore.

This is a savings of up to $4 per trip with fares now as low as $19 for one-way travel between Portland and Eugene and $11 for travel between Salem and Portland.

Called the Cascades Route, the Willamette Valley service is one of the four routes operating across the state that make up the POINT intercity bus service, a program managed by the Oregon Department of Transportation's (ODOT) Public Transportation Division. POINT Program Manager Joel Manning says increasing ridership is a goal for all public transit agencies right now and fare reductions are one way to help position ODOT’s service as a desirable and competitive alternative to driving in the long term.

“Whether it’s a private for-profit carrier or one of our public agency partners, transit service in Oregon has been devastated by the pandemic with some of the lowest ridership levels ever seen,” Manning said. “At the same time, many of those who depend on public transit to get where they need to go are struggling and may also be hesitant to step back onto a bus when driving may feel like a safer option. Lowering fares is one way ODOT can respond to the unprecedented state of the industry and economy.”

Gas prices are at historic highs and in the past high gas prices have led to higher use of public and shared transportation options, including transit. Increasing transit access and ridership, both locally and between cities, is a central component of ODOT’s strategy to improve equitable outcomes and reduce carbon emissions.

The Cascades Route operates four trips per day in each direction. POINT is made up of four routes operating across the state, serving diverse communities and travel needs. All POINT buses offer free Wi-Fi, USB charging ports, wheelchair accessibility and space for luggage and bikes.

The fare reduction applies only to the POINT’s Cascades Route. Cascades Route tickets are sold by Amtrak and are available online, by phone, or in person from every train station in Oregon and any Amtrak station nationwide.