Portland to Bend (and other places), sans car

Of the bike questions I often get asked, “how do you carry things without a car?” has a very close competitor: “what do you do when you want to get somewhere really far away?”

The answer to that one is, usually, ride there on my bike! Things that seem far often don’t actually take that long to get to on two wheels–and honestly, the ride itself is often just as fun as wherever I’m going.

But for the times where it really isn’t convenient to bike, there are a few options.

Of course there are the car-sharing options. Zipcar, Car2Go, even the peer-to-peer Getaround–all of them offer you cars when you need them, without having to actually deal with owning a car yourself. To be honest, I’ve only ever used Zipcar and then only super rarely, but I do really like the idea that in a pinch, I could have a car available.

Without getting any sort of car-sharing membership, though, there’s mass transit. Trimet, of course, is great for getting around town. And it will even to take you to far-away exotic locations like Sandy:) But even aside from Trimet, there are options to get you the heck out of the city for (usually) not super expensive.

Recently, I took the CoBreeze, which runs daily between Portland and Bend–twice daily, actually, during peak seasons between June and September and then again between Thanksgiving and New Years. It’s a pretty sweet bus that for around $40 will take you from Union Station all the way to Bend, with stops at the Portland Airport, Gresham, Government Camp (can anyone say skiing??:), Madras, and Redmond.

CoBreeze(the Portland CoBreeze stop in front of Union Station)

Sadly, it doesn’t have a bike rack, though they say they will take your bike as long as you box it.

There are also other options to get to you Mt Hood. Sadly, the Greasebus is no longer operational, but there’s still Sea to Summit–which I’ve never personally used, but I’ve heard decent things. Or, if you want to go the other direction, The Wave will take you from Portland to Tilamook, or between Tilamook and other various places along the coast. And of course there’s always Greyhound or Amtrak.

Of course, your route options get increasingly smaller the further away from Portland you get–but then again, that’s why I like to bike there anyway:)

(I’m sure I’ve missed tons of transit options, mostly because I don’t generally use them. Feel free to add on to this list if there’s anything you know of that I should have included:)


  1. Yes!

    There are some other options that you haven’t mentioned, so I will here. Sorry, I’m too lazy to provide url links, folks, but use the power of Google or your personal favorite search engine to do the rest.

    -Northwest Point bus from Portland Union Station to Seaside and Astoria via US 26. Twice daily, takes unboxed bikes!
    -Columbia County (CC) Rider gets you to, well, Columbia County (including Vernonia!)
    -Skamania Transit from Fisher’s Landing in Vancouver through the north (Washington) side of the Gorge as far as Stevenson and Carson. Twice daily weekdays, and a bike rack!

    And a slight nitpick: Trimet does not get you to Sandy. Sandy Area Metro (SAM) connects to Trimet in Gresham. And also connects to the Mountain Express bus that goes up 26 to Rhododendron.

    • Awesome! Thanks for mentioning the other buses! And for the Trimet correction. Sorry to overlook you, SAM;)

      I totally didn’t realize you could bus to Astoria. Sweet!

  2. Does not get you to Sandy anymore. Until last fall (when Boring joined the “we hate Tri-Met and anything else that smells like Portland!” bandwagon) the Orient/Bluff Road bus turned around at the northeast edge of Sandy.

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