Transit Options

Oregon Coast
Portland Oregon metro area
Washington's Olympic Peninsula
Washington's Puget Sound Region

how to get closer to where you want to go

Public transit is great - it's inexpensive and helps you widen your range of daily travel considerably if your destination is beyond reasonable reach by foot.  Additionally, many transit systems provide bicycle racks or other accommodations to allow you to begin and end a bicycle trip outside of the bounds of dense, high traffic urban areas.  While it may not be possible to link every area you want to visit in this way, there are many valuable time-saving connections available.

Check the schedules to make sure you know when your departure and transfer times will be.  Some transit lines run frequently and require little planning ahead, while some only run once or twice a day and could leave you without lodging options if you miss them.  It's always best to check directly with the transit agency, although effort is made to keep information on this site current.  When you get onto your bus, check with the driver if you're not sure about where the bus is headed.  Also, let the driver know where you want to get off and if you have a connection to another bus you'd like to make; sometimes driver-to-driver communication is the only way to catch your next bus on time, especially in places where routes run infrequently.

Remember to bring enough cash to pay for your fare(s), and find out ahead of time if you can obtain a transfer for another bus or if you'll need to pay for another fare later.  Always carry small bills and coins to pay with exact change, as most transit systems will not make change for your currency.  In some major cities the fare system includes an electronic card that may reduce your rate, or may even make cash payment impossible; if this is the case, learn how to obtain the card and/or add value to the card before your trip. 

Be aware of the rules regarding bus or rail transportation to avoid confrontations with employees or the bad humor of your fellow passengers.  And if you don't run into interesting people while riding (or grow tired of conversation), bring a book, journal, or electronic listening device with earphones to help you pass the time.

Also, the scenery on some transit trips can be incredible.

Check the subpages labeled by region for information on your desired locale's transit options and destinations.  If the place you want to go is not featured, you may be able to get there by train with Amtrak or by motorcoach with Greyhound or other providers.  Based on personal experiences, there seem to be pros and cons to both; if you go by train you will likely get there faster, comfortably, and may pay less as well, but you may encounter delays if a freight train blocks the one you're riding.  Coaches, while having garnered a poor reputation in the past, are featuring new amenities such as added legroom and wireless internet on some vehicles, but you may still deal with older vehicles, questionable timetables, and long waits or confusion at the terminal if a scheduled bus is late.

Get out there and explore your options.  Happy riding...