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Columbia Area Transit Launches Transit Planning Process  


For Immediate Release
Contact: Patty Fink
Phone: (541) 386-4202
Online Press Room:

Hood River, Oregon, U.S.A.—February 21, 2022

The Hood River County Transportation District, operating as Columbia Area Transit and locally knownas the “CAT,” is in the process of updating their 2017 Transit Master Plan (TMP)–a key guiding document that outlines the delivery of community and regional transit services, and asks the community and regional residents for input to help shape its future delivery of services. Hood River County is experiencing a growing population, an increasing draw for recreation and tourism, and expanding local and regional employment opportunities. Hearing from the community about how transit can address these changing conditions and include supportive transportation options (e.g., bike share, vanpools, ridesharing) is a critical part of the CAT Transit Master Plan’s development.

CAT invites local and regional residents to weigh in early in the planning process and take a brief online survey–available in English and Spanish–at

Visit for full details, timelines, public event schedules, informational materials, and to take the survey.

Additional Background

Planning Approach

The overall planning approach for the TMP process contains six core operating principles:

  • Put the passenger first
  • Make participation easy and meaningful
  • Engage partnerships with reciprocity
  • Integrate regional opportunities
  • Identify short-term improvements that reflect long-term vision
  • Focus on implementation

Five local areas and associated regional corridors will be the areas of focus for the TMP:

  • Odell & Lower Hwy. 35
  • Upper Valley & Upper Hwy. 35
  • Cascade Locks
  • City of Hood River East
  • City of Hood River West (including unincorporated areas)
  • Regional Corridor: Portland – Multnomah Falls – The Dalles – Hood River Cascade Locks

How to Get Involved

CAT will be engaging in a variety of tailored outreach methods to ensure that all members of the community are given a chance to get involved in the conversation. The goal of the TMP’s public involvement plan is to provide Hood River County stakeholders with meaningful and easily accessible input opportunities throughout the TMP process. There will be an intentional focus on gathering input from historically marginalized groups, including but not limited to low-income individuals, youth, people with disabilities, seniors, immigrants, and Limited English Proficiency individuals.

Following are ways Hood River County and regional residents can participate*:

  • Attend scheduled public presentations
  • Take the CAT TMP survey online at
  • Event attendance
  • Outreach displays at local businesses
  • Attend scheduled online community forums
  • Pick up printed materials at local destinations and help spread the word
  • Visit org to for details covering all the above

Note: Bilingual materials will be available and Spanish-speaking staff and translators will on hand at specific events.

The TMP Process

The process for completing the new TMP begins with a period of public outreach to individuals, community groups and organizations, stakeholders, and government entities which entails group meetings, a presence at public events, interviews with stakeholders, and a community survey. A Technical Advisory Committee and a TMP Board Advisory Committee will help to steer the process. Once all input is reviewed and a plan is formulated, public hearings and a comment period will follow. Adoption of the final TMP is under the authority CAT’s Board of Directors. The TMP timeline runs through 2023, with final adoption of the new plan scheduled for the end of 2023.

Download CAT Asks Community to Help Shape Area’s Transit Future Final

Car Permits Required On I-84 Waterfall Corridor

Multnomah FallsWhat You Need to Know to Visit the Waterfalls of the Oregon Gorge

2023 details will be updated in the spring

As of Sept. 6, 2022: Timed Use Permits for the Waterfall Corridor and Multnomah Falls are now complete for the 2022 season. No permits are needed until spring 2023. If you plan to drive your car along the Gorge Waterfall Corridor this year, you’ll need to plan your trip ahead of time and purchase a timed permit. Between May 24 and Sept. 5, 2022, a timed-access permit will be required for each personal vehicle driven on the Historic Columbia River Highway from 9 am to 6 pm between Vista House and Ainsworth State Park. You can get all the current details here.

But we have a better idea—take transit instead and avoid permits and parking hassles. CAT’s Columbia Gorge Express (CGE) can take you to Multnomah Falls from Hood River or Portland (at Gateway), with stops in Cascade Locks and Troutdale.

When you take CAT transit:

  • You won’t have to get a Multnomah Falls parking permit which is required for those with cars.
  • From Multnomah Falls you can connect to the Gray Line Waterfall Trolley or the Sasquatch Shuttle to visit the waterfalls and avoid having to find parking or purchase a timed permit. NOTE: If you plan to ride multiple forms of transit to tour the Gorge and waterfalls, we encourage you to buy your bus passes/fares and tour tickets.
  • You can take your bike on the bus and then ride your bike along the waterfalls—no permit required, and you can stay as long as you like.

By taking transit to visit Multnomah Falls and the Gorge Waterfall Corridor, you also support reducing congestion and pollution—helping to preserve the Gorge for all to enjoy.

Consider a One-Day Gorge Transit Pass or the Annual GOrge Pass for easy travel throughout the I-84 corridor.




CAT 1-Day Online Columbia Gorge Transit Pass

CAT now offers a 1-Day Online-Only Gorge Transit Pass on the Columbia Gorge Express (CGE). The CGE offers service to and from Portland, stopping in Troutdale, Multnomah Falls, Cascade Locks, and Hood River–and includes Multnomah Falls entrance permitting.

1-Day Gorge Transit Pass Special Promotion:

  • $15 pass covers fares for one adult + one child
  • Valid for one calendar day (Midnight-11:59pm)
  • Includes Multnomah Falls entry permits for one adult + one child
  • Available ONLINE ONLY – Cannot be purchased in person or on the bus
  • Purchase in advance or day of travel at

Enjoy a day in the Gorge without the hassle of driving or parking. Hop on and off the CAT bus at any of the stops to eat, drink, shop, hike, walk, bike, and more. Great for families, couples, and individuals looking for a day outing in the beautiful Columbia Gorge. Please note this is a CAT fare only and is only valid on fixed-route CAT buses and cannot be used on other transit systems in the Gorge.

Buy a 1-Day Gorge Pass