ⓘ View CAT’s guidance for Passenger Transport and Vehicle Cleaning Procedures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 here.

About CAT

We Are CAT

Nice to Meet You!

The Columbia River Gorge is home. For us, it’s not just about the natural beauty, the closeness to Portland, or the amazing history. It’s about the people.

We’re committed to making your life better, in just a little way, because when you come first the entire community feels the difference.

The History of CAT

Hood River County Transportation District provides public transportation in Hood River County under the name of Columbia Area Transit (CAT). We are a transportation district organized under Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 267. Our major sources of funding include grants from the Federal Transit Administration, several different sources from the State of Oregon, local property tax, and user fees. The District was formed by a vote of Hood River County residents in 1992 and took effect July 1, 1993.

Our Board

Lara Dunn

Lara Dunn
Board Chair

Term expires June 30, 2023

Leticia Valle

Leticia (Leti) Moretti
Board Vice-Chair

Term expires June 30, 2023

Darrell Roberts
Board Secretary-Treasurer

Term expires June 30, 2025

Greg Pack

Term expires June 30, 2025

Megan Ramey

Term expires June 30, 2025

Picture Coming Soon!

 

Dr. Meghan Larivee

Term expires June 30, 2025

Jeff Helfrich

Term expires June 30, 2023

Our Board Meetings

We meet the third Wednesday of each month at 4 p.m. in public-accessible meetings in the CAT offices. Please check out the Events page to see when the Board Meetings are scheduled and for meeting information. We love to hear from our community! Feel free to contact us at info@rideCATbus.org.

Download past meeting minutes:

Download past meeting recordings:

Visit our You Tube page to see Board Meeting Recordings

Board Committees

Budget Committee
Special Transportation Fund (STF)/ Statewide Transportation Improvement (STIF) Committee

 

Careers

Bus Driver Illustration
Current Openings:

CAT requires all applicants to complete a formal Job Application form.

Affiliate Transit Services

We’ve teamed up with two other excellent public transit companies to fill in some of our service gaps. Please look to them to help you get to the places that are out of our reach.

link-transit

  • Look to LINK for service to:
  • Dufur
  • Mosier
  • Celilo Village
  • Unincorporated Wasco County

Learn More About LINK

mt-adams-transportation-district

  • Look to MATS for service to:
  • Goldendale
  • Bingen
  • White Salmon

Learn More About MATS

Policies and Plans

We have a true motivation to improve our corner of the world because we care and live here too. Take a quick look at our policies and planning documents that are guiding our transit services in our district.

Policies

Hood River County Transportation District Board Bylaws: These approved bylaws outline the general principles under which we operate. (revised in May 2021)

COVID-19 Safety Precautions and Policies: Cleaning and safety guidelines and policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

ADA Complementary Paratransit Plan (ADA Plan): The District’s ADA Plan outlines the services and associated policies that provide access to Hood River County residents who are unable to use regular bus service due to a disability.

Title VI and Limited English Proficiency: We are committed to ensuring that no person shall, on the ground of race, color, national origin, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity provided by the District. The Title VI & LEP Plans spell out our commitment to maintaining programs and services that are accessible to all.

Transit Master Plan: This identifies opportunities for transit service expansion and details a near-term plan for service development as well as a long-term vision for transit in Hood River County over the next 20 years.

Hood River County Coordinated Transportation Plan 2016-2019: This was prepared to meet state and federal requirements for agencies, like us, that receive Special Transportation Funding (STF). It focuses on the needs of four target populations residing in Hood River County: seniors, low income individuals, individuals with disabilities, and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals. The coordinated transportation plan is intended to define and prioritize general strategies that the transit service providers can use to address the service needs, gaps, and barriers of these four groups.

Hood River to Government Camp Transit Feasibility and Implementation Study: This project focused upon public transportation feasibility between Hood River and Government Camp. The project is part of a larger effort in the region to create a transit system that offers transit around Mount Hood. CAT is currently participating in the larger project, known as Vision Around the Mountain, which seeks to identify the resources, structure and infrastructure needed to coordinate and facilitate the larger vision.

Hood River County Coordinated Transportation Plan Update 2020: The Hood River County Coordinated Transportation Plan Update 2020 focused on the transportation needs of seniors, low-income individuals, individuals with disabilities and Limited English Proficiency individuals and Hood River County residents in general. This document is an update to the 2016-2020 Hood River County Coordinated Transportation Plan and the information gathered will be integrated into any future Transportation Master Plan update. Updating the plan consisted of a demographic data analysis, stakeholder engagement, current public transportation services inventory, and the creation of a prioritized list Public Transportation needs and projects. The updated document was approved by the HRCTD Board of Directors on November 18th.

Current Planning Efforts

Gorge-To-Mountain Express: Together with ODOT and the US Forest Service, we are planning to provide year round service from Hood River to Government Camp and several destinations in between.

Transit Master Plan Update: The Hood River County Transit Master Plan (TMP) update is an opportunity to review and update current goals and priorities for transit in Hood River County; identify where limited resources can be invested to best meet local goals; and build better partnerships between Hood River County Transportation District (HRCTD), other Gorge transit providers, ODOT and local partners to ensure transit priorities are delivered. Building from the success of the existing transit system, the TMP will use a fully integrated approach to ensure that transit investments are supportive of the broader economic, environmental, and mobility goals.

Linking this work to the Gorge Regional Transit Strategy, Vision Round the Mountain, Gorge Access Strategy, The Link Transit Development Plan, the City of Hood River Transportation System Plan update, the Wasco/Hood River Coordinated Transportation Plans and the Columbia Gorge Health Councils priorities will position HRCTD for its role both regionally and locally within the Gorge.

Hood River County is unique in rural Oregon with pockets of significant poverty and minority populations juxtaposed with some of the highest housing prices in Oregon. In part, this dichotomy comes from Hood River County’s location and growing tourism-based economy. These factors are critical to both understanding the need and building a system that can foster both the local access and regional development of the transit network in Hood River County and throughout the Gorge.

The HRCTD TMP Update will strengthen key areas of focus from the existing TMP including developing & prioritizing strategies to address gaps & opportunities through regional coordination, integration & linkages, maintaining safe, efficient, & community-oriented system that address economic drivers of demand, & engage/empower & strengthen the voice of diverse groups of riders & stakeholders to ensure equity & improve community & system health, safety, & environmental outcomes. In addition, the plan will work to integrating land use, economic development, and local partnership elements around housing, education, & employment that was not a key focus of the previous plan.

The Update will be an implementation-focused TMP that can translate into meaningful near-term investments as well as begin discussions on long-term and joint investment strategies that can support and advance the ten goals of the Oregon Public Transportation Plan (OPTP, OPTP Goals) and key elements of PTAC work plan.

It will strive to identify and support regional access to other Gorge communities and the Portland Metropolitan area – promoting transit options for both visitors and residents alike.

The approach will focus on six areas:
• Put the passenger first. A key outcome of the TMP will be to increase the number of people who ride transit to get to work, recreate, and access services. Although many key steps have already been taken by HRCTD to create a comfortable and convenient passenger experience, the TMP will need to push the envelope to achieve significant ridership gains. The strategies needed to attract local residents and commuters may be significantly different from those needed to attract visitors and tourists. The key will be defining the needs and then finding the tools that offer the greatest opportunities to enhance access, reliability, frequency, safety, security, information, marketing/branding, simple fares and ticketing, ride comfort and quality.
• Reach Out & Listen to the Community. In the past, HRCTD has used traditional tools like public meetings, tabling, direct or online surveying, and focus groups to garner answers for the community. We have found, however, that those efforts have failed to actively engage minority and low-income community members. This year, we hope to provide a unique more individualized approach to our tool kit by offering a more intensive community led process, which would allow community members to help us define the issues around public transit, think deeply about them and propose strategies or outcomes that will matter to them. This coupled with traditional methods should help to round out our information and obtain a better feel for the issues and concerns that marginalized communities experience when using public transit.
• Identify partnership opportunities. A successful TMP will be grounded in strong partnerships between the City, County, Ports, Business Associations, Chambers, Gorge Tourism Alliance, neighborhood groups, and other regional players like ODOT, USDA, OPS, WSDOT, MCEDD, and TriMet & Portland Metro that have a role in shaping the future of transit service in the Gorge. These partnerships elicit joint development or mobility projects that can support local and gorge wide priorities and joint projects around, mobility, economic development, affordable housing, and other land use goals.
• Support regional integration. The success of transit in Hood River County relies on the identification of critical regional coordination and integration opportunities, with a focus on significantly enhancing the linkages between key bike and pedestrian initiatives (e.g., Historic Columbia River Trail, Towns to Trails Program, Hood River Bridges, communities, and regional transfer centers). The update will also address regional coordination and integration strategies between HRCTD and other local providers.
• Identify short-term improvements with long-term vision. Any near-term modifications to the transit network in Hood River County must also logically integrate with the longer-term vision and strategies. The near-term service priorities will be developed in a way that not only convey a sense of permanence but also be scalable as the longer-term vision is realized.
• Implementation-focused results. Another key element of the plan will be to remain implementation focused. While available resources will vary and budget priorities may change, the focus of this plan will be to provide concrete ways that the District can continue to move forward to meet overall goals.

Keep an eye out on social media and here on our website for further information as it is available.

Civil Rights

Click the link below regarding details on CAT’s compliance with Civil Rights.

Civil Rights

General Transit Feed Specification

CAT loves developers. CAT provides transit data, including real-time feeds of our bus services, to promote transparency and encourage developer participation to create innovative apps that will help Central Midlands residents use our services efficiently. This data is provided by CAT and is available for everyone to use, explore, and share.

You can get the latest version at https://oregon-gtfs.com/ and select Columbia Area Transit.

By using this data, you agree that CAT. the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), nor its contractor (Trillium Solutions, Inc.), guarantee the accuracy of any data linked from this website. Any and all data is provided as-is.