Gorge Transit Connect Program Provides Transit Support to Hood River Shelter Services

The Hood River Shelter Service is a non-profit organization providing “a warm and safe place for those without homes to sleep uninterrupted during winter nights in the Gorge, along with a warm and healthy dinner, breakfast, access to clean clothes, and other services that our guests might need.”

As part of the Gorge Transit Connect program, HR Shelter Services receives complimentary bus fares and GOrge Passes to share with their guests. The GOrge Pass provides transport around the Gorge on both sides of the river as well as to the Portland/Vancouver metro areas.

At a recent staff meeting, members of HR Shelter Services shared stories about their guests and how they use their GOrge Passes get around the area.

“We were happy one of our guests got to visit family over the holidays using the GOrge Pass.”

“Recently one guest was able to get to Portland with his GOrge Pass so he could get his birth certificate.”

“We find that many guests use their GOrge Passes regularly to access showers at the Hood River pool.”

“One individual used her GOrge Pass recently to take the bus to a doctor’s appointment. After her appointment, she called from the shelter letting us know she was anxious because she thought she had missed the last bus. Our staff was able to use CAT’s simple online schedule to determine that she had plenty of time to catch the next bus. She was greatly relieved and was able to get back to the Shelter without a problem.”

“One current Shelter guest works in White Salmon and is able to use his GOrge Pass to get to and from work.”

What is the Gorge Transit Connect Program?

Columbia Area Transit (CAT) and The Link Public Transit have received funds from the Columbia Gorge Health Council to provide fares for fixed-route and Dial-a-Ride services to local partner organizations, who then distribute the transit fares to eligible clients. The goal is to provide easy access to transit for medical services, education, workplace, recreational activities, food, and other quality-of-life opportunities that improve the social determinants of health.

CAT provides public transportation services within Hood River County, to Mt. Hood Meadows (seasonal), and between Hood River and Portland. The City Route (weekdays) and the Weekend Trolley (weekends) is a great way to get around the City of Hood River car free. Additionally, there are bus routes to the Upper Valley communities of Parkdale and Odell and to the Cities of The Dalles and Cascade Locks. Check out the CAT bus schedules here. CAT operates seven days a week, excluding most holidays.

The Link Public Transit provides transportation to services in Wasco County. The Blue and Red routes operate on an hour loop to key destinations in The Dalles, and demand-response services are throughout Wasco County Monday-Friday.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for a free transit fare through Gorge Transit Connect an individual must live in a household that earns an income level that is 138% or less of the Federal Poverty Level.

  • $17,774 for individuals
  • $24,040 for a family of 2
  • $30,305 for a family of 3
  • $36,570 for a family of 4

How do I get free transit fare?

Contact one of the Local Partner organizations we work with who distribute fares and passes to eligible clients. The goals are to get the passes to individuals who need them and to make sure individuals understand how to use the transit system.

To learn more about Hood River Shelter services visit http://hoodrivercares.org/