Portland to Corvallis for $6.80 and 12 miles of riding

Update: To see a more serious list of options for public transportation between Corvallis and Portland (and Albany, Salem, Eugene and Newport), see this newer post.

Coming back from Portland after a short bicycle tour, we wanted to make it to Corvallis in time to put a little work in on a Monday afternoon.  Amtrak does make travelling with your bike very easy on the Cascades line, but the busses that they run on the line only have one bike-spot-per-bus, making travelling as a duo problematic.  The trains, with a cushier (although still reservation-worthy, especially in the summer) 6 spots per train, don’t depart Portland until 3PM.  And you’re still faced with a 12 mile ride from Albany to Corvallis.  And this costs roughly $24 (including the $5 bike fee).  Or, you could take the Linn-Benton Loop, with 3 spots for bikes on the front rack, for $1.25.

Or, like we perhaps ill-advisedly did, you could do this for as little as $6.80 and 12 miles of riding.

  • TriMet bus from Portland to Tigard Transit Center, $2.35
  • WES train from Tigard Transit Center to Wilsonville, free with above transfer
  • Cherriots bus from Wilsonville to Salem, $2.50
  • CARTS bus from Salem to Monroe Monmouth, $2
  • bike from Monroe to Adair Village, free
  • Benton Country Rural Transit from Adair Village to Corvallis, $0.75
All of the above busses have front-bike racks, with 2 or 3 spots.  We actually opted to disembark the CARTS bus in Independence and take a longer but more scenic bike ride to Corvallis.  We spent $5.85, enjoyed a delicious 2hr breakfast break in Salem, biked 20 miles, woke up in Portland at 5AM and were home and showered by noon.   One could imagine forgoing breakfast in Salem and the bus from Salem to Independence or Monroe and biking from Salem to Corvallis (~35 miles) and complete the trip in 4 hrs.
Admittedly not so speedy as by personal vehicle.  The other car-free options are speedier.  Amtrak to Albany plus biking or bussing into Corvallis (which, because of connections, are at best equivalent, but often in favor of biking) takes roughly 2.5 hrs.  This time is competitive with the infrequent busses (Greyhound, Valley Retriever) that connect to Corvallis, and, I would argue, competitive with the 1.75 hrs driving time.  Not only are you able to sit back and relax on the train – read a book, do some work – but you also benefit from a healthy 12 mile bike ride.  No gym membership required.

2 thoughts on “Portland to Corvallis for $6.80 and 12 miles of riding

  1. heathen

    Did you mean Monmouth instead of Monroe in your itinerary? Monroe is south of Corvallis. Cool blog!

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