The WET Bus, short for West End Transit, is in it’s second year of providing weekend access to many of the Washington State-side outdoor activities in the Columbia Gorge. Trillium was recently asked to geocode the bus stops and create a GTFS data set for the service. I took a trip from Portland to the Gorge to Hike Dog Mountain on Saturday July 11.
At the top of this blog is a map that includes every bus stop served by the WET bus. Every stop except for Steigerwald Lake, Bridge of the Gods, Beacon Rock, and Skamania Lodge have easily identifiable bus stop signs (see below).
On my trip, I met a hiker who also took the MAX, CTRAN, WET Bus to take a day hike up the Cape Horn Trail. Another couple came into Stevenson to do their shopping and were taking the bus back to their home in North Bonneville. And a family was taking the bus to enjoy the activities for Gorge Days.
For $4 (all day pass), anyone can ride WET on the weekend. Here are some ideas that I would personally like to take advantage of with the WET Bus:
- hike up Dog Mountain, recover back at Walking Man Brewing, and be chauffeured back to Portland a la WET Bus
- golf at Skamania Lodge (there’s plenty of room for your clubs)
- walk across the Bridge of the Gods and take a Sternwheeler ride in Cascade Locks
- stay overnight at the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & Spa
Growing up in the Gorge, I’ve witnessed the growing number of cars and visitors entering the area. Cars enable us to enjoy outdoor spaces, but traffic congestion then compromises those very places. Transit can provide an efficient solution. It is a pleasure to see a public transit agency working to minimize the carbon footprint by providing services for the locals and fulfilling the growing demands of the adjoining metropolitan area.
Having a GTFS dataset for the WET Bus will help others discover the service in trip planners and will be make it easier for everyone to understand how the different agencies connect to each other. So Oregonians and Washingtonians, go enjoy the Gorge on the WET Bus!
Depending on weekday or weekend schedules you may be greeted by either of the following buses:
See also: The WET bus was described by Portland’s Willamette Week: “The Boot Bus — Our picks for Portland-area hiking trails accessible by public transit”. (July 7, 2015)