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Tomorrow morning Bolt Bus will announce further expansion in the PNW, a route from Portland to Albany and Eugene, OR.  Bolt Bus GM David Hall was nice enough to talk with me on the expansion.

More will be released tomorrow, but the basic facts are:

  • Service will start on Oct 3rd.
  • All fares for the first four days from Portland to Eugene / Albany will be $1.
  • Portland to Eugene / Albany buses will run 5 days a week, Thursday to Monday, with no runs Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • On Thursdays and Sundays there will be one throughrouted bus from Seattle to Eugene, stopping in Portland along the way.
  • On Fridays and Mondays the inverse will occur, a throughrouted bus from Eugene to Seattle.
  • Also, as part of this expansion Bolt Bus will be adding service on the Portland to Seattle line during peak times.

Quoting David:  “This region continues to be a real home run for us, and we are looking at additional expansion probably next year.”  As a special bonus, David let me know that thanks to the many well informed comments made in our earlier Bolt Bus thread, the company is studying a Spokane route via Ellensburg.  They will “need additional buses to do it” so such a line would not open until next spring at the very earliest.

18 Replies to “Bolt Bus Adding Route in the PNW”

  1. Yep we need more service between Portland and Seattle (and points further along the line). There is plenty of demand and I expect there will only be more as transit use continues to increase in this area.

      1. Research STUDDED TIRES…
        In late ’90s ODOT said 40 mill or more added road repair caused by studded tires….
        ODOT/Oregon “leaders didn’t think/talk about EXTRA tire wear for EVERYBODY on stud roughened roads or
        LESS gas mileage on stud roughened roads VS smooth roads.
        Try your bare feet on smooth vs stud ruined roads …..
        What is the real total extra cost ??
        Not $10 per studded tire like Salem says….
        and for bus wear on roads,
        check the now unenforced weight limits on overloaded log trucks…
        We need a comprehensive list of our public “leaders” that vote against the people and take money from the corporations… WE NEED TO VOTE THEM OUT…..
        I loved Green Tortoise,
        I,ll love Bolt…..

    1. You want to talk about subsidies?

      Who pays to acquire, develop, maintain, signalize and police the right-of-way that Bolt uses? [Taxpayers. Motor vehicle taxes only cover about 40% of the cost of maintenance]

      How much is paid in property taxes on that right-of-way? [$0] How about all the indirect costs taxpayers pay for that result from road travel? [fire, sewer, pollution, utilities, sprawl, oil diplomacy and military, health care costs. The American Lung Association once proclaimed that if you added a tax to gasoline to cover the respiratory disease health care costs attributable to highway vehicle emissions, you would need to add 40-45 cents per gallon. Respiratory disease alone! Most of our Middle East military and diplomatic engagements have had MUCH more to do with “protecting” our petroleum addiction than protecting human rights]

      The railway companies use private investor funds and revenue (not tax dollars) to acquire, develop, maintain, police and signalize their right-of-way. AND they pay taxes on their own right-of-way– taxes that help pay for the right-of-way and community services that Bolt Bus takes advantage of on their trip.

      What station facilities and bathrooms does Bolt Bus provide for their customers? They don’t?!? So, what nearby facilities do Bolt customers use? Hmmm. Some are near the railway stations– I wonder if they use those facilities?

      Yes, let’s talk about subsidies!!!

  2. If I have a choice between taking a quicker and cheaper bus from city to city, and taking a more expensive and slower train, I’ll take the train every time. Trains are great for longer distances, if you’re not in a hurry.

    One man’s bad Seattle to Portland BoltBus experience.

    1. I’ll be taking Amtrak Cascades to Vancouver BC at the end of this month and the Bolt Bus back. Should be a good opportunity to compare and contrast. That said, my pro-train bias will almost certainly color my experience.

      1. My last few trips to Portland I’ve done Boltbus one way and Amtrak the other. The train is a bit longer but more pleasant; boltbus is a steal, and not at all unpleasant. (It’s nice to not have to arrive as early for the assigned seating kabuki, which accounts for about half the time penalty of amtrak).. Both have pretty variable pricing, so I always compare. Since I only make the trip 1-2 times a year I spring for the train one way, but if I were a more regular commuter I expect I’d use boltbus 80% or more of the time.

    2. In my experience, the Boltbus wifi is kinda slow and works 60-70% of the time. That blows away the excruciatingly slow 25% of the time performance of Cascades. It’s not a big deal–I usually get more work done on Amtrak because ultimately it forces me to work and not goof on the internet, but anyone who is saying the Cascades wifi is consistently great is full of it.

  3. In my East Coast days, when I was traveling on a near-weekly basis between DC and New York for both business and pleasure, the choice was simple: Amtrak Acela when the employer was paying, and BoltBus when I was paying.

    Over there, BoltBus was a great experience: new buses, good on-time performance, and a good chance of a double seat to yourself if you are smart about when you travel. Plus, as many issues as Greyhound has, I’d much rather spend money with them than the exploitative CoachUSA (which runs MegaBus, BoltBus’s primary competition).

    Honestly, I probably won’t ever use BoltBus here. The advantages of driving are just too hard to overcome when I’m traveling to Portland, because I’m always traveling outside of Portland on the same trips. But I hope it’s as good here as it is back East.

  4. Now if they could just find a pick-up area that doesn’t block the bus lane in the middle of rush hour.

  5. Don’t forget that the Bolt Bus does not make immediate stops like Amtrak Cascades does.

  6. I’d really like to see BoltBus address their passengers crowding around the IDS exit coming from bay B. I often have to push my way through crowds waiting for the bus, especially when it rains. There is plenty of room in the plaza area for everybody to co-exist happily but the current situation needs a bit of tweaking. All that’s needed would be some signage, encouraging security to keep the exits clear, and perhaps some additional covered waiting areas.

    1. I’d like to see them have their ‘station’ on King at 5th next to Joe’s. That gets them out of the way of bus traffic while keeping them across the street from IDS.

  7. Is the construction going on next to Stadium station the new terminal for Greyhound and maybe Bolt?

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