The primary responsibility is with the state government. Amtrak will work with them, but ODOT is supposed to take the lead on it. Give them a call and ask if you can sit down with someone who works on this issue. (I recall that they have an intern working on Amtrak service.)My own opinion is that Amtrak should at least think about getting shuttle buses that directly serve areas like this.
That is some interesting history, and puts things in perspective. It is also interesting that 40 or 50 years ago, when the region was much less populated, and wasn't a tourist center, that it had more options than it has today.The primary responsibility is with the state government. Amtrak will work with them, but ODOT is supposed to take the lead on it. Give them a call and ask if you can sit down with someone who works on this issue. (I recall that they have an intern working on Amtrak service.)
In the case of Yamhill County, it was orphaned when Tri-Met took over in the 1970's. The law setting up transit districts did not allow for operation outside of their Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas, so the Portland<>Newberg<>McMinnville route which was a direct descendant of the Red Electric was cut back to Rex Hill and then Sherwood. This left them with Greyhound on the PDX<>SFO run and Hamman Stage Lines running SLM<>McMinnville. As these crumbled away, Yamhill County eventually took on starting a transit system from scratch. That makes a four-decade gap with feeble efforts. Right now they are struggling with the driver shortage.
This is Yachats, Oregon. This is in many ways the "last town" on the Northern Oregon Coast, before a 20 mile stretch of rocky, almost uninhabited coastline before Florence. This is also the last town in Lincoln County, Oregon, which parallels most of the Willamette Valley. I got here by taking the Albany->Newport bus, which is a cross-ticketed Amtrak route, and functions like one, and then by taking the south Lincoln County bus, which functions more as a social service bus, making frequent stops for locals who might not have a lot of mobility. It takes an hour to get from Newport to Yachats, and there are only four trips a day. The bus actually does coordinate with another bus that goes to Florence, but it is quite a number of trips.
The Oregon Coast is a really nice region to visit, and it is possible to visit it only on transit (incidentally, it would probably be possible, if not plausible, to get to this region coming from the south on the Coast Starlight, getting off in Eugene, going through Florence, and then rejoining the Amtrak Cascades in Albany...but not very possible), but it is also really isolated, and the discontinuation of long-distance transit service along the coast has made these communities more fragmented.
The time lost getting on or off of a limited access highway was one of the issues that led instead to the development of the Cascades. Modest improvements can provide a service as fast between major cities as a non-stop bus, while providing stops in smaller cities.I took a trip to Portland the other day (I made a video, which I will put in my thread for the Portland MAX), and I took an Amtrak Thruway bus to get there. The Amtrak Cascades goes up the East side of the valley, while the Thruway goes up I-5. It stops in Woodburn and at the Tualatin Park and Ride.
The Tualatin Park and Ride is about 15 miles south of downtown Portland, so an outer-ring exurb. The Park and Ride is right off the freeway, so it seems easy enough to exit, pickup/dropoff, and then get right back on the freeway. But this is interchange land, so there was a lot of waiting for left turn signals just for that simple trip. I actually timed it: between exiting and entering, it was 10 minutes. And I think it was one or two passengers.
I think this can be a problem with a lot of train routes, that "just one stop" seems like an easy enough thing to add, but then when you add more and more, it can be "death by a thousand cuts", making the entire experience less viable for everyone. It also shows how much better trains are: the process of getting a bus into a transit center is much harder than stopping a train at a major station.
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