If you’re trying to get one last summer adventure in or are already dreading—I mean responsibly planning—in advance for eventual holiday travel, behold: The Corvallis Advocate’s very own guide to Getting the F Out of Corvallis! The fact that Corvallis doesn’t have its own airport can make it tricky to arrange to get out of town without having to park your car somewhere. Paying for parking is really for the birds, so these suggestions should help you get on your way and out of town without the use of your own wheels.
If you’re jet-set, the cost of airport parking can leave you feeling queasier than airsickness. Here are a few options that will get you to the airport on the cheap or in style:
Corvallis to PDX
The Oregon Express shuttle is an inexpensive, no-frills way to traverse the valley. Fares start at $25, which is well worth saving yourself the headache of driving to PDX. In addition to Portland service, Oregon Express offers point-to-point transit for any of their designated stops. Oregon Express has three stops in Corvallis: Corvallis Comfort Suites, Reser Stadium, and Corvallis Courtyard Marriott. Bet of all, they run the shuttles frequently throughout the day. Vehicles used by the Oregon Express range from minivans to passenger vans, depending on the number of passengers needing a ride, but the vehicles are clean and comfortable. Passengers are allowed 2 bags to stow and a carry-on sized bag. Currently only service animals are allowed on board, so leave Poochy with your roommate while you travel if they aren’t certified to assist you. Be sure to book your ride at least 24 hours in advance online.
In business since 1973, the HUT Shuttle is the tried and true airport shuttle in the Willamette Valley, with a route that goes from Eugene to PDX and runs every 2 hours daily. There are two stops in Corvallis: at the Hilton Garden Inn across from Reser Stadium and at the western stairwell of McNary Hall on the OSU campus. The HUT shuttle is a little more spendy than other shuttle services to PDX; adult one-way fares start at $43 with students getting a whopping $2 discount. Even though it’ll cost you a little extra, the amenities and comfort are worth it. The buses are super clean and comfortable with high-back reclining seats. If you like to work or play online, they have WiFi and outlets at every seat. Passengers are allowed two free bags and two carry-on sized bags free of charge. Extra bags and oversized bags will cost $10 each. You can bring your pet with you as long as it’s in an airline approved carrier and you’re willing to front the $10 pet fare. Reservations are required and can be made on their website.
Lyft and Uber
If you want to support the gig economy and have at least $180 to burn, a friendly Lyft or Uber driver can take you from Corvallis to PDX. They’ll meet you at a place that you specify and drop you off at the airport. As easy as it is expensive.
Corvallis to EUG
If you find yourself flying out of the Eugene airport, the OmniShuttle offers door-to-door service from Corvallis. Prices for rides to/from Corvallis vary—their website states that “Rates are for the first person in your group, each additional passenger is $5 and are based on the zones traveled, for example.“We recommend checking out their site and calling 541-461-7959 to find out just how much your fare will be.
Corvallis and beyond
Looking to get out of town using a method that doesn’t involve being in a big hunk of flying metal in the sky? Check out these options when planning your next trip.
The BoltBus, which is owned by Greyhound, is the bus service for the new generation. BoltBus offers inexpensive, nonstop service to many cities on the west coast. Similar to some airlines, passengers get assigned boarding groups based on special needs, participation in their loyalty program and then the commoners. Passengers are allowed one bag that gets “checked” in the cargo area under the bus and two carry-on sized items that they can bring with them in the cabin. BoltBus takes pride in its new fleet of buses and an offering of free movies and games on the bus. From Albany you can easily get to Eugene, Portland or Seattle for a modest fare…and by modest I mean I’ve bought craft beer that is more expensive than some of these fares. Interestingly, each bus has a certain number of $1 tickets that are randomly given on each journey!
Offering a more extensive list of destinations, the classic Greyhound bus can take you almost everywhere you want to go… except for the Dakotas, Iowa and Montana. For about 40 bucks the bus will drop you off in the Grunge Capital of the World, Seattle. The bus line has recently upgraded their fleet to offer passengers more legroom, WiFi and power outlets at every seat. Excellent people watching is provided at no extra charge. Two checked bags and one carry-on bag are included with your fare. If you want to schlep more stuff with you, Greyhound offers a small freight line that only moves peoples’ luggage. The company also offers a handy service that lets you store your luggage at the bus station for 24 hours. For those looking to travel on the cheap, look no further.
Riding the train harkens back to a simpler time before we were just angry, road rage monkeys dilly-dallying about in our cars. If you’ve got time to spare, traveling by train can be a relaxing way to see different parts of the country that you don’t typically see with other transit methods. What’s cool: Amtrak offers special routes specifically for the Pacific Northwest. The Coast Starlight, as it is called, runs from Los Angeles to Seattle ($52) and the Amtrak Cascades train runs from Eugene to Vancouver, British Columbia ($119). Honestly, for how terrible the traffic is in both of those destinations, you can probably save yourself a few trips to the therapist if you just take the train.
Now that you’re ready to go on your big train adventure, it’s time to get to the Amtrak station in Albany. For an inexpensive and hassle-free ride to the station, there’s the Corvallis-Amtrak Connector bus service. This service is a one-year trial program offered by the Oregon Department of Transportation, Dial-A-Bus of Benton County, and Benton County Transportation. The Connector runs Thursday through Monday, citing that those are the days when the service is needed the most. There are five pick-up/drop-off locations in Corvallis and the bus runs five times a day. To accommodate for increased train usage on holidays, the Connector runs on most major holidays. Rides to/from the Amtrak station cost $5 and can be purchased in bundles of 5 or 10 at a discount. Tickets can be purchased in advance online, but will then be mailed to you and that, frankly, is a waste of a stamp. The service suggests to purchase your ticket as you get on the bus.
Coast to Valley Express
Not sure about you, but living in a town the size of Corvallis can make a person stir crazy. Corvallis Transit Center offers the Coast to Valley Express as a way to get folks to the coast and back on the cheap. The shuttle begins running at 6:20 a.m. and the last drop off is around 7 p.m. There are four stops in Corvallis, one in Philomath, one in Toledo, and two stops in Newport. Riding the shuttle takes considerably longer than driving, so build in extra time into your travel plans. Fares for riders over 12 years old start at $10 each way and discounts are offered for seniors, children, and alter-abled passengers. Tickets are purchased as you board the shuttle so bring exact change.
Leave it to Craigslist to bring random Internet strangers together. If you’re looking to cut down on gas expenses or catch a ride with someone traveling in the same direction as you, Craigslist might be the ticket. Drivers can post where they are going and if they want you to chip in for gas. Virtual hitch hikers can post where they are trying to go in hopes that someone will be traveling the same way, and inversely will sometimes offer some cash as an incentive. It’s Craigslist, so rides will pop up when they may and there’s no guarantees.
C2C Hiking Trail
If you’re looking to really get away from your fellow human, you might consider loading up your backpack (or horse if you’ve got one) and hitting the trail. The Corvallis to Coast trail, also known as the C2C trail, meanders on from Corvallis to South Beach State Park in Newport. The C2C is currently in the process of becoming a completely non-motorized trail. Right now, grass-roots volunteers maintain the eastern half of the trail and are working with land managers to complete the project in the coming years. Despite Google Maps’ claim that taking this route will take a mere 25 hours, hiking will take a fair bit of preparation. The trail is approximately 60 miles long and rated as hard due to some decent hill climbs. Maps and permit information can be found on the C2C website. Bonus points are awarded for taking an extra trash bag and packing out as much litter as possible.
By Erica Johnson