Our goal is to “provide a safe and efficient regional transportation system to enhance the livability and economic vitality of the Mid-Columbia region.”
MCEDD provides a regional Mobility Manager to focus on transportation issues, working closely with regional transportation providers and other partners to assess local and regional transportation services, passenger experience, service costs, funding needs, innovative and relevant technology and areas for potential collaboration and coordination. MCEDD arranges and facilitates regular meetings and communication between Gorge TransLink Alliance partners to foster an environment where regional transportation priorities can be addressed. MCEDD’s mobility manager also conducts outreach to organizations in its geographic service area to increase awareness of transportation services among vulnerable and special needs populations, as well as to employers and the general public.
Gorge TransLink Alliance
Gorge TransLink is an alliance of rural providers offering public transportation services throughout the Mid-Columbia River Gorge area. Learn more about getting around the Gorge at http://gorgetranslink.com/
Location advantages support trade within and outside the region, offering options for expanded export opportunities. The region has a distinct geographic advantage in being centrally located in the Pacific Northwest and is uniquely positioned to do business with approximately a 6,000 mile area from the West Coast to the East Coast to Asia, all within one regular business day. The region is a significant transportation corridor and offers market access through:
- Interstates and Highways both East/West and North/South with connecting bridges
- Airports, with close proximity to Portland International Airport and the presence of regional and local airports.
- Rail Service: Burlington Northern and Union Pacific offer rail services for the movement of goods in Oregon and Washington. Currently, passenger rail service is only available on the Washington side of the river.
- Barge traffic along the Columbia River which is particularly important for transporting waste and ag products.
- Bicycle/Pedestrian/Transit connections
While market access and the mix of transportation modes available for the movement of goods and people are a distinct asset to the region, maintaining that infrastructure, and expanding it to meet growing industry and population needs, is a challenge. Review the regional economic development strategy for projects to address these needs.
MCEDD embarked upon the Connect Mid-Columbia initiative to better inform and elevate regional transportation priorities in the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. Connect Mid-Columbia’s goal is to provide a safe and efficient regional transportation system to enhance the liveability and economic vitality of the Mid-Columbia region. Stakeholders include state departments of transportation; regional transportation partners; city, county and port officials; and representatives from private businesses. Participants prioritized strategies to meet the regional transportation goal; outlined and discussed challenges and opportunities facing regional transportation; and continue to prioritize transportation needs that, when met, will have the greatest impact on the liveability and economic vitality of the region.