Mid Columbia Economic Development District strives to promote the creation of family-wage jobs, the diversification of the economic base, and the growth, development and retention of business and industry in Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Klickitat and Skamania Counties
MCEDD is organized as a government non-profit in Oregon as an ORS-190 and in Washington through RCW 39.34.010.
August 29, 2019 – The Clean Rural Shared Electric Mobility (CRuSE) Project seeks to demonstrate that round trip
plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) car sharing can serve rural communities in a financially
sustainable way, while benefiting low-income residents, government and local businesses, the
town at large, and tourists.
Round trip car sharing, provided by firms like ZipCar, has been well
established in many urban centers for years. Rural and low-income communities could benefit
most from car sharing services, due to lack of density to support traditional transit, biking, or
other options, but car sharing is virtually unknown outside of major urban centers.
Hood River presents an ideal opportunity to test, assess, and hone how best to offer an attractive PEV car
sharing service, in a rural setting, to benefit drivers from multiple sectors.
The CRuSE Project envisions a three-year demonstration program, with five PEVs stationed
throughout Hood River, at affordable housing sites, the city center, and tourist destinations.
American Honda is loaning five post-lease Clarity EVs to the project. Envoy Technologies will
provide the car sharing platform, enabling users to reserve and access vehicles via a smart phone,
paying by the minute or hour, and returning the PEV to its home base. As part of this Project,
Envoy will provide a Spanish translation of its app to appeal to diverse community members,
alternate payment mechanisms to meet the needs of those without access to credit cards or bank
accounts, and tiered pricing structures, enabling different prices to be charged to different user
groups, enabling the potential for subsidies to be offered to qualified user groups.
Forth will work with the City of Hood River, Hood River Columbia Area Transit, the Port of
Hood River and Ride Connection, along with several community organizations such as
Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation (an affordable housing provider) and Mid-Columbia
Economic Development District to assess transportation needs and establish Envoy car sharing at
optimal parking locations. Several of these organizations have indicated a willingness to provide
a parking space for car sharing services throughout the three-year project period.
PEV Charging installations will be facilitated by the local utility, Pacific Power, and OpConnect.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will perform data collection and analysis, to help the
Project develop a model of financially sustainable car sharing, which will be refined and
improved throughout the project. Forth and Columbia Willamette Clean Cities will disseminate
the findings via webinars, conferences, regional workshops, to publicize results and entice other
Clean Cities Coalitions to pursue initiating PEV car sharing in rural communities, nationwide.
If successful, the CRuSE Project could bring PEV car sharing services to
underserved rural communities nationwide, providing rural America with improved
transportation access, energy efficiency benefits, environmental benefits, at lower costs to users.
The LINK Public Transportation is offering free public transportation to The Dalles Farmers’ Market for the last six Saturdays of the 2019 season. From 9am to 1pm on Saturdays from September 7 through October 12, the community can book a door-to-door ride on The LINK from home to the market and back. “The Dalles’ Farmers Market is an important event for our community, with healthy local fruits and vegetables, prepared food, live music and a fun atmosphere. We are happy to offer free rides to bring the community together,” said Charlotte Sallee, Transportation Operations Director for The LINK.
This free service is thanks to sponsors Mid-Columbia Medical Foundation, Providence Health and Services, and The Arc of the Mid-Columbia. The LINK is operated by Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD) and provides door-to-door public transportation within the City of The Dalles and select areas of Wasco County, reaching as far as Mosier, Dufur and Celilo Village. In April 2019, the LINK also started a bus route that loops key stops in The Dalles every hour and makes deviations with ¼ mile of the route.
Anyone and everyone in The Dalles is welcome to ride the LINK to the market. To ride, call the LINK at 541-296-7595 to request a pick-up time and location. For best availability, schedule rides at least one day before. The LINK picks up riders at their door and brings them to The Dalles Farmers’ Market at The Dalles City Park. After enjoying the market, the LINK takes riders home, or to their location of choice.