: Mt. Bachelor Shuttle. Photo courtesy Mt. Bachelor.

Car-Free Transportation for Bend and Mt. Bachelor

December 5, 2018 (Updated August 6, 2022)
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Getting to and around Bend doesn’t require a car, with a little advanced planning you can get all around town and even up to Mt. Bachelor. Recent additions include ride sharing (Uber and Lyft) and bike share (Bird), as well as a continually developing city public bus system that accesses Mt. Bachelor for winter downhill and Nordic skiing and summertime mountain biking. The area public transportation continues to add upgrades and improvements, currently running nine bus routes across town. Whether by bike, bus, shuttle or ride sharing, there are plenty of ways to forgo driving a car in Bend.

Getting to Bend

Robert’s Field (RDM) in Redmond is Bend’s nearest airport, just 20-minutes north of town via Highway 97.  Visitors have the option of taking ride-sharing services including Uber and Lyft, which both began operating across Central Oregon (Bend, Sisters, Redmond and Sunriver) in the spring of 2017. Other options include taxis and a variety of shuttle services including Enviro Shuttle. Those looking for car-free transportation between Portland and Bend, can opt for Greyhound or Central Oregon Breeze; both bus services offer daily transportation between Portland and Central Oregon. The Central Oregon Breeze offers a more robust schedule between the two cities and also accommodates pets for a fee.

Winter Ski Area Transportation

Mt. Bachelor Shuttle

Cascades East Transit partners with Mt. Bachelor to offer bus service to the mountain. This service is popular with locals and visitors alike. The Mt. Bachelor Shuttle picks up at the Bend Park-N-Ride lot located on SW Columbia Street between Galveston and Simpson (the lot is not very well marked, so look for the branded Mt. Bachelor bus). Tickets are available for $6 (exact change) on the bus. Season passes are available for purchase at the mountain or online.

In the winter, shuttle service begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Park-N-Ride lot with the last bus leaving Mt. Bachelor West Village at 6:00 p.m (subject to change). The Mt. Bachelor Shuttle also operates on a summer schedule for resort mountain biking and recreation.

Mt. Bachelor Shuttle.

Bend Public Transportation

Cascade East Transit

Once in Bend there are plenty of car-free options, including Bend’s fixed-route public transportation bus service, Cascade East Transit. The nine-route system covers the city of Bend with extended service to Redmond, La Pine, Prineville, Madras and more. Plan ahead and download the Transit App, which allows you to plan your route and see when the bus will arrive. In the winter, the app also alerts riders when a “snow schedule” is in effect, which can alter routes impacted by winter weather and snowy road conditions.

Bike Sharing

Bird

Bend’s bike share program lets you borrow a bike for a quick errand, a trip to the park, an outdoor adventure, and everything else you can imagine. Download the Bird app to sign up. pick up the bike share bike, ride it, and leave it in a designated area for the next person to ride.

Bend continues to develop bike-friendly routes for getting around town; Bike Around Bend is a great resource for determining the best route to get to some of Bend’s most popular destinations.

 

Summer Shuttles

Cascades East Transit

This free shuttle between La Pine and Sunriver runs daily during the summer. It makes five stops, including at Sunriver Resort and the Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic and Recreation Center (SHARC). Check the website for the schedule and other details.

Ride Bend

Ride Bend is an on-demand, app-based transit service available to everyone, with several bike-rack equipped vans. This service is available at no cost to any rider who summons the vehicle with the Ride Bend app, just enter your desired trip origin within the strive area and destination to start. This free service is made possible by a partnership between The City of Bend, Visit Bend and the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council.

Ride the River Shuttle

Take advantage of Bend’s most popular past time, floating the Deschutes River through town by utilizing the Ride the River shuttle. This shuttle service costs $4 cash each trip or $6 for unlimited day-use and runs from mid-June through Labor Day, looping from Bend Park & Float with stops at Riverbend Park and Drake Park depending on the length of your float. The shuttle frequency fluctuates depending on weather conditions, holidays and crowds, so be sure to check in advance.

Cog Wild Mountain Bike Shuttle

If you’re looking to take advantage of Bend’s incredible mountain bike trails, look no further than Cog Wild. In addition to offering a selection of guided tours, Cog Wild also runs daily shuttles to Bend’s major trailheads starting at $17.

About The
Author

Annie Fast
Annie Fast is a lifelong snowboarder and traveler. She was the editor of TransWorld Snowboarding Magazine and prior to that worked at the summer snowboard camps on Mt. Hood. Annie writes about outdoor adventures from her home in Bend.

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