A New York-based transportation company plans to offer direct trips between Seattle and Portland starting next month, offering what they say will be the quickest trip between the two cities.
The company, called OurBus, will launch its Seattle-to-Portland route as a “holiday service,” offering the 3 hour, 20 minute trip on days with a high volume of travelers. The service will run on Indigenous Peoples Day on Oct. 11, and again on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Company spokesperson Heath Fradkoff said they may eventually expand to more frequent service if there’s a demand for it.
The company contracts with charter buses and coach services to provide transit in areas without consistent bus routes, or in areas where they can provide faster trips. Fradkoff said the service is similar to Lyft or Uber in that the company doesn’t own any vehicles, but plans the routes and connects riders to available buses.
Fradkoff said the Seattle-to-Portland trip is the first West Coast route for the company, but they plan to expand and connect to other bus routes.
The service, which will cost $25 per one-way ticket, is $3 cheaper than a Greyhound ticket for the same route, and about $10 cheaper than the cheapest Amtrak train ticket from Seattle to Portland. It’s slightly faster than the quickest Amtrak route, as well, with only two stops.
The service isn’t a direct replacement, but bears some resemblance to the services of Bolt Bus, the quick and affordable bus service that indefinitely suspended operations in July. That bus system, owned by Greyhound, offered a Seattle-to-Portland route with minimal stops for about $20. The discount operator also offered raffles for $1 tickets.
In July, BoltBus announced it intended to resume services eventually, but so far has not announced any plans to do so.