CAP to move its transit service program from Longview to Kelso

Lower Columbia CAP’s transportation program is relocating from downtown Longview to the Kelso Train Depot and expanding its services to include selling Greyhound Bus tickets.

Starting next Wednesday, Greyhound passengers can buy tickets from CAP Transit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the depot, 501 S. First Ave., Kelso. In the meantime, bus tickets may be purchased at CAP’s Grounds for Opportunity cafe, 413 S. Pacific Ave., from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

CAP Transit employees also can handle shipping packages via Greyhound.

In addition to Greyhound and Amtrak, the Kelso Train Depot is used by Columbia County Rider, Wahkiakum on the Move and River Cities Transit.

CAP Transit provides senior rides and Medicaid rides. It also operates the I-5 Vans public transportation, which runs Monday through Saturday between Salmon Creek in Vancouver and Chehalis. CAP, which is Longview’s largest social service agency, also offers a private-pay van or car transportation for people who don’t qualify for senior or Medicaid rides.

Kelso City Councilman Dan Myers, a member of CAP’s board of directors, arranged the additional service when the city was having trouble finding a Greyhound vendor. The bus company had ceased using the Kelso depot for several years because it couldn’t justify the expense of keeping a ticket agent on duty, and instead it began using Holt’s Market on Oregon Way in Longview. In October 2011, Greyhound began stopping at the depot again, but riders had to buy tickets two blocks away at a store that since has closed. After that, tickets were sold at Grounds for Opportunity.

Myers, who organized the Kelso Train Depot Volunteers in 2009 to announce trains and assist passengers, said the volunteers felt it was important not to lose Greyhound service at the depot.

“When (the station) was remodeled 20 some years ago it was designated a multi-modal transportation center, so we felt having the buses and the train and any other form of transportation coming and stopping there was a good central point,” Myers said Wednesday. “We felt it was appropriate for Greyhound to stop there.”

CAP Transit’s new phone numbers are 360-200-4911 or 200-4910. To schedule a Medicaid ride, call the Medicaid Screeners at 1-800-752-9422. The I-5 van schedule is available on the CAP website at www.lowercolumbiacap.org. Click the red “CAP bus schedules” icon.

For information about CAP Transit services, go to www.lowercolumbiacap.org/get-help/transportation/.

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