The last few years before my sister retired from U of O she used her local transit system to go to work. It’s a four-and-a-half-mile drive to the Thurston Station Park-N-Ride where she boarded a Springfield City Bus to the Lane Transit District City Bus Center where she transferred to a Eugene bus that dropped her off two blocks from work. As a benefit she didn’t have to hunt for a parking spot and got to read an ebook to and from work.
Unlike Portland, Springfield or Eugene, Columbia County Rider was formed without much attention to details or proven facts. Distance, Columbia County is rural with great distances between its communities. Population Density, Columbia County has only one population center above 10,000 residents, St Helens. Stable Diversified Tax Base, since the closure of the veneer plant, saw mill at Deer Island Road, Boise Cascade and Armstrong Ceiling Tile, Columbia County has failed to reestablish a stable tax base other than private residents and small businesses with under 60 personnel.
In addition there are several civic organizations such as Clean Columbia County and Columbia River Keepers that have successfully campaigned against both present and new industry from coming into Columbia County and have successfully put their type of people on local boards to ensure voting outcomes.
As for the $1 transit cost bringing in $4 revenue, buses returning from Portland are empty, there is no one coming into Columbia County to spend money.