Shuttling the Eco Way in Portland, Oregon
Most travellers don’t need to look hard for an excuse to head to Portland, Oregon, a gem-like metropolis in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Long known as one of the world’s most eco-friendly cities, it is now also one of the most easily accessible for responsible travellers, thanks to the convenient transportation services of Portland’s ecoShuttle.
As the local partner of Green Path Transfers (GPT), the first global environmentally-friendly transfer service, ecoShuttle offers affordable Portland airport transfers aboard a comfortable and sleek fleet of all-biodiesel vehicles.
The ecoShuttle nine-passenger van heads into the foothills of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Photo courtesy of ecoShuttle
Hatched over a Brew on a Bad Traffic Day
The idea for ecoShuttle was conceived in February of 2007, when two friends got together at a local brewery after a lengthy commute through the day’s insufferable traffic jams. Over beers, they noted that nearly every car on the road was a single-occupancy vehicle. Almost no one was sharing a ride. No wonder the ‘greenest city in America’ still had air quality issues!
The discussion ran deeper until the idea of a more environmentally friendly way to travel was born. Originally, the thought was to provide a green airport shuttle, but that quickly progressed to include a commuter shuttle and various tour options. ecoShuttle launched on July 4, 2007, by providing transportation to the artists at Portland’s Waterfront Blues Fest. It has grown quickly ever since.
Green in the Machine
The company currently has five vehicles that range in passenger capacity from nine to 48 people and include a school bus, coach bus, two minibuses and a sprinter van. Each one is powered by fuel made from waste vegetable oil, which can be acquired for free from most restaurants and then easily turned into a combustible liquid for use in modern diesel engines. This recycled fuel is fast becoming a popular and sustainable alternative to petrol and, as a recycled resource, takes up zero agricultural land.
ecoShuttle provides transport for bands at the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon, every summer. The company was the 2010 sponsor of the headline band, Galactic, pictured here along with the three owners of ecoShuttle.
To its fleet, ecoShuttle will soon also add a Nissan Leaf, an all-electric vehicle that will be used mainly for airport transfers and transportation for up to three passengers. ecoShuttle already provides sustainable and hassle-free transfers to and from Portland’s PDX airport at extremely competitive rates, with $5 discounts available for round-trip transfers.
“We believe that by offering transportation in biodiesel buses and vans or all-electric vehicles, we are helping our customers reduce their carbon footprint,” says Fiona Mitchell, ecoShuttle’s Head of Sales and Marketing. “We hope to bring a source of knowledge of different transportation services to Green Path Transfers. We hope also that GPT will make the idea of green transportation more mainstream, perhaps even revolutionising the transportation industry as a whole.”
About Town and Beyond
In addition to transfers, the company’s charter services now encompass laidback city tours, a wide range of outdoor eco-adventures and green shuttles for weddings, corporate and arts events. The company’s knowledgeable reservation staff can help travellers arrange day trips and itineraries for any special occasion, allowing travellers to sit back, relax and avoid the hassles of route finding.
Two ecoShuttle buses work in tandem on a scenic tour of Oregon's Columbia Gorge. Photo courtesy of ecoShuttle
With ecoShuttle, travellers can see Portland’s sights in style and comfort. Popular charter bus trips include sustainable wine tours of acclaimed Oregon vineyards to learn about organic viticulture (and savour local wines), in-depth microbrewery tours of Portland’s landmark breweries and an earth-friendly outing to explore the city’s renowned international rose gardens, authentic Japanese garden, classical Chinese garden and dazzling Crystal Spring Rhododendron Gardens.
Many other exciting excursions abound along Oregon’s dramatically scenic coastline, with even more postcard-perfect locations further afield, including stately Mount Hood and the Tillamook Cheese factory. Every trip is customisable, allowing travellers to figure out the best private tour options for their groups.
“We are extremely pleased to have partnered with ecoShuttle for the greater Portland area,” says Adrian Cordiner, CEO of Green Path Transfers. “They have demonstrated a real commitment to eco-friendly transport and we’re proud that they have chosen to join the Green Path Transfers network.”