PORT OF ILWACO - Pacific Transit Director Tim Russ outlined plans for a seven-day-a-week Lewis and Clark Explorer shuttle bus last week during a port/city meeting.

The shuttle will begin making 12 to 15 round-trips a day between the Port of Ilwaco and Cape Disappointment State Park on June 12.

"We've been working on this for three years," Russ said. "Now we've come up with a practical and realistic approach." The port will be the hub for the summer shuttle service.

"The first summer will be an experiment," Russ said. The shuttle will utilize existing Pacific Transit routes to Astoria, delivering riders to the new transit center there which is expected to open in May. From Astoria, riders can catch a shuttle to Fort Clatsop National Memorial. Five Saturday and Sunday trips to Astoria from the Peninsula will be added by Pacific Transit during the summer.

Rosemary Siipola, transportation planner/manager for the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments, said Fort Clatsop will begin issuing "timed tickets" on Jan. 15 for visitors to the facility that will include fare on the shuttles.

Russ said a new logo has been created for the shuttle buses and for bus shelters and parking areas along the routes. Maps also will be available depicting Lewis and Clark historic sites on both sides of the Columbia River as well as the bus schedules.

Pacific Transit also will have information on the shuttles and motels, hotels and restaurants on its Web site which should be available in two to three weeks.

"This is a real opportunity to do a lot of things in this region," Siipola said. "There's a lot of interest."

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