Local Bus System: CHERRIOTS
The Cherriots bus system has a state of the art terminal in downtown Salem, and lots of hyrid or natural gas buses. The system goes between Salem and outlying communities. I paid 75 cents for a two mile ride from Salem to Keizer and found the service good, but it doesn't run on Sundays. See the link below for more details about routes, schedules, and prices.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
I get there by air, flying...
I get there by air, flying into Portland. A couple times we flew into Eugene.
We borrow one of my folks vehicles and double their mileage on it. Another really neat way to travel around (or through) Oregon, is on the Amtrak Coast starlight. We did that a couple times to go from Salem to Seattle and the scenary was fantastic. It's also rather cheap. I love sitting in the viewing car.
For the most part, parking in downtown Salem is governed by the old fashioned mechanical parking meter. Meters are in effect during weekdays 8 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, except during the holidays marked on the meter. Weekends are, as of this writing, free.
An assortment of surface lots are scattered around town that offer longer term parking as well as a few parking structures.
People avoiding the parking meters in the residential areas to the east of downtown have become a problem. Therefore, some of these areas have parking permits required if you are parked there for more than 90 minutes. These areas are marked with signs.
- Road Trip
Walking Downtown: Directional Signs
Walking around downtown Salem has its advantages and disadvantages.
The good news is that the core area of things of interest to tourists really isn't that big, and therefore it is easy to walk to any of these places from any other.
The bad news is that Salem is cross cut by a large number of extremely busy roads that divide the city into a number of pockets, and make it very difficult to get from one place to another and make walking unpleasant in many places due to the amount of severe traffic noise.
However, for those that get around on foot, there are nice directional signs throughout the core of downtown Salem that are sort of a minor attraction in their own right. While it is not possible to put all of the attractions on the signs at each intersection, it is at least possible to use them to get your bearings using these.
They are also quite a bit more artful than the much more boring official green and white signs that are pretty much everywhere in any city in the USA.
- Hiking and Walking
Salem Train Station
The Salem Train Station is served by a certain number of Amtrak trains per day. Due to freight train congestion there are also a certain number of services that operate using buses but are ticketed through the Amtrak web site as well, as they make connections in Portland to various trains.
Three northbound and three southbound trains go through the station every day, along with 7 buses each direction each day. Northbound the trains and buses go to Portland.
Southbound, the buses go to Albany and Eugene, but two of those also go to Newport on the coast or continue south to Eugene.
The Coast Starlight is a long distance train going north to Seattle and south to Los Angeles.
Connections may be made in Portland to a number of locations as well, and the Greyhound bus station in Portland is one block south of the train station, so if Amtrak doesn't go to a location it may be possible to combine both train and bus travel to get to a location.
The Amtrak station in Salem has a small but attractive waiting room, and it can be quite crowded at times.
There is a local transit bus that serves the station, but it doesn't run that often and it may be faster to walk there. The station is somewhat south and east of the core of downtown, but it is only several blocks from the capitol building and very close to Willamette University.
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