Everyman's Guide to Transportation in PDX
710 Ne Holladay St, Portland, OR, USA
www.tri-met.org - (503) 962-2100
Everyman's Guide to Transportation in PDX Portland Reviews
Who needs a cab? Mar 21, 2008
Public transportation in Portland and the surrounding metropolitan areas is easier, less expensive and safer than most other major cities in the US. Tri-Met (the local bus/transit system) has got you covered for virtually all areas at virtually all hours of the day.
First, we have the Tri-Met bus system. Divided into several smaller "zones" (think "counties"), getting a general idea of which bus will take you where is as easy as identifying a picture of a beaver (to get to the general Beaverton area) or a rose (to get to Portland - the Rose City, of course!), then finding a corresponding bus number to take you there.
For more specific travel, e.g., to get from the airport to your hotel, the Tri-Met website and the Tri-Met hotline are available 24 hours a day to guide you to bus stops, transit centers and all other covered destinations.
Second, Tri-Met proudly sports the MAX *and* Portland-local streetcars, all of which are interconnected for ease of use. The MAX has 3 "lines" - yellow, blue and red - and spans from one extreme end of the Metro area (Hillsborro) all the way to the other (Gresham), and also connects the airport to the main transit systems in downtown Portland. That's a total span of more than 35 miles! The MAX starts at 4:30 AM and runs until well after midnight, and arrives every 5-15 minutes.
Transfer slips can be purchased at transit stations, some downtown stops, and on any bus you board. They are transferrable between the MAX, the entire bus system AND the streetcar...and, on the west side of the river in downtown Portland, Tri-Met has a zone that is completely fareless - meaning free! All of Tri-Met's options are wheelchair and bike friendly.
Best of all, Tri-Met is cheap. Fares range from $.85 for children under 18 up to $2.05 for an all-zone ticket for adults. Or, if you plan a Grand Tour de Portland, you can purchase an all-day, all zone slip for adults for $4.25. Transfer slips last between 2 and 4 hours, depending on the time of day you travel and what day of the week it is.
If you need to travel outside the metro area, Tri-Met connects to 12 other transit systems in surrounding cities, including service all the way from the Oregon coast to Mt. Hood - meaning in one day, you can travel all of Western Oregon just by hopping on a bus.
Most Portlanders don't use cabs. I myself have never ridden in one in Portland or in the surrounding areas, since they're expensive and I'm young and poor. Most people I know that live in downtown don't own a car, since the Tri-Met system is so complete and so easy to navigate.
Trivia - other cities look to Portland for a model of a well-oiled, streamlined, fully functional, simple to use trasit system before building their own transit systems. That's right: Portland is showing other US cities how it's done!!
Part of the Touring Oregon Beer! travel blog
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