Portland has a reputation as one of the most efficient and pedestrian-friendly public transportation systems in the nation, which is especially unusual in a city of its size. All parts of the metropolitan area, including Vancouver, Washington, are accessible by either the MAX light rail system, the Streetcars, or city buses.
The MAX light rail runs throughout downtown Portland in addition to the Portland International Airport, the technology businesses that are centered in Hillsboro, and all the way out to Gresham on the eastern edge of the metro area as well as many neighborhoods in-between. More lines are planned around the metropolitan area in the coming years.
In addition, quaint Streetcars, reminiscent of those in San Francisco, connect the neighborhoods of Nob Hill and the Pearl District to Portland State University and South Waterfront. Scheduled to open in late 2006, the Portland Aerial Tram will transport doctors, patients, and visitors from the South Waterfront to the Oregon Health and Science University campus on the hill overlooking the city.
Many streets of the metro area have bicycle lanes. There is also an abundance of dedicated bicycle trails making Portland one of the most bike-friendly cities around. With so many transportation options, visitors to Downtown rarely need to resort to rental cars or taxis!
Portland International Airport
The Portland International Airport (PDX) is located 12 miles northeast of downtown along the Columbia River and is served by most national and international airlines.
Portland International Airport (PDX)
» 700 NE Airport Way
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Portland LightRail, StreeCar & Bus
Portland’s TriMet light rail system, known locally as MAX, has three main lines that serve the area. The blue line runs east-west from Gresham through Portland’s city center to Hillsboro. The Red Line travels from central Beaverton and making a pass through downtown Portland as it heads northeast to the Portland International Airport. In 2004 the Yellow Line was added, with trains traveling from the Rose Quarter in downtown Portland out to the Expo Center. Whether using MAX, Streetcar or a bus, all rides that begin and end within Fareless Square are free at all times.
Amtrak Train (Union Station)
Amtrak provides twice-daily service between Portland and Eugene to the south and three daily trains run north to Seattle. For daily long-distance service, The Empire Builder serves cities eastward to Chicago and the Coast Starlight runs the length of the West Coast from Seattle to Los Angeles. Union Station is located just northeast of the Pearl District at 800 NW 6th Ave.
» 800 NW 6th
Portland’s Flexcar Program
Portland, Oregon, known for its innovative ideas, was the birthplace of Flexcar, the nation’s first car-sharing service. Over 70 vehicles are conveniently located around the Portland/Vancouver, WA metro area for the use of Flexcar members. Flexcar’s Advantage Plan has a low monthly rate of $40 which includes gas, insurance, and parking. There is also an hourly rate of $9 for occasional use that includes unlimited miles.
» 620 SW Main St