Getting Around Portland

The City of Roses has one of the best public transportation systems on the west coast. Getting to, from, and around Portland is easy, cost-effective, and efficient.

What You Should Know
Portland is divided into quadrants with the Willamette River dividing the east and west areas and Burnside Street dividing the city into north and south. Thus, any address will have one of four directions NW, SW, NE and SE. To make things even easier, numbered streets are numbered from their distance in blocks to the Willamette. So, SE 17th is located south of Burnside and 17 blocks from the River.

Tri-Met is the name of the Portland public transportation system and it runs the light rail lines also known as the MAX, buses, the street car, and the commuter train, WES.

Getting to Portland
Portland is served by the Portland International Airport (PDX) in the southeast about 20 minutes from the center of Portland. The best way to get into the city form the airport is to take the MAX Red Line into downtown and then take buses as needed from there. The trip takes about 40 minutes and trains run from the early morning to just before midnight. You can purchase tickets at machines located at the MAX station, just outside the baggage claim area.

Taxis area also readily available outside the baggage claim area.

In the City
Bus routes are aplenty in the Portland area. They tend to arrive on time, are available all over the city, and offer easy walking commutes to the rail systems.

The MAX has four main lines that run all over the city and into the suburbs of Portland including Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Gresham.

One of the Portland's best transportation values is the Streetcar that offers free service through Portland's most popular areas. Known as the Free Rail Zone you can ride it for free all day, every day around downtown, to the Rose Quarter and to the Llyod Center. Portland's street car runs about every 13 minutes throughout the downtown area. Note that there is a fee if you go beyond the first zone.