138 PORTLAND RELOCATION GUIDE – SUMMER | FALL 2016
so the occasional large vessel or tall sailboat
passing through may cause minor delays.
When this happens during rush hour, it can
add a few minutes to your commute time.
You should also keep in mind that one
of the bridges, the newly opened Tilikum
Crossing, is for pedestrians, bicyclists and
public transit vehicles only—so it’s not an
option for motorists.
A recent study ranks Portland tenth for
heaviest rush hour traffic of all metro areas in
the country. Fortunately, residents also have
access to one of the top public transportation systems nationwide in TriMet, with light
rail and buses, in addition to the Portland
Streetcar and Portland Aerial Tram.
TriMet serves Portland and its suburbs, with
its MAX light rail offering five different lines
for commuters. The Blue line runs from
downtown Gresham to the east, through
several east neighborhoods and downtown
Portland and all the way out to Beaverton and
Hillsboro on the west end. The Red line has a
similar route, but instead of Gresham, its east
end is at Portland International Airport in
The MAX Green line connects downtown
(starting at Portland State University) to
the outer southeast neighborhoods, along
with the suburb of Clackamas. And the
Yellow line moves from PSU, through down-
town and up to the northeast neighborhoods
of Boise-Eliot, Piedmont and Kenton, stop-
ping at the Portland Expo Center.
The newest MAX line is Orange, which
opened in September 2015. The line
runs from PSU downtown, through
inner southeast and all the way down to
In addition to light rail, Portland has a
comprehensive bus system with 79 routes
running through all of the city’s neighborhoods and most of its suburbs. Nearly
all of TriMet’s buses are equipped with
bicycle racks, and riders may also use a
mobile ticketing app to purchase tickets
and track arrivals.
When commuting to and from Vancouver,
there is an I- 5 Express route run by the
city’s C-TRAN system, getting you to
the Portland City Center in roughly 30
For travel within the Portland downtown
area, an option is the streetcar, which has
two main loops running through the west
and east inner core of the city. The streetcar’s North/South line moves from NW
23rd Avenue, through the Pearl District
and downtown and to the South Water-
front in southwest Portland. There’s also
the A and B loops, which connect the east
and west sides of the Willamette River,
moving across the Broadway Bridge to
the north and the newly opened Tilikum
Crossing to the south.
And for those who need to get to Oregon
Health & Science University in the West
Hills, there’s an aerial tram from the South
Waterfront, offering a quick, four-minute
trip that allows riders some astonishing
views on their way up.
One of the many nice aspects about living in
Portland is just how easy it is to get around.
In fact, depending on traffic, it may only
take about a half-hour to get from one end
of the city to the other. But before you make
the move, take into account the Rose City’s
transportation infrastructure and layout to
ensure you choose the right neighborhood
for your needs.
With all the excitement that comes with
moving to a new place, it’s easy to forget
some of the mundane tasks you need to
complete, such as getting a new driver’s
license and registering your vehicle so that
you’re operating legally. The following is
almost everything you need to know when it
comes to checking these important items off
your to-do list.
Photo courtesy of Travel Portland
PDX. Photo courtesy of Port of Portland