suburbs of Beaverton, Clackamas, Gresham,
Hillsboro and Milwaukie. This allows
people to live essentially anywhere in the
Portland metro area and still get to work or
school in an efficient manner—even without
the use of a car.
Additionally, TriMet operates a compre-
RIDE-SHARING AND TAXIS
hensive bus system with routes that seem
to run through every nook and cranny of
the tri-county Portland area. Most of these
buses (and all MAX trains) have bike racks,
making for a convenient option for riders
who would like to combine both means
of transportation in their commutes. Plus,
Those who live in Vancouver also have an
easy way to get across the river by using
C-TRAN, which has an I- 5 Express bus route
that runs from Salmon Creek on the north
side of Vancouver to Portland’s city center.
The Rose City has a number of respected
taxi services, including Broadway Cab,
Radio Cab, Union Cab, Green Cab and
Portland Taxi, among others. However, like
most major cities, transportation network
companies Uber and Lyft have recently
begun operating here. Both services are now
available—all you have to do is download
the Uber and/or Lyft app to gain access,
book rides and make payment.
Another option is EcoCab, a newer
company that uses only all-electric vehicles.
It’s more of a traditional taxi than a ride-sharing service, and features a number of
Tesla sport sedans in its fleet. Although rides
tend to be a little more expensive, it can be a
good option for those concerned about their
To say that Portland is “bike friendly” is an understatement.
Biking is part of the culture here, with city officials estimating
that more than 17,000 workers commute on their bicycles each
day in the Rose City. That’s roughly 6 percent of the working
population—much higher than the national average of 0.5
percent. And the city continues to make strides in improving
and expanding the amenities, infrastructure and safety
measures it offers cyclists.
COMMUTING BY BIKE
So many people are able to commute to and from work and
school in Portland thanks in large part to the city’s bike-friendly
streets and designated bike lanes, which may be found on
nearly all of the major thoroughfares. There are also innovative
“bicycle boxes” at 26 busy intersections, making cyclists more
visible to motorists who are turning right and reducing the
likelihood of an accident occurring. You’ll notice these bicycle
boxes at intersections, as they are bright green with a bicycle
icon in the lane or the box.
Speaking of bicycle icons, when cycling in the city’s designated
bike lanes, you’ll notice a Portland tradition: bike lane characters. Instead of the typical stick figure on a bicycle marking
the bike lane, the city has had fun embellishing the icons with
whimsical hats, crazy hair, scarves and even one reading a
book while riding—which is not recommended.
In all, the Portland Bureau of Transportation states there are
about 320 miles of bikeways currently found throughout the
city, with more than 50 more miles planned for the near future.
Additionally, there are roughly 5,000 publicly installed bike racks.
Generally, it’s easier to ride from east to west through the city
than north to south, and cyclists will find that they can make
it over the Willamette River without a monumental effort. The
city’s well-known bridges are a big reason for this, as nearly
all 11 of them have areas designated for bikes in both their
eastbound and westbound lanes.
The recent opening of Tilikum Crossing, which connects
southeast Portland to the South Waterfront, provides another
great option for cyclists. The brand-new bridge is for bike
riders, pedestrians and public transit vehicles (including the
new MAX Orange line) only, so bicyclists won’t have to worry
about dealing with motor vehicle traffic as they cross.
In addition to bike lanes that run alongside roadways, the city
also has about 59 miles of neighborhood greenways, which
are residential streets that have lower volumes of automobile
traffic—making them safer for bike riders. These greenways
often include speed bumps and traffic diverters to dissuade
drivers from using these streets unless they absolutely need
to do so.
AN AWARD-WINNING BIKE CITY
Due to its accomplishments to promote cycling, thus reducing
harmful emissions from motor vehicles, Portland has won a
number of awards for its bike-friendly culture. The League of
American Bicyclists gave the city its highest possible “Platinum”
rating, and Bicycling magazine has named it the number one
biking city in the nation several years in a row.
The city also appears regularly on lists of bike-friendly cities in
various publications, including Geek Wire, Wired and Forbes,
If you would like to reduce the environmental impact of your
commute, get more exercise and truly enjoy a reasonably safe
urban biking experience, Portland just might be the perfect city
for you. The city’s infrastructure, strong bike culture and focus on
alternative means of transportation have made it a perennial
favorite of cyclists, which will be the case for years to come.
They Should Call It ‘SPIN CITY ’