136 PORTLAND RELOCATION GUIDE – SUMMER | FALL 2017
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 Northeast.
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 Milwaukie.
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 minutes.
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 Waterfront 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.
DON’T TRY TO PUMP YOUR OWN GAS
An interesting quirk in Oregon is that motorists are not allowed to pump
their own gas. In fact, you could be fined up to $500 for doing so. All gas
stations have attendants—usually wearing orange vests—who will pump
your gas for you, without you having to get out of your car. Although
this can be nice on cold, rainy days, it can take a little more time, so it’s
important to allow for a few extra minutes if you need to stop for gas during
your commute. In Washington, you’re on your own at the gas pump.
Photo courtesy of Travel Portland
PDX. Photo courtesy of Port of Portland