Getting Around Portland, OR

The best way to get around Portland is public transportation, although you shouldn't rule out your own two feet. This city is known for having one of the easiest and most tourist-friendly public transportation systems in the country, with extensive routes from TriMet buses and light rail trains. You can hop on the light-rail from the Portland International Airport (PDX) and get into the city for a little more than $2, which is much cheaper than cab fare (approximately $35). You can also rent a car at the Portland Airport, which might come in handy for out-of-town excursions to places like Mount Hood.

Public Transport

Portland's TriMet runs Bus and MAX light rail trains throughout the city. Bus lines run frequently and four MAX Light lines — the blue, red, yellow and green — service the entire city, including Portland International Airport (PDX). You can buy a two-hour MAX light-rail ticket for a few bucks and an all-day ticket for $5.


Another option is the Portland Streetcar, which runs through downtown and south from NW Portland to the SW Waterfront. You can buy a daylong unlimited-ride pass for $5. While the streetcars are efficient, they are also prone to the same traffic hassles that drivers encounter, since they don't have special lanes.

Taxi Because the city is so compact, traveling by taxi is not as expensive as it is in other major U.S. cities. Fares start at around $2.50, with each added mile charging about $2. There is also an extra $1 for each additional passenger. However, you'll find efficient public transport generally makes using a taxi unnecessary.
Car Most major car rental companies can be found at the PDX airport or in town, but you may want to think twice about relying on your own set of wheels. Rental rates fluctuate dramatically depending on the season, but you'll soon discover that no matter when you're visiting, you'll spend more to park than you will to drive. Garages at central hotels charge anywhere from $15 to $30 per night. However, if you are planning to visit out-of-town attractions like Mount Hood, you will need a car to get there. Consider renting a car for a specific day rather than holding on to it throughout your trip.
On Foot or Bike

This compact city is easy to navigate on your own two feet (or two wheels). To make getting around easier, consider printing out a walking / biking map provided online by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Next Steps: Portland, OR

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