Take advantage of the free transportation within downtown Portland. You can'get get everywhere for free, so check the maps at the stops to see if where you want to go is withing the free zone. The streetcar, Busses and Max light rail are all free within a certain area also known as fareless square. If boarding a bus just say "fareless" If you do leave fareless square buy your ticket on board. They don't check often...but make sure you keep your ticket with you, its good for 1hr 45mins (i think)
Max Light rail is the way to get around Portland. We don't use it much because we usually park next to where we want to go. But it is fun to ride and goes East, West, North to Vancouver, and to the airport. Fares are free in "Fareless Square" down town. Also, we rode it for three stops near the Convention Center on the East Side and were told it was fare free. At any rate we didn't get put in jail for not paying. Bicycles are OK, just load them on. Speeds average from about 70 mph in places to 5 mph downtown, but it's fun. I guess if you are from the sticks like we are anything you don't have to drive yourself is a gas.
The metro and the buses are really easy to use. And they are very handicapped friendly!!! Alot of buses end up downtown on 5th or 6th streets. Those are the major bus streets. So, if you need a bus out of downtown head for those streets. They have tv monitors w/ schedules and easy to use maps posted at every bus stop. The metro is obtainable from Pioneer Square of Saturday Market downtown and goes far N and to the Airport. It also goes to Hillsboro. An all day pass for all the public transport is 3.50$ per day per person and one way for two zones is 1.70$ and it's good for an hour. A one zone is 1.40. It's free to ride both modes in the downtown area. Ask someone as to the amount of area that covers.
The Portland metro area truly has wonderful public transportation, including the MAX which is a light rail electric transport that recently expanded to the Portland Airport and a lot of people are using that now instead of driving and paying to park.
We were going to ride from the airport to downtown when we returned from London, but my daughter surprised me and picked us up.
MAX is free in the downtown core of Portland.
It's easy to get on and off, even with a bicycle, is comfortable and fun to ride.
MAX is a light rail train that travels out form downtown to the suburbs as well as the airport and the Expo Center.
But we do have the 'fareless square' where all of the transit (MAX, buses and the Portland Street car) are free in a specified area. The fare system is cut into three zones. If you're only traveling in one or two zones the fare is cheaper than if you're traveling in three zones (aka: all zone). the all zone costs $1.65 right now. I think the 2 zone tickets are $1.40. These are adult prices. Youths and seniors pay less. Children up to a certain age ride free, but I don't know what the age limit is.
Buy your ticket prior to boarding MAX. If you buy it from a machine it will time stamp your ticket and it's good until the time at the top. You don't show it to anyone when you board MAX but transit police do randomly hop on the train and check to make sure everyone in the car has paid. (Keep your ticket to show them.)
Your ticket alo acts as a transfer should you decide to take a bus. The reverse is also true, if you pay a bus driver he or she wil give you a receipt which acts as a transfer onto MAX or any other bus until the time shown at the top.
You can buy blank tickets in 10 packs (you must specify 2 zone or all zone and youth, adult or senior) from Fred Meyer, the info kiosk in Pioneer Square (under Starbucks on SW Broadway and SW Yamhill). You can also buy 10 blank tickets from the ticket machines at the MAX stops. They take bankcards but I've not had great luck with trying that. You can use cash too, I believe they take up to a $20 bill but you'll get your change in silver dollars (I bought 1 ticket one time and out came the dollars--it sounded like I won big in a casino.) Don't forget to validate blank tickets before you board the train. The validator will time stamp your ticket and can be found next to the ticket machines.
TriMet buses serve Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties. Many bus lines connect with MAX Light Rail and 16 lines provide Frequent Service (every 15 minutes or better, every day).
MAX Light Rail
TriMet's Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) Light Rail system connects the communities of Portland, Gresham, Beaverton and Hillsboro, and the Portland Airport.
The Portland Streetcar travels between the RiverPlace area in Southwest Portland and Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Northwest Portland.
TriMet fares are valid on buses, MAX and the Portland Streetcar.
Adult fares are based on the number of zones you will be traveling through.
Honored Citizen fares, Youth/Student fares, LIFT fares, All-Day Tickets and 3-Day Adventure Passes are valid in all zones.
All trips that begin and end within Fareless Square are free—all day, every day.
MAXX is a fast, efficient, inexpensive way to get around Portland. It's fully integrated with the bus system as well. Adult fares range between $1.30 to $1.60.
The next time you're flying into Portland think about taking MAXX downtown rather than renting a car.
If you'd like to see a video of a MAXX train then click here.
Tri-Met is Portland's great public transportaion service. Between the MAX light-rail trains, the buses, and the streetcars, there is definetly a way to get where you need to be without needing a car.
The MAX just opened its third line and runs east/west (Blue Line), to the airport (Red Line), and now north/south (Yellow Line).
The Portland Streetcar traverses between Portland State University (5th & Market) and Good Samaritan Hospital in Northwest (23rd & Northrup).
There are ninety-three bus lines in the Portland Metro area, most of these connect with MAX stations.
Costs for the Max, streecar, and buses are $1.60 for an all-zone adult ticket, $4 for a day pass. Remember, your ticket is transferable from one form of transport to another!
Also, take advantage of the FARELESS SQUARE, and ride for free! The fareless sqare includes most of downtown and stops near the Rose Quarter and the Lloyd Center Mall. As long as you board and exit while within the square, you don't pay a penny!
Maps and schedules are found easily online at www.trimet.org.
Similar to Seattle's "Free Ride Area" is Portland's "Fareless Square." It's an area in Downtown Portland where fare is not collected. For as long as you stay in the Fareless Square, you can ride buses, streetcars, and MAX (Portland's light rail train) for free.
The following are some of the attractions in the Fareless Square: Portland Public Library, Powell's Books, Portland Art Museum, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Chinatown, and the Rose Garden.
Portland's excellent transit system will get you anywhere. Take a MAX train directly from the airport into downtown. Hop on the streetcar or trolley from Portland State University to Powell's Books on 10th or up to NW 23rd Ave. Everything's free within the fareless square of downtown, and you can carry your bike with you on the bus. Monitors inside the downtown stops tell you how soon the next bus is coming.
Portland is a very walkable city however, if you need a cheap alternative to a taxi or shuttle I'd reccomend taking Tri-met. This is the local bus service and also inclueds MAX light-rail system that runs through downtown to several locations in Portland including the Zoo, airport, Convention Center, LLoyd Center (shopping) and other cultural districts. Check out the web-site for info on fares for adults/children/seniors.
Portland has a very good light rail system that takes you around town, from suburban Beaverton on West to the PDX (airport) on the East. An all zone 2 hour ticket rund $2.40.
You can take the City's Max Light Rail trains around the downtown area for free. It's a great way to get from one place to another if you don't feel like walking.
Portland has a pretty cool streetcar system. It pretty much goes all around metro Portland, and a ticket will run you $1.50.
Max is the cheepst and fastest way to get arould Portland. Max or light rail goes all arould Portland Oregon. It takes you to all of the turest traps.