Travel & Transportation
Portland International Airport (PDX), located just 20 minutes from downtown has direct connections to major airport hubs throughout the United States, plus non-stop international flights to Canada, Japan, Mexico, and the Netherlands. It is also a hub for flights to smaller cities in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada. The airport is a major hub for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.
The Portland Metro area’s public transportation system is called TriMet, and it covers both the bus lines and the MAX trains which run through the city. The bus lines have both numbers and symbols to help make connecting easier, and TriMet’s website is extraordinarily helpful in planning your routes. Buses run regularly throughout most parts of Portland, and there are even some lines which run on what are called “Frequent Service” - on those routes, a bus comes by every 15 minutes, every day. All buses are equipped to handle disabled passengers, and some have bike racks on the front for cyclists.
The four MAX Light Rail lines make getting around certain parts of the city extremely simple. Each line has a color designation, and all four connect with downtown Portland. The Yellow line stretches to the Expo Center, the Red line goes back and forth from the Portland airport, and the blue line runs all the way from Gresham out to Hillsboro. The Green line runs between Clackams Town Center and PSU. Many MAX stops have displays telling you when the next train will arrive, and each station has ticket machines for you to buy your tickets in advance (you can’t buy them on the trains).
If you stay within what’s known as the “Fareless Square,” you can ride the MAX train and Streetcar for free - all day, every day. Lucky for most visitors to Portland, the Fareless Square includes downtown Portland. If you plan to travel outside this free zone, however, you’ll need to pay for the ride. An adult ticket covering all zones costs $2.30 and lasts for two hours, and an all-day pass costs $4.75. As mentioned, you’ll need to buy a ticket before you get on the MAX train. Don’t get caught riding mass transit without a ticket - you could expect to pay between $100-250 in fines.
In addition to TriMet’s services, there’s also the Portland Streetcar which is maintained by the city and which connects downtown Portland with NW Portland, the Pearl District, South Waterfront and Portland State University. The Streetcar also honors the Fareless Square borders, and beyond that an all-zone adult ticket is required. What’s more, all TriMet tickets and passes cover the Streetcar as well. Like the MAX train, you’ll need to purchase your Streetcar tickets before you board the train at one of the ticket machines at the Streetcar stops.
Public Transportation from Portland International Airport to the Hilton Portland Executive Tower:
From the Portland International Airport MAX Station, board the Red Line to City Center & Beaverton TC. Get off at the Mall/SW 5th Avenue MAX Station. Walk 0.2 miles southwest to Hilton Hotel (921 SW 6th Avenue).
Public Transportation from Portland International Airport to Portland State University:
From Portland International Airport MAX Station, board the Red Line to City Center & Beaverton TC. Get off at Gateway/NE 99th Avenue TC MAX Station. Board MAX Green Line to City Center (PSU). Get off at PSU/SW 5th & Mill Street MAX Station.
Portland Union Station is served by three scheduled Amtrak intercity passenger trains.
With three daily departures between Seattle and Portland, as well as daily service to Vancouver, B.C., the Amtrak Cascades is a convenient link to the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia.
Amtrak's Coast Starlight operates daily, connecting the West Coast's most popular destination cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.
Amtrak's Empire Builder takes you on an exciting adventure through majestic wilderness, following the footsteps of Lewis and Clark. The Empire Builder begins in Portland and heads east to Chicago with stops at the following destinations and more: Spokane, Whitefish, Glacier National Park, Minot, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee.
Taxi and Airport Shuttles
Alex Shuttle PDX
Blue Star Airport Express
Toll-Free: (800) 247-2272
Toll-Free: (800) 248-TAXI
Green Cab and Green Shuttle
Toll-Free: (877) 853-3577
Radio Cab Company
Phone: (503) 227-1212
Some images courtesy of Travel Portland