Portland Hotels Downtown

Getting Around Portland

Portland, Oregon has one of the finest public transportation systems in the United States. It is reliable, efficient and very easy to use. As a result, visitors to the City of Roses can avoid the area's traffic congestion by using Portland's buses and light rail service.

Here is a guide to using these fantastic services that can help people get the most out of their stay in Portland.

Portland's mass transit system is broken into four fare zones.
Passengers pay fares that are based on how may zones one travels in. Zone one starts in the downtown area. Zones two and three go through the rest of the city. Zone four is used for traveling to nearby cities such as Milwaukie, Clackamas or Hillsboro. Most visitors will usually pay for a one-zone or a two-zone ticket that allows them to see most of Portland's destinations and attractions cheaply.

Once you catch on to this, it's easy to use Portland's mass transit system.

For example, Portland's buses run from 4 AM until 2 AM the next day on over 70 different routes.
Over 50 of these routes take passengers to such fun destinations as the PNG Park, the Morrison Street Shopping District, Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Lloyd Center, and the Rose Garden. Most busses run on these routes every 10 to 15 minutes during the week and every 15-20 minutes on weekends. Furthermore, buses also run on a Sunday service schedule during most holidays.

In addition, over 20 routes provide express service across town and to nearby Vancouver, Washington. These routes run about four times a day during rush hour conditions.

Portland's light rail system can take visitors across town and to nearby suburbs.
Portland's light rail system is called the MAX. The MAX features four color-coded lines. Three of these lines can help visitors enjoy area attractions. They are called the Red Line, the Yellow Line and the Blue Line. The fourth line, the Green Line, goes from SE Portland to nearby Clackamas County.

Here is a brief look at how the Yellow Line, the Red Line and the Blue Line work...
The Yellow Line goes to the Expo Convention Center and to the Rose Garden.
It does not stop in the downtown area. As a result, most visitors should use the Red Line or the Blue Line to see most of Portland's destinations.

The Red Line and the Blue Line make at least seven stops in the downtown area.
They also go to such destinations as the Burnside Bridge, the Lloyd Center, and the Morrison Street Shopping District and to Pioneer Courthouse Square.

The only difference between these lines is how far they travel outside the city.
This is true because the Blue Line will take passengers to Hillsboro or Gresham while the Red Line will take passengers all the way to the airport.

Finally, passengers can use tickets that they purchased for bus rides to ride on the MAX. Fares can be purchased at kiosks that dot the downtown area or by purchasing a ticket when you board a bus or a train. Be sure to have a valid ticket because fare inspectors frequently check passes and tickets.

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