< SPSP Main Site

Portland SPSP 2019 logo

Getting Around Portland header

Local Perspectives button Where to Eat button In Your Free Time button Getting Around Portland button Travel Portland button

For more information about transportation, including Delta discounts, getting to Portland from the airport, and getting around the city, visit our Transportation page!


Annie Greerhalgh headshotAnnie Greenhalgh (email)
1. Download the Trimet app called Trimet Tickets. It offers transit passes at different durations (2.5 hours, 1 day, 1 week, etc) to suit your needs.

2. Public transit is wonderful here! To find out all the details about using it, I recommend Apple Maps. Google maps is great but I’ve found Apple Maps to be even better as it shows your progression through the bus/MAX/streetcar route so you know at all times when you should get off!

3. I think I’d prefer not to, if that’s okay! I’ve lived here for a short time and I only use the bus and sometimes the streetcar so I think I’d have less information than other ambassadors. But I can do it if you need!

Cynthia Mohr headshotCynthia Mohr (email)
Note that Portland is arranged in quadrants -- NW, NE, SE, SW and now also N. The Willamette river is the dividing line between east and west, whereas the Burnside Bridge divides North and South. Anything above N. Williams is considered north. All of the addresses will include the quadrant designation to help you quickly determine location. Portland has an outstanding public transit system with light rail (MAX), streetcars, and buses. You can get around very well to many locations using this system. Just head to the TriMet trip planner to plot your route: http://trimet.org/. As an alternative, it is always easy to find an Uber or Lyft nearby.

Tessa Dover headshotTessa Dover (email)
1. Know the difference between the MAX, the Streetcar, and the bus! [by Tessa Dover - and yes, you can have people contact me! -TD]

a. The MAX is the lightrail system and has the bigger trains. MAX routes are designated by colors (blue, red, yellow, orange) and swing by the convention center regularly (like, every few minutes). You can basically take any train to downtown Portland, and the red line takes you to/from the airport. They’re made for commuters so their fast, easy, and reliable, but they don’t go everywhere. No need to scan or show your pass to anyone unless a worker asks to see it.

b. The Streetcar has the smaller trains, and they’re designed for more local travel. Streetcar routes are designated by letters (A loop, B loop), and swing by the convention center a little less often than the MAX. They’re also a bit slower, but they’re very easy for getting downtown or traveling south from the convention center. Like the MAX, you don’t need to scan or show your pass to anyone unless a worker asks to see it.

c. The bus system uses numbers to designate routes (15, 24, 49), and they… are buses. Not super fast or fancy, but they go basically anywhere you’d like to get in the city. Google maps app usually does a decent job at directing you to the proper bus route to get you where you need to go. Just flash your pass to the driver when you board.

2. The MAX and the Streetcar are super useful and easy to use! Don’t be afraid to try out Portland’s public transit system, and don’t worry about asking people for advice on how to get around. Portlanders are generally very friendly and eager to help. 


2019 Annual Convention
February 7 - 9, 2019
Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, Oregon 97232, USA