\ Portland: Transportation - Approaching the City, Traveling in the City

Portland: Transportation

Approaching the City

Portland's airport, Portland International Airport (PDX), is one of the fastest-growing major airports on the West Coast, with more 17 commercial carriers offering daily nonstop flights from Portland to various destinations; the airport served more than 13 million passengers in 2004. The airport is 9 miles east of the central city, a 15-minute car ride. The Portland International Airport is owned and operated by the Port of Portland.

Two major interstate highways intersect in Portland, I-5, running north-south from southern California into Canada, and I-84, running east-west. U.S. highways 26 and 30 are other east-west routes. Portland is bypassed by I-405, on the western edge of the downtown area, and I-205, running through the eastern suburbs.

Amtrak serves the Portland area with daily train service; commercial bus service is also available.

Traveling in the City

Portland is divided into five areas—southwest, southeast, north, northeast and northwest—with the Willamette River bisecting the city. Street addresses match the location of these areas. A total of eleven bridges cross the river. The major streets are Grand Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Sandy Boulevard, and SE Eighty-second Street. Downtown, streets are mostly one way, with adjacent streets flowing in opposite directions.

TriMet, Portland's mass transit system, is ultra-modern and efficient, highlighted by MAX, a light-rail system that connects the downtown area with three counties. Westside MAX serves commuters in suburbs west of town as far west as Hillsboro. This line boasts the deepest subterranean transit station in North America, and public artwork decorates all 20 Westside MAX stations. A 300-block area in the heart of downtown has been designated as the Fareless Square, where trips beginning and ending within the area do not require the usual fare. TriMet also has 93 bus lines that serve Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties.