The 2nd Annual Portland Winter Light Festival is this week!  The Festival, presented by Portland General Electric (PGE), is a premier winter event hosted at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). This outdoor celebration illuminates Portland’s waterfront through contemporary light-based art installations, engaging performance, and fun activities for all ages. Free and open to the public, this nighttime community-supported event generates critical opportunities for artists, designers, creatives, makers and performers to collectively expand art, performance and technology innovations in our region.


The Festival extends from OMSI, over the Tilikum Crossing to the west side of the river.  Patrons can ride free on Portland Streetcar after 5pm Wednesday through Saturday to enjoy the installations.  See the below promo video for a taste of what you'll see at the Portland Winter Light Festival.


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In January the Portland Aerial Tram marks 10 years of service and is hosting a special Community and Family Day to celebrate.  In the Center for Health and Healing lobby there will activities for the kids, historical displays, presentations on the construction of the Tram and the future of South Waterfront, samples from local restaurants and more.  There will also be expert talks, facepainters and special Tram Anniversary giveaways.  Join Portland Streetcar as we help celebrate this once-in-a-decade event!

WHAT: 10th Anniversary of the Portland Aerial Tram at their Community Day

WHEN: Saturday, January 28, 2017 10am-3pm

WHERE: 3303 SW Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239  (Center for Health and Healing atrium, next to the lower terminal of the Tram)

SPECIAL TALKS & TOURS:

  • 10:30     Talk        Creating the Portland Tram,         
    Art Pearce, Portland Bureau of Transportation
  • 11:30     Talk        Portland's South Waterfront Community- building a vision, seeking connections, designing with nature            
    Bob Hastings, TriMet and South Waterfront resident
  • 12:30     Walk      South Waterfront Beyond the Tram
    Pete Collins, South Waterfront Community Relations
  • 1:30       Talk        A Look into the Future of South Waterfront
    Steve Szigethy, Portland Bureau of Transportation and Geraldene Moyle, Portland Development Commission

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2016 was a big year for Portland Streetcar as we celebrated 15 years, 50 million riders and so much more.  Take a look back with us at all that occurred this past year.

January

  • We kicked off the year with our #GoesWell campaign.  Signs were placed at all unsponsored shelters and we celebrated many events throughout the year.


  • Freezing rain and ice halted service just after the New Year began.

February

  • Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Mayor Charlie Hales and our former Executive Director Rick Gustafson celebrated the opening of the DC Streetcar in Washington, DC.
  • In an effort to increase the speed, safety and reliability of Portland Streetcar, we began a trial closure of 5 stations: NW 10th & Everett, NW 11th & Everett, SW 10th & Stark and both directions at SW 1st & Harrison.
  • Our Executive Director Dan Bower was named one of the 40 Under 40 by the Portland Business Journal.

March

  • The Broadway Bridge closed for the final time as part of the Painting Project.   The project, which began in 2015, removed all of the lead paint on the Broadway Bridge to make it safer for generations to come.
  • Updated schedules began in March after the first 6 months of service on the Loops to provide more reliable service to our riders.
  • At the end of March Portland Streetcar permanently closed the stations at 1st & Harrison, 10th & Stark and 10th & 11th at Everett.

April

  • As part of their series "10 That Changed America", PBS debuted their special "10 Towns That Changed America" featuring the Pearl District and Portland Streetcar.
  • Portland Streetcar, Inc. Board Chair Jim Mark and former Chair John Carroll celebrated the opening of the Kansas City Streetcar at the Streetcar Summit in Kansas City, Missouri.

May

  • "Free Ride First Thursday" begins.  Internet provider Wave G sponsored free rides for all riders each First Thursday from May to October.
  • Streetcar 002 was "named" Desire in honor of the production at Portland Center Stage.  Several lucky riders were randomly selected to win 2 tickets to see the show!


June

  • We were proud to join our partners at TriMet to march in the Pride Parade.
  • After digging through all of the old photographs and memories from 2001, we began our "Then and Now" series depicting the same places along the alignment in 2001 and 2016.

July

  • On July 20, Portland Streetcar celebrated 15 years of service between NW 23rd & PSU.  
  • BikeTown opened adding to the many ways Portlanders can get around the City.  Three of the closed stations were converted into BikeTown stations.

  • The 7th Streetcar Mobile Music Fest was held in celebration of 15 Years of service.  9 bands played on the alignment that first opened 15 years earlier.
  • In an effort to improve information and offer more to our riders, we launched our new, updated website with arrival times, news feed and more.

August

  • The 15-Year celebrations continued with our first ever Art Contest.  27 artists from around the area participated in two categories.
  • We held our first ever "Storytime on Portland Streetcar" reading to kids and then taking them on a Scavenger Hunt in the Central Library.
  • Executive Director Dan Bower welcomed on board our 50 Millionth rider since July 20, 2001.


September

  • Celebrated the 1st Anniversary of the Loops opening and the 4th Anniversary of service to the east side.
  • Debuted our newest version of "Off the Rails" including an online interactive map.
  • Held a photo contest with Portland Center Stage for Little Shop of Horrors.


October

  • Reached our highest ridership to date of 15,921 average weekday riders.
  • Released new development numbers totaling $6.5 Billion in new buildings.
  • Released data showing that for each new housing unit that opens along the Streetcar line, Portland Streetcar realizes one new rider.


November

  • Protests and Rioting all along the alignment caused delays and service interruptions following the election.  

December

  • Snow and ice events caused disruptions two weeks in a row and even shut down service one morning due to freezing rain and ice overnight.

We look forward to 2017 and bringing you our video "From Concept to Reality: The Story of Portland Streetcar" as well continuing the work to improve reliability and safety around the system.  Thank you for 15 years and for a wonderful 2016 with all of you.

In this holiday season we want to give thanks to our riders: 

  • Thank you for helping us reach new heights with our highest daily ridership ever of 15,921 riders per day in October and the milestone of 50,000,000 Lifetime riders in August.
  • Thank you for your feedback and insights during our trial closure of the 5 stations that were closed this year.  
  • Thank you for your support of each other with the daily help we witness on board.  
  • Thank you for participating so enthusiastically during our first ever "Inspired by Streetcar" Art Contest.
  • Thank you for all of the photos, emails, comments, and other forms of feedback that help us to strengthen our connections with you and improve the service we provide.
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Portland Streetcar and Portland Center Stage are partnering to give one lucky winner two tickets to see "Little Shop of Horrors" at The Armory and a $50 gift card to Isabel Pearl restaurant.  To enter simply post a photo of any Portland Streetcar on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #LittleShopStreetcar.  Each unique photo of any Portland Streetcar counts as one entry.  Photos of the Streetcar featuring "Little Shop of Horrors" on the side count as two entries into the contest.  Re-Posts of photos from Portland Streetcar or Portland Center Stage do not count.

All entries must be posted by Monday, October 10 at 2:00pm to be valid for contest entry.  The winner will be randomly drawn from all entries and notified Monday afternoon.  Good luck!

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