Have questions on how to ride Portland Streetcar?  We have answers!  Our newly released video shows typical Portlandia riding Portland Streetcar and addresses some of the most commonly asked questions.  Learn more about how to deploy the ramp, what fares are accepted and how to share the low floor section of the Streetcar.

How 2 Ride Video
Click Image for Video


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Ever asked how you could get Portland Streetcar in your neighborhood? Wish that you could help get better frequency or improved station amenities? Want to learn more about what works in other communities? Join us as we partner with the Community Streetcar Coalition to welcome two fantastic citizen advocates; David Johnson (Kansas City, Missouri) and John Schneider (Cincinnati, Ohio) to Portland for a discussion on lessons learned in advocating for and building modern streetcar in their cities.

Grab a pint and connect with David & John as they discuss the winding path to modern streetcars in their cities, and lessons learned for Portland as we continue to grow. The interactive presentations and discussion will focus on their role in organizing and advocating citizen and business advocates in their respective cities.   

  • Date: October 19, 2017
  • Location: Ex Novo Brewing: Upper Room 2326 N. Flint Ave
  • Time: Doors open at 5:30, Presentations and discussion begin around 6pm

New data released Tuesday shows that the early vision for a streetcar system that spurs housing development and improves transit access is generating results.  Conducted by EcoNorthwest, the data analysis shows that 3,130 new multifamily housing units were built along the Streetcar corridor in 2016, the most in the system’s 16-year history. Another 5,600 units are currently planned or under construction.  

“It seems simple, but Portland Streetcar is successful because it connects where people live with where they need to go every day,” said Portland Streetcar Executive Director Dan Bower. “And as the streetcar has expanded, it’s become a magnet for new housing.  

The link between the Streetcar and housing isn’t an accident—when the route was first drawn in the mid-90s, city leaders and planners envisioned the streetcar running through neighborhoods that filled with housing and where people could get to school, work, or the grocery store without driving across town.

Portland’s housing growth is happening along the streetcar route  

Since Portland Streetcar opened in 2001, nearly half of all multifamily housing built in Portland has been located within ¼ mile of the Streetcar route. As housing construction in the city has exploded in the past couple years, even more new of the city’s new housing is being concentrated in the Streetcar corridor. In 2016, 54 percent of new multifamily units were built along the Streetcar route. Over the past 16 years, streetcar ridership has grown steadily along with housing construction, with over 15,000 riders per day and 4.7 million total riders last year.

The link between the Streetcar and housing construction extends to affordable housing. Over one-third of all regulated affordable housing units in Portland are located along the Streetcar corridor and another 645 regulated affordable housing units are currently planned or under construction on the alignment.

A one-page summary of the housing data is available for download.

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The 8th Streetcar Mobile Music Fest is next Saturday, October 7, 2017.  Beginning at 4:00pm, every NS Line streetcar between the Portland State University Plaza and NW 23rd & Marshall will have live music on board.  For the price of your Streetcar fare, enjoy performances from returning favorites and new acts.  Below is the lineup including start time at PSU.  We hope to see you rocking while you roll!

Join us for this rocking event and post your photos and videos online using #SMMF2017

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Do you like to hunt for things? Are you feeling adventurous? Do you like to win prizes? Come join us as we collaborate with The Growler Guys - South Waterfront for our 2nd Scavenger Hunt Saturday, September 16, from 11- 3. A fun event for friends and family! Start at the South Waterfront Growler Guys, board the Portland Streetcar with your complimentary all day pass. There will be clues along the way. Just post to Instagram to receive your next clue. If you are unable to post to Instagram, not a problem!

The ’Hunt’ goes from the Bond/Lane Streetcar stop up to NW 23rd and back to The Growler Guys. It starts at 11 and goes until 3 however you probably want to start between 11 and 12:30 to make sure you are back by 3:00 to be entered into the drawing for some amazing prizes! Plus each team will receive one 32 ounce growler. It is not a race so enjoy your all day pass on Streetcar and feel free to tool around the city for a bit.

Register for the event online.

Explore what's out there just "Off the Rails".

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Join us as we celebrate First Thursday and enjoy eats, drinks, and art from Portland Streetcar employees.  While perusing the art, be sure to enter the drawing for a framed photo from Rip City Photography and tickets to a performance of "Fun Home" at Portland Center Stage

Date: Thursday, September 7, 2017

Time: 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Where: Portland Streetcar Customer Service Office, 1031 NW 11th Avenue

Sample photo from Rip City Photography
Sample photo from Rip City Photography


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Field Trips & Streetcar: One Teacher's Story

Since 2015 when Next Adventure generously stepped forward to sponsor field trips, approximately 5,000 students and chaperones have ridden Portland Streetcar for free. With the start of a new school year, we wanted to highlight how this community-focused program impacts our city’s students and their teachers, so we reached out to Lisa Colombo, a 6th grade teacher at Southwest Charter School (changing its name to Cottonwood School of Civics and Science) who is one of many teachers who have made use of the School Field Trip sponsorship.

Tell us about your teaching career. How long have you been with Southwest Charter School? What do you teach there? 
I started working at SW Charter in 2007 when it first opened. I came from the informal education world -- science museums mostly -- and was drawn to this model of place-based education. I love working here because of the flexibility, community and trust. I feel very lucky that I get to explore the world right along with my 6th graders, guiding them to become involved citizens in their communities and to really care about the place they live. In 6th grade, we explore the chemistry of food, the human body through a simulation of medical school and the civil rights movement with a focus on local Portland history through a social justice lens.  

What do you find most rewarding about teaching? 
The most rewarding part of teaching is the connections I make with people. It is so fulfilling to get to know my students as people, their hopes and dreams and to help them grow into themselves. I also get to develop real friendships with their families. I am kind of an extrovert so being around people is super rewarding.  

What do you like about field trips? What is a challenge?  
Getting out into the community is a huge focus at our school and only few locations are within walking distance. We are lucky we have a streetcar stop only one block from our school. We use public transportation for most of our trips, only relying on parent drivers for the youngest students and for extended trips because so many parents work and have limited flexibility during the day. Our students are well versed in how to get around using public transportation and we often get compliments from other riders. The best part is seeing how much learning happens outside of the classroom and giving students an authentic reason to do work.  

How do field trips fit into the experiential learning that is so integral to the curriculum of Southwest Charter?  
We do make a distinction between field trips and field work. Field trips tend to be more geared towards enrichment and may be a one-time experience, like going to see a play at Northwest Children’s Theater or exploring the Portland Art Museum. Field work is about going to a place multiple times to collect data or perform a service or research.  Each classroom has a special place they have adopted and visit many times over the year to practice stewardship with Portland Parks and Recreation and Tryon Creek. We also connect with local organizations like Oregon Food Bank and Zenger Farms for service learning and many classrooms make monthly visits to the library for research. Visiting and making a connection to these places and people is a crucial element to our mission of place-based education. Students would not care as deeply about these places without spending time there and learning how to interact with integrity and curiosity.  

Is there anything you would like to tell Next Adventure about their sponsorship of Streetcar rides?
Next Adventure is a model of civic engagement and they are so supportive of not only our school but the health and wellbeing of all our citizens. By allowing all students to ride the streetcar for free, they are empowering them to develop deeper connections to this area. Thank you so much for all your support!!  

Could you share any specific anecdotes about your students taking Streetcar?  
One year, I had a group of students who were very aware of others and super compassionate. They would go out of their way to offer their seats to people. It was a badge of honor if they could give their seats up and after one trip to the library, one student ran up to me and shared, “We set a new record!” They had been keeping track of how many times they had done it and were so proud!  

Another favorite memory is when our trips happen to line up with other classes. Our 6th graders were coming back from the Northwest Children’s Theater last year and when our streetcar arrived, we ran into our 7th & 8th graders! All the kids happily compared their stories as we traveled back to school together. Impromptu community building!

 


Come join us for an all ages Scavenger Hunt, Saturday, June 17 from 11am – 3pm, presented by The Growler Guys - South Waterfront & Portland Streetcar. A fun event for friends and family!

Start at the South Waterfront Growler Guys and board the Portland Streetcar with your complimentary all-day pass. There will be clues

along the way. Just post to Instagram to receive your next clue. If you are unable to post to Instagram, not a problem!  Just let us know at the event and we'll help you get it done!

The ’Hunt’ goes from the Bond/Lane Streetcar stop up to Burnside and back to The Growler Guys. It starts at 11am and goes until 3pm.  Teams should plan on starting between 11am and 12:30pm to make sure you are back by 3pm to be entered into the drawing for some amazing prizes provided by participating businesses!  Each registered team will receive one 32 ounce growler provided by Growler Guys. It is not a race so enjoy your all-day pass on the Streetcar and feel free to tool around the city for a bit. 

To register for this event, go to https://goo.gl/forms/HCPReYVwgp1hLrmk2 . If you have any questions, email casey@thegrowlerguys.com. Or call The Growler Guys at 503-208-2523.

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What goes well with First Thursday? Free Portland Streetcar rides! Thanks to a generous sponsorship by Wave G, on the first Thursday of every month, from May through October, all rides on Portland Streetcar are free after 5 PM. Enjoy all the events of the evening without the headache of having to find parking.   

Now in its 30th year, First Thursday is a celebration across the Pearl that features something for everyone: art enthusiasts, people watchers, music lovers, foodies, wine enthusiasts. Art galleries are open late for free artist receptions, bands play in the streets, and happy hours are hopping, so make sure you join in the fun!

First Thursday Art Walk Map

Featured events this month

Information about Wave G

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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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Portland Streetcar is proud to partner with Next Adventure on an innovative sponsorship.  To help promote all of the ways to get around town for our school children, Next Adventure has sponsored all K-12 School Field Trips on Portland Streetcar.  This means that all the fares for the students, chaperones, and teachers have been paid for and they ride for free.  To get the word out, Next Adventure owners Deek Heykamp and Bryan Knudsen along with our Executive Director Dan Bower created a video.  The video is available on YouTube and on our Video Gallery.

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This summer has been full of celebrations.  Starting with our 15th Anniversary on July 20, the Streetcar Mobile Music Fest on July 23rd, the Art Contest and Open House on August 4th and now, on August 17, 2016 we have another thing to celebrate.  Since first opening in 2001, over 50,000,000 rides have been taken on Portland Streetcar!  We are so grateful to all of our riders and are looking forward to celebrating many more milestones to come!

Shown here is Dan Bower, Portland Streetcar Executive Director, with three of those 50 million Portland Streetcar riders!

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Do you love public transportation?  Ever wanted to have a say in what happens with Portland Streetcar?  Well now is your chance.  The Portland Streetcar Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) is recruiting new members to complete the 17 member committee.  The CAC has existed in one form or another since 1992 and has helped to shape the Portland Streetcar system.  Those interested are encouraged to read the bylaws of the CAC and then fill out an application form and submit it to info@portlandstreetcar.org.

After nearly a week of voting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as in person in our office, the votes have been tabulated and the winners of the "Inspired by Streetcar" Art Contest have been announced!  

Paint, Pen, Ink, & Other:  

1st Place goes to All Are Welcome by Chris Topper


2nd Place goes to Portland Streetcars by Lynne Leahy


Photography:  

1st Place goes to #pdxstreetcar #favseat by Kevin Cook


2nd Place goes to Loop A-round the Snow by Kelly Cari


Thank you to all who participated!  Thank you also to our prize sponsors Pro Photo Supply, Frame Central & Blick Art Materials.

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Join us on Sunday, August 14th at 10:30am for storytime on the NS LIne.  We will read Michelle Knudson's Library Lion.  The fun will continue with a tour and scavenger hunt at the Children's Library.  You can even get your first library card!  Each child will receive a goodie bag from Portland Streetcar and a copy of Library Lion, courtesy of Child's Play Toys.

Space is limited and reservations are required.  Reservation will include the above as well as a Streetcar fare for the parental unit.  Reservations can be made by calling (503) 222-4200 or emailing the Customer Service Office.


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Portland Streetcar invites you to join us during First Thursday in the Pearl District, August 4th from 4:00 - 7:00pm for an Open House with eats and drinks at our Customer Service Office located at 1031 NW 11th Ave.  The entries for the "Inspired by Streetcar" Art Contest will be on display throughout the office for the kickoff of the public voting with social media voting beginning on Friday.  We were blown away by the variety and quality of the contributions to the contest, thank you all!  And a big thank you to our prize sponsors, Pro Photo Supply, Blick Art Materials, and Frame Central for helping make the contest possible.

All attendees of the Open House will have the chance to enter to win 4 tickets to see The Lion King at the Keller Auditorium.

Remember, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Wave G you can ride free on Portland Streetcar every First Thursday after 5pm through October!


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