The Portland Aerial Tram has become a fixture in Portland’s landscape. It’s hard to imagine what Portland’s skyline -- let alone commuting to and from OHSU and Portland’s South Waterfront -- was like 10 years ago. For five weeks this summer, we will relive those days while the tram is closed June 23 – July 30 for mandatory maintenance. If you rely on the tram to get to and from OHSU’s Marquam Hill Campus, please see commute recommendations below.
Tram Alternative Commuting Options
Although the Streetcar’s NS line will not be affected during the Tram’s five-week closure, people who take the NS line to get to the tram’s lower station will need to find an alternative. Consider these options:
Public Transit: Commute to the bus mall in downtown Portland and take TriMet’s No. 8 to/from Marquam Hill.
Walking: South Waterfront to Marquam Hill is walkable for the intrepid hiker. Plan for an elevation gain of 300 feet in 1.2 miles. You'll cross busy intersections and the trail to Terwilliger is a short, steep climb of padded dirt.
Public voting for the Portland Streetcar Mobile Music T-Shirt Design Contest is open through midnight on Friday, June 15, 2018 via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The two finalists are posted in a separate post on each site. Each “like” of Portland Streetcar's post of an entry counts as a vote. Likes will be combined with the votes cast in the Streetcar Customer Service Office to determine the final winner.
The Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, and will affect the Portland Streetcar system into the early afternoon. For the parade route, click here.
The A and B Loops will not operate until the parade has cleared, likely in the early afternoon. The NS Line will operate, but the parade route will cross the line on SW Washington at SW 10th and 11th Avenues. Expect delays as crowds arrive in the morning and streetcars move across the parade route.
The 9th Annual Portland Streetcar Mobile Music Fest will be held on Sunday, July 22nd.
Beginning at 1:00pm, every A Loop Streetcar beginning at the Portland State University Plaza will have live music from local artists on board. For the price of your Streetcar fare you can enjoy performances from returning favorites and new acts.
This year we are calling on local artists in the community for assistance with our first ever Mobile Music Fest T-Shirt Contest! Submit your entry for a chance to have your design chosen as the official t-shirt for the 2018 Portland Streetcar Mobile Music Fest.
Below are the rules and guidelines:
1. All submissions must be received by June 6th at 5pm.
2. A hard copy of each entry should submitted to the Portland Streetcar Customer Service Office at 1031 NW 11th Avenue. A jpg of the artwork should also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org for posting and online voting.
3. Entries will be available for viewing/voting during the First Thursday event at the Portland Streetcar Customer Service Office on June 7th.
3. By submitting an entry, contestants agree to allow Portland Streetcar to have intellectual property rights over the image and to adjust the submission in any way necessary for screen-printing.
4. We will only accept digital entries in three colors. We prefer final art to be vectored, color separated and in either .ai or .eps formats with PMS colors defined and noted for accuracy.
5. Each artist must acknowledge that each entry design is: (a) wholly original; (b) does not incorporate or include any material that would require the consent of any third party; and (c) does not violate any copyright, trademark, publicity right, privacy right, or any other right of any third party.
4. Please use adequate judgment in your designs. Any submissions deemed to have inappropriate material will be removed from the contest.
5. All submissions deemed appropriate will be on display and available for the public to vote on from June 7 – June 15. The final decision on design will be made by Portland Streetcar, Inc.
The winning artist will receive two tickets to a production in the Armory's 2018/2019 season and a $100 gift certificate to Paragon Restaurant.
The Streetcar Mobile Music Fest is an annual event that brings local musicians live on the Streetcar. For the price of a regular Streetcar fare, riders can enjoy some of Portland's most exciting artists performing while traversing the central city. This year's fest will be Sunday, July 22, in conjunction with the Green Loop Sunday Parkways.
The Portland Streetcar averaged 16,650 weekday riders in April, setting a record for the city’s 17-year-old system. The high watermark for Portland Streetcar represents a contrast to declining transit ridership in most major cities across the country. Cities that are seeing ridership increase, like Seattle and Houston, are investing in their transit networks by improving service, redesigning networks, and implementing new technology.
“The Streetcar’s success in moving people through and around the central city is clearer than ever,” said Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “With ridership growing, the Streetcar remains an important tool to fight congestion in our growing city.”
The Streetcar averaged on-time performance of 84 percent in April. The Portland City Council recently approved the purchase of two new cars to add frequency and reliability to the system. Those cars are being built by Brookville Equipment Corporation and are expected to enter service in 2020. In 2017, Portland Streetcar also partnered with Tri-Met and C-TRAN to launch Hop Fastpass, an electronic fare payment system that allows riders to pay with contactless cards or mobile devices.
The previous highest average weekday ridership was 16,351 in February 2017. The Portland Streetcar has provided more than 56 million rides since opening in 2001 and now serves 4.7 million riders per year. Overall ridership increased 10 percent in 2017, with nearly the entire increase occurring on the east side.
Daily ridership averages by line:
NS Line: 9,226
A/B Loop: 7,424
When the Portland Streetcar began service in 2001, it was the first of the country’s modern streetcar systems. Over the past 15 years, more than 10 American cities have followed suit and built their own streetcars, with new systems about to open in El Paso, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, and Tempe. Portland Streetcar’s daily ridership is expected to grow to 20,000 riders by 2025.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
All three Portland Streetcar lines will operate new schedules beginning Sunday, September 3, 2017. NS Line riders will see increased frequency during the morning commute on weekdays as that line will be up to the full 15-minute frequency by 6:30am. Adjustments will also help increase the reliability of the B Loop during the PM Peak.
Check out the schedules below. All schedule pages reflect the new schedules.
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.
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!
For the first time ever, Portland Streetcar weekday ridership surpassed 16,000 daily riders. February 2017 saw a record 16,351 average daily riders, a nearly 10% increase over the same month last year.
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.