The subway system in New York, the El trains in Chicago, the BART system in California’s Bay area; these are all well-known and efficient public transportation systems. Lost in the shuffle is Portland’s own TriMet public transportation system consisting of MAX (Metropolitan Area Express) light rail trains, Portland Street Car, WES Commuter rails and buses.
The light rail runs all the way from downtown Hillsboro, to the Portland airport, and into parts of Gresham. For $5 a day, or $100 a month (each option offering unlimited travel), you can ride the rails and the busses to your heart’s content virtually anywhere in the city and not worry about the hassles of parking and the rising costs of gas.
The trains are top of line and quiet. There is ample seating and large windows which allow you to peer out on this wonderful city as it carries you through Beaverton, Orenco Station, Cedar Hills, past The Oregon Zoo, Goose Hollow, the Pearl, Downtown, past Cully, the Lloyd Center and into Gresham. There’s so much to look at, whether its mountains and forests or buildings and art (not to mention the variety of people that ride on this public transportation system), one of the best ways to get to know this city is via the light rail trains.
The buses are also well maintained. They’re well insulated so they keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter and, with buses and trains coming about every fifteen minutes during peak times, you won’t have to wait long for your ride.
Life gets busy. Sometimes it’s hard to take the time and appreciate what’s around you. That’s why I like to use TriMet. I always have a notebook with me for those times when the muse strikes and a book or two. A forty minute train ride where I don’t have to worry about the minutia of driving enables me to take a deep breath and relax after a long day at work so I can be the best for my family.
More than this, I’m helping the environment. By not driving my own private vehicle and sharing the ride with my fellow passengers, I’m reducing my carbon footprint and helping keep Oregon green and clean.
Thanks to MAX, I can get anywhere in this city regardless of weather and traffic conditions and can get there quickly and stress free.
This city may not be the size of New York, the Bay Area or Chicago, but, our public transit system leaves all these places in the dust.
By Justin Price