In Portland, it’s quite easy to get around by public transportation, as well as to navigate by car. The city is divided into quadrants. North/South, it’s divided by Burnside Street, and East/West, it’s divided by the Willamette River. There are nine bridges in Portland that span the Willamette, including a new bridge for pedestrians, bicycles and public transportation that’s slated to be completed in 2015.
The public transportation system in Portland is a safe and easy way to travel across the city. The buses, MAX light rail and streetcar are all run by TriMet (trimet.org), with interchangeable tickets. The MAX red line takes you from the airport to the heart of the city. Two streetcar lines cover a significant portion of inner Portland.
The airport is the easiest place to pick up a rental car, although a few rental agencies are scattered throughout the city.
If you get a monthly membership before you arrive in the city, you can use Zipcars (zipcar.com) that are parked around town, renting them by the hour.
Bring your bicycle or rent one at the many bike rental places in the city. Portland is an extremely bike-friendly town. It’s said to have a higher percentage of bicycle commuters than any other major city in the country.
There are several taxi companies in Portland. While it’s possible to hail a cab in the downtown area, in other regions of the city, you’ll need to call for a pickup.
The tram isn’t exactly a way to get around but it’s technically transportation and it’s a great way to enjoy a sky-high view of the city. The Portland Aerial Tram (gobytram.com) runs from South Waterfront up the hill to Oregon Health & Science University. The upper terminal links to the 4T Trail (4t-trail.org), a self-guided tour that takes you in a circle of the city by trail, tram, trolley (streetcar) and train (MAX).