Portland’s public transportation is collectively known as TriMet. Trimet consists of multiple modes of transportation, including the Max Light Rail, the bus, the streetcar, and the WES Commuter Rail. It is possible to ride all these different forms of transportation with the purchase of a single ticket!
The only decision you have to make is if you would like a 2-1/2 hour ticket or an all-day ticket (good until 3 a.m.). The cost for a 2-1/2 hour ticket is $2.50, and an all-day ticket is $5.00. However, if you purchase your 2-1/2 hour ticket electronically and end up using it again past the allotted time, you will be automatically upgraded to an all-day pass. You will never be charged more than $5 per day if the ticket is purchased by virtual payment or by a contactless debit/credit card.
There are multiple ways to purchase a ticket for TriMet. The most basic way is to purchase a single-use paper ticket. This can be purchased from a ticket machine located at the MAX or streetcar stop. These machines will accept credit cards or cash for payment. You can also purchase a paper ticket from the bus driver when boarding a TriMet bus. Please note that when purchasing a ticket from a bus driver with cash, you will need exact change. All stations will have a ticket reader to validate your fare before boarding the train or streetcar. You just need to tap your ticket on the screen.
Trimet uses the Hop system for payment. A reloadable plastic card is available for purchase from local grocery stores and markets. The initial fee is $3, and the minimum load is $5. This method of payment is not recommended for short-time visitors, as there are less complicated ways to purchase a ticket.
A much easier way to purchase a ticket is to download the Hop app, and add a virtual Hop Card. You can add money to your account and purchase a ticket from your phone. There are additional fees associated with this purchase. The virtual ticket should be tapped before boarding.
An even easier way to pay is using your mobile wallet. In this case, all you have to do is choose the payment card you want to use and tap your phone on the green Hop reader. You will initially be charged $2.50 for the 2-1/2 hour ticket and then automatically be upgraded to a day pass if you tap again after the 2-1/2 hour window. Subsequent taps will not incur additional charges. Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay are all accepted forms of payment.
You can also use a contactless credit/debit card to purchase a ticket. Just tap your card on the Hop reader before boarding. Again, you will automatically be upgraded to a full-day ticket if you tap again past the allotted time.
Portland has a great transportation system known for its low cost and ease of use. It is also bicycle friendly, and has great planning tools on its website for finding your way around the city. The buses are trackable online, and the system is fairly dependable. The Max Red Line train will also get you to and from the airport for just $2.50 each way! Trimet also offers discounts for children under 18 and seniors over 65 (whom they refer to as Honored Citizens). We love to encourage visitors to take the public transportation. If you need more information, you can access the Trimet website at trimet.org