Coming to Portland from Southern Oregon was a big change for me and getting used to living in a metropolitan area was not easy. Driving downtown seemed difficult to even think of (although as months went by, it was just fine). Portland traffic, especially after work-shifts, gets a bit crowded. When I see no hope of getting to PSU driving or finding a parking place, I turn to a rescuer that Portland is known for: the Trimet public transportation system.
Created in 1968, Trimet provides commuter rail, light rail, streetcar and local buses in the Portland metropolitan area. Among these services there are four light rail lines, one commuter rail, one streetcar and 79 bus routes. What is not known about Trimet is that it carries more people than any other transit system its size in the States: Weekday boardings averaged over 300,000 trips.
What is great about Trimet’s MAX Light rail, however, especially for students like myself going from the city center to PSU, is the yellow Free Rail Zone. After school, I could take the Max and go pretty much any place I needed to go downtown and go back to Pioneer Square to get back home; all for free. Nevertheless, coming this September 1st, MAX Light Rail and Portland Streetcar service in downtown Portland and the Lloyd District will no longer be free. Moreover, most fares are going up.
How do PSU students, faculty and staff feel about these changes?