Getting Around Portland


No matter how you get around Portland, it helps to know the lay of the land. The city is divided by the Willamette River, which runs south-north, and Burnside Street, which runs east-west, into quadrants: southwest, northwest, southeast and northeast. A fifth region, North Portland, is bounded roughly by the Willamette and Columbia rivers and Williams Avenue.

You’ll also hear the terms “east side” and “west side” in reference to the halves of the city on either side of the Willamette River. The phrase “Central City” is often used to describe downtown, Old Town/Chinatown, the Pearl District, the central east side and the area around the Convention Center. 

Getting to the Oregon Convention Center couldn’t be easier. Its central location in the heart of downtown Portland’s Rose Quarter/Lloyd District affords numerous and speedy transportation options – whether traveling by car or taxi, riding the city’s airport-connected  MAX light rail, or often by simply strolling a short distance from your hotel.


MAX Light Rail

Portland’s award-winning light rail system is one of the best it the country. Nicknamed "MAX", this 38-mile network of rails extends both east and west from downtown Portland and the Oregon Convention Center. 
MAX light rail offers service from Portland International Airport to the heart of downtown Portland. MAX makes getting around town very easy.


Portland Streetcar began operations in 2001 as the first modern streetcar system in the country. This sleek line connects downtown Portland’s Cultural District to Portland State University, the art gallery-filled Pearl District and the Northwest/Nob Hill neighborhood, known for its outstanding restaurants and upscale shopping.

On Foot

Portland is a great city for walking. Many intersections are designed with pedestrians in mind, and Portland has a lot of street life. Good mass transit also makes walking more feasible in Portland.


TriMet – Publication Transportation Update


TriMet is eliminating their free light rail in the downtown area.  This, however, will not affect ASC’12 Conference attendees. The city of Portland will provide free passes for the entire public transportation system. Passes will be valid from October 7 – 13, 2012 and good all over town, not just the downtown area, and can even be used to get back to the airport. Each ASC’12 registered participant will find a pass in their registration packet.  

Additional information and fare prices can be found here:

For more information on public transportation options and schedules, visit