To begin, if you have never taken public transportation, it is not that bad. Trust me on this one. Coming into this program I had almost no experience taking public transportation and I was very against the idea of having to do so. Looking back now I honestly do not know why I was worried about it. In fact, I have come to prefer it over having to drive myself.
If you have never taken public transportation do not be intimidated about figuring it out. Again, trust me. If I can figure it out, so can you. The transportation system in Portland is called the TriMet. In the last few years they have made it extremely easy to use, especially on the digital/mobile side. You can go to their website, type in your current address or click “use current location,” and then type in where you want to go and it will give you step by step directions on exactly what to do. TriMet also has a great app you can download that allows you to buy your bus pass on your phone so you can just whip out your phone, show it to the bus driver and you are good-to-go.
Let’s talk about money. Unless the company you’re interning for has free parking do not even consider driving in every day. The cheapest monthly parking I could find was $200. That’s $600 spent solely on parking your car during the PDXSX. That $600 could be spent on happy hour and exploring the city with your cohort.
You also have to think about gas consumption, and there’s another cost to add to the budget. You may also be worried about being exposed to some tricky people when taking public transportation. In my experience it has never been that bad.
Typically, when you will be coming into the city and leaving it, the majority of the people will be business men and women just like you. Lastly, by taking public transportation you are lowering emission rates and fossil fuel consumption. Congratulations, you are now helping save the planet.
– Adam Hegstrom