I was born and raised in Portland, and took the bus to and from school almost every day in high school. That is, until I got my drivers license and completely forgot about the valuable resource that is public transit.
I am interning at a newspaper whose offices are located in downtown Portland, a place where the parking is hard to find and very expensive. Not to mention the hyper-vigilant parking cops eager to ticket a well-meaning driver for exceeding their parking meter expiration time by five minutes.
Upon learning I would be working downtown, I was worried about the parking situation. So, I decided not to drive. I took a page from 15-year-old Claire’s book and took public transit. A new MAX Orange Line stop had recently been installed near my house, so I was kind of excited to check it out.
I’ve been at my internship for nearly three weeks now, and I’ve taken public transit or biked to work every day. Not only has it made my commute cheaper (parking can be up to $15 a day or more downtown), it has given me a sense of independence and confidence. I can get around the city easily without needing to worry about traffic or parking.
I would highly recommend trying out the many different public transit options available in Portland. The combination of the MAX, the streetcar, and Trimet buses make it possible to get pretty much anywhere. Plus, you get bonus time to check email, stay updated on Twitter, and even write a blog post. I’m on the MAX crossing the Tilikum bridge right now.