When #38 is not running, or as an alternative to #38:
43 NOTES: 43 is a slow route. Which combination works best or beats the #43 depends on the time of day and conditions. Line #43 operates on the northern boundary of Collins View, so you have to get to it first somehow... like by walking for many minutes. It turns around at the south end of downtown, so look at its route map - you may need to walk or combine with other transit.
39 NOTES: #39 on the other hand, goes along the length of Terwilliger... so many people can come out of the neighborhood to catch it.
Good News: Once downtown, you can go just about anywhere. (See Lake Oswego below)
Just use Trimet Trip Planner (link below) for Pioneer Courthouse Square to PDX, and enter the time you want to arrive at PDX. Allow time to drive downtown of course. The MAXes do actually run as per schedule. They have to keep them moving, and they control their own right of way for much of their line.
Just head for the MAX station at PDX from the south end of the baggage claim area. You can buy a ticket (notes below) just before going outside, also outside before the platform. The ride into town is about 40 minutes. You may have to wait 10 minutes before MAX leaves, so make your call to home once the train is moving.
Have your family or a friend pick you up at Pioneer Square. There is a pull-out on Broadway adjacent to the Square (opposite Nordstrom). Broadway is ONE WAY going South. (The Auto-Driver could take I-5 to I-405 to Salmon Street exit).
Getting home, alone. Ask someone you know who rides transit for tips -- Facts like a) where to get on #38 or #12, b) the last #38 out of town is at 6:30 pm, c) the last #12 leaves at 12:32 am. If the weather is bad, have someone pick you up at BARBUR SHOPS or Fred Meyer.
Anyway... #38 turns onto Kruse Way from Boones Ferry at the northern edge of Lake Grove. Lake Oswego proper is served by #35 and #36. From collins View, it's possible (but not practical?) to take #43 down Taylor's Ferry to Macadam, and then catch a #35 or #36 heading to LO.
In the past, I could meet my family after work for dinner just about anywhere in the region without using a car, by using the Trip Planner.
Every busstop in the TriMet system has a Stop ID. You can find them at shelters and on signposts. For example, '929' is the stop in Hillsdale behind Wilson High School on the school's side of the street. Buses that pass that stop are either going downtown, or to OHSU, or to Lewis & Clark College.
When you use the web interface, you can simply choose a bus or max line, then choose a stop by cross-street location rather than Stop ID. Once the page comes up, the Stop ID and arrival time is displayed. You can bookmark that page for future reference, and/or note the Stop ID for use with your cell phone.
Commuters can use Transit Tracker at home in the morning via the TriMet website to gauge how soon they need to leave the house. Likewise from an office computer, one can see how much time there is to catch that homeward bus.. rush or stroll?
When you are away from a computer, you can call it from you cell phone, or access a miniature version of the web site on your mobile device. From the TriMet site:
More recently, many apps such as PDX Bus are available for iPhone and Android smart phones. The apps vary in what they provide - arrival times, trip planning, countdown alarms, etc. Trimet has a whole page of them on their website.
FARES: Trimet Adult fare is $2.50 for 2½ hours no matter where you ride (no more 'zones'). A $5 All Day 'ticket' lets you ride till the end of service for that day (after midnight). An All-Day ticket is not a 24-hour ticket - it's only good for the day it is purchased. School Kids and Honored Citizens have nicely reduced fares.
Hop card lets you not worry about 2.5 hour vs All-Day tickets. Hop also works for the Portland Streetcar and some of Vancouver's C-TRAN services.
CASH: You can always pay your fare with cash when boarding a bus, but to ride MAX you must have paid your fare before boarding. In addition, some MAX stations are 'secure' -- you must have paid before entering the station's platform. In general, using cash is a hassle. (Other riders will not be happy waiting while you feed five crinkled dollar bills into the fare box, or dig for change.)
Hop Card: Obtain a Hop card from Trimet Ticket Office or or at dozens of other locations.
This is convenient, because you don't have to know ahead of time whether you need to use a 2.5 hour ticket or an all day ticket. If your taps are within the 2.5 hour window, that's all you pay. If a tap is made more than 2.5 hours after your initial tap, the fare for the day is upgraded to a day fare. Same goes for the total amount you might pay in a given month. Here is one way of thinking about it, from Hop's website:
Earn Passes and Save as You Ride
With Hop, instead of buying passes in advance, you earn them as you go. Pay for two trips in one day with your Hop card or credit card and you'll earn a day pass (ride free the rest of the day). Once you reach the cost of a month pass, you can ride free for the rest of the month (when you pay with your Hop card or virtual Hop card).
The 'earn' notion is probably based on earning tokens in video games, and unlocking achievements to go to the next level.
This rider thinks: With HOP, I move the card out of my billfold (which I always have with me) to a pocket any time prior to boarding and simply tap HOP on boarding, and I am set. If I board my last trip of the day (ie Home) within 2.5 hours, that's all that is 'paid'.
Honored Citizen Hop Card: For ages 65+, people on Medicare, and people with a disability. You'll need to get a Photo Hop card at Trimet office in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Learn more at Trimet's Honored Citizen Page.
Fare Inspectors: Keep your validated ticket as proof of paying fare. Show to uniformed inspector if asked. (Digital Hop Card be shown on your smart phone. Your HOP Card can be scanned by an inspector, evidently.)
Fareless Square. It was discontinued!
You can ride the Portland Street Car with your valid trimet fare. Or you can ride only the Streetcar using their fare system.
$4 for a two-way ride. An annual or monthly TriMet or Streetcar pass will get you on for free. All others (eg tourist, thrill seekers) must pay to help pay for the operation of the Tram. May be free on Friday nights. Info is current on the Portland Tram page, link below.
Trimet Portal Prototype.
This Portal was created in April 2007, and updated Feb 2011. The goal is to have a map or diagram with clickable hotspots on it instead of little tables. (Actually, it could show the next arrival times for each, without clicking.)