At the heart of Portland’s world-class public transportation system is MAX light rail, with 97 stations and 60 miles of track connecting the city, airport and region.
MAX has five lines, all of which run through downtown:
- Blue Line (Hillsboro/City Center/Gresham)
- Green Line (Clackamas/City Center)
- Red Line (Airport/City Center/Beaverton)
- Yellow Line (Expo Center/City Center)
- Orange Line (Milwaukie/City Center)
MAX trains run about every 15 minutes most of the day, every day. Service is less frequent in the early morning, midday and evening.
Opened on Sept. 12, 2015, the MAX Orange Line connects downtown Portland to the Central Eastside, Sellwood and Milwaukie, a suburb to the southeast. The Orange Line uses Tilikum Crossing, Portland’s first new span since 1973 and the nation’s longest bridge dedicated solely to transit, bicycles and pedestrians.
How to ride MAX
- You must have a validated ticket, bus transfer receipt or pass before boarding MAX (unless you’re using a Hop Fastpass, which can be tapped after boarding). Ticket machines and validators are located at the station. There are no fare boxes onboard MAX.
Before boarding, buy your ticket from a ticket machine or with the mobile ticketing app or tap your Hop Fastpass on a designated card reader — or validate your previously purchased ticket in the validator located near the ticket machine. A validated ticket is your proof of payment, good for two hours on MAX, buses and the Portland Streetcar. (Full-day tickets are also available.) Keep your ticket until you have completed your trip. Note: MAX ticket machines return change in coins, so small bills are recommended. If you have a TriMet pass or bus transfer receipt, just board MAX and have a seat. (Check the expiration time at the top of your transfer; you may board until that time.) You can also pay with cash or purchase adult fares using your mobile phone’s wallet function.
- To pay your fare, you can also use Hop Fastpass, an electronic-fare payment system launched by TriMet in 2017. Hop cards can be purchased for $3 at TriMet’s ticket office and at local retailers and grocery stores, and reloaded using the platform’s mobile app or at local stores. To use a Hop Fastpass, tap the card on a designated card reader each time you board the MAX light rail, streetcar or bus. You can also pay with cash or purchase adult fares using your mobile phone’s wallet function (Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay).
- Signs at the station indicate where to wait and when the next train is due. Signs on the front of each train identify the line (Blue, Green, Red or Yellow) and destination.
- MAX stops at every station, so you don’t need to signal the operator to get on or off. The station name is announced before each stop and appears on a reader board overhead.
Where to go on MAX
In addition to all of downtown and the Old Town Chinatown district, you can ride MAX to the following attractions:
- Washington Park (Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum, World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, Hoyt Arboretum) – Red and Blue lines
- Moda Center (NBA arena and concert venue) – Blue, Green, Red and Yellow lines
- Union Station (Amtrak) – Green and Yellow lines
- Portland International Airport (PDX) – Red line
- Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) – Orange line
- Cascade Station (hotels and shopping, IKEA) – Red line
- Providence Park (Timbers and Thorns soccer) – Blue and Red lines
- Oregon Convention Center – Blue, Green and Red lines
- Portland Expo Center – Yellow Line
- Portland State University (PSU) – Green and Yellow lines
- Lloyd Center (shopping center) – Blue, Green and Red lines
- Clackamas Town Center (shopping center) – Green Line