Portland has a diverse set of transportation options.
Most well known as a bike city, Portland also offers great public transportation via buses, vans, streetcars, light rail, and an Aerial Tram. Downtown blocks are only 200 ft long creating pleasant walking conditions. The grid street pattern eases navigation within the city for all transportation options.
Portland has a history of transportation innovations:
- PDX ran the first electric interurban line. Opening in February 1893, it went to Oregon City and back
- Oregon instituted the country's first gasoline tax in 1919, to fund highways
- Nearby Columbia Gorge saw the nation's first designated scenic highway
- PDX was first major city to remove an existing freeway (Harbor Freeway, 1972)
- PDX was first major city to decline a new interstate (Mount Hood Highway, 1973)
- First to re-institute modern streetcar service after World War II, 2001
- Portland built the first public charging station for electric vehicles on the continent, August 2010
- PDX ranks number 1 in the nation for urban transit as of 2011
- Oregon may become the first state to institute a per-mileage highway tax, as opposed to a per-gallon gasoline tax, to account for electric vehicles
Despite Portland's many transportation options, the region's transportation infrastructure--like virtually every metropolitan region in the United States--lags far behind the transportation options available throughout Europe and Asia.