Getting to Campus: Transportation To and From PSU

It’s a common question we get: how do you get to campus? The answer varies depending on who you ask, and options vary. Some folks take the bus or light rail, some bike or walk, and some drive or carpool. No matter your situation, you’ll be able to find a method that fits your schedule and budget!

Portland is a great city for public transportation, and we’re lucky to have a network of buses, lightrail, and streetcars that cross the city and surrounding suburbs. If you live close to a bus or MAX line, odds are you’ll be able to get to downtown without even a transfer. Transit lines run through the city center, and PSU has stops serving dozens of lines right on campus. The MAX Green and Orange/Yellow lines both have two stops on campus while the Streetcar literally runs through campus in the Urban Plaza. Over half of students and staff use public transit to get to campus every day!

Streetcar going through the Urban Plaza

PSU offers an easy tool to help you plan your ride here. Of course, finding your route on public transportation is often as easy as opening Google Maps. Even better, as a student at PSU, you’re eligible for reduced fare on all TriMet rides! The Viking Pass is a subsidized transit pass for students. An even lower-cost option, for those who qualify, is TriMet’s Honored Citizen pass, which provides a 50% discount on all Max and bus rides. The Portland Streetcar, which runs right through campus, is FREE for all students – just make sure you have your PSU student ID with you.

Students wait for the bus in the evening

Another great option is biking to campus. Portland has been named a “platinum” bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists – its highest rating. Portland is also continually listed in the top three bicycle-friendly cities in the US. Many Portlanders commute to work or school by bike, using the nearly 400 miles of bikeways to get where they need to go. If you receive federal aid, SNAP benefits, or meet other income requirements, you can access Biketown, Portland’s all-electric bike sharing system, for FREE. Even if you don’t qualify for free access, you are still eligible for $20 a month in credits! PSU’s Bike Hub has a host of incredible resources available to students and staff: free self-service repairs, guided repair instruction, free workshops and seminars, and discounts on parts and merchandise. They have bicycle rentals available – the VikeBike program – for only $45 per term, which includes lights, a lock, a helmet, and indoor bike garage parking. Bicycle parking is available for all students and staff who wish to bike to campus, both indoor and outdoor.

Students in the PSU Bike Hub

For those needing to commute short distances and don’t wish to bike or walk, Spin electric scooters have partnered with PSU to offer free scooter rentals. Spin Access riders in Portland will receive five 30-minute rides per day, for free, if they are at least 18 years of age and enrolled in a state or federal benefits program.

Woman riding a scooter

Of course, some students choose to drive. There are several parking structures on campus, and students can purchase permits for the term or the entire year. Students are encouraged to buy permits early, as they can sell out. The parking structures also have hourly or daily rates. For resident and overnight parking, permits are available for the entire year, but restrictions apply. On-street metered parking is also available, but it is often limited to short periods of time and can be hard to find. Living on campus or off, in downtown Portland or a suburb, you’ll be sure to find your way to campus. Explore your options, find what works, and sit back and enjoy the ride!

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