aerial tram

Tram opens ahead of schedule on Monday as Springwater closure begins

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 6th, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Good news for those of you who rely on the Portland Aerial Tram to get from the South Waterfront up to Marquam Hill: It will re-open on July 9th — that’s 21 days ahead of schedule.

The Tram announced the change of plans today:

“Members of the repair team worked 20 hours a day in two shifts, employed innovative repair techniques and also enjoyed the benefit of excellent weather. This combination of factors led to the scheduled track rope maintenance work being completed in 16 days instead of the originally scheduled five weeks.”

[Read more…]

The Tram is closed! How do I go by bike? (Day 3)

Avatar by on June 29th, 2018 at 10:20 am

Day 6 of the tram closure, and my third day of commuting to the hill without riding the tram. It’s a cool, overcast 60 degrees — perfect for a walk up the hill! OHSU and Go By Tram have provided walking maps for folks wanting to get up and down the hill by foot.

My first decision point (well, after deciding to walk up)! Do I take the stairs or the elevator?

The stairs. There are 132 steps to the Gibbs Street Pedestrian Overpass. This overpass connects South Waterfront to the Lair Hill Neighborhood, crossing over I-5.

There are plenty of wayfinding markings on the ground. Some look official, but others look more like more instruction was needed.

Walking through the Lair Hill neighborhood is wonderful! It would be even better if auto traffic wasn’t pushed through. There is lot of interesting artworks on display at the homes there, and wonderful gardens and plants. It’s interesting to see the view of the neighborhood on ground level rather than from above.

A tunnel!

More stairs.


Crossing Barbur Blvd. I wish this crossing had a call signal and flashing lights.

Once past Barbur I was on the last leg. This path goes through the houses at the base of(and on) Marquam Hill.

I’m glad it was a cool overcast morning, because that was a workout! Way more effort than riding the ebike yesterday! But other than crossing Barbur it was a peaceful and enjoyable walk. I actually have been using this route leaving the hill each day. It’s a good way to wind down, do a brain clear and prepare for the ride home.

So that’s it for this series. There are other ways (bus, shuttle, riding my own bike) to get up to work during the tram shutdown but I don’t feel the need to document them all. I hope you enjoyed reading about my commute. Please let me know if you have any questions and say hi if you see me riding (or walking) around!

The Tram is closed! How do I go by bike? (Day 2)

Avatar by on June 27th, 2018 at 12:31 pm

My first time using bike share and my first time on an e-bike. Wheeee!
(Photos: Armando Luna)

Today is day 5 of the Portland Aerial Tram shutdown, but for me it’s only the second day I’ve had to deal with getting up the hill without riding the tram. Monday I telecommuted, yesterday I rode one of the shuttles and today I am taking an e-bike. Today was actually my very first time using bike share and riding an ebike.

I chose the Jump bike because I had already downloaded the app and the Lime bikes just arrived yesterday and I don’t have the app yet. OHSU has partnered with these companies to let students and staff use the bikes to get to OHSU, so the usage area is confined to the South Waterfront and the OHSU campus.

After checking my bike in at the Go By Bike valet (Whitaker lot), I opened up the Sobi app and reserved a Jump bike. There were only two, so I got lucky. I as I was trying to remember my pin, my coworker Jennifer showed up and reserved the other bike. She used the Jump bike yesterday to ride up the hill, so I asked her if we could ride together. I loaded my bag and speaker into the Jump bike basket and we were on our way.

[Read more…]

Jump and Lime offering electric bike share during Aerial Tram closure

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 26th, 2018 at 5:31 pm

E-bikes from Jump and Lime ready to roll in South Waterfront this morning.
(Photo: Armando Luna)

Two private bike share companies have set up tiny pilot programs to help Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) cope with a five-week closure of the Aerial Tram.
[Read more…]

The tram is closed! How do I go by bike? (Day 1)

Avatar by on June 26th, 2018 at 11:52 am

As a weekday commuter to OHSU, I am admittedly excited for the tram to be out of service until July 30th. Why? Because I will have a chance to shake up my normal bike commuter from the Hollywood neighborhood to the tram. Most of the commute will be the same but once I cross the Tilikum bridge I will have a few options on getting to the hill.

What’s happening with the tram? The track ropes need to be shifted. This is scheduled about every 10 years. Here’s a video about the process and you can also learn more from Jonathan’s post last week.

Today I rode into the Whitaker lot. The is the lot nearest to the tram’s regular Go By Bike lot, which is where I usually park. Shuttles queue up here to take employees, patients and guests up to the hill. The wait this morning was short, but if you don’t want to stand in line and wait there’s a cornhole game set up to pass the time.

As I was parking my bike with Go By Bike, Lime Bike was unloading their ebikes for folks to use to ride up the hill from the South Waterfront. They are joining the Jump ebikes that have also been made available for people wanting some e-assistance in riding up the hill.

Since today was my first day, I decided to take one of the shuttles up. The shuttle I rode did not have a bike rack, but as I reach the Kohler Pavilion on the hill I saw that the shuttle behind me did, so I could have loaded my bike if I wanted to bring it with me.

Tomorrow I am planning on leaving my bike at the Schnitzer Lot and riding an ebike up to the OHSU Student Center, where one of the auxiliary bike valet locations is located.
As I reached the tram level of Kohler Pavilion, I got to see some of the rope workers out for a walk.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll try to answer them.

Five-week Aerial Tram closure starts tomorrow: Here’s what you need to know

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 22nd, 2018 at 9:52 am

Look for these signs to guide you through the bike detour.
(Photo: @madeyerish on Twitter)

If you are one of the 2,500 or so OHSU employees who bike to campus and use the Portland Aerial Tram to get that free lift up to Marquam Hill, remember that you’ll have to change your plans for the next five weeks.

As we shared last fall, a routine maintenance project will close the tram tomorrow through the end of next month (July 30th). The bad news is that people will have to figure out other ways to get up the hill — none of which will be as easy or convenient. But the good news is that the Portland Aerial Tram, OHSU and other agencies are pulling out all the stops to make sure things go as smoothly as possible during the closure.

The website has all the information you need to plan your trip by transit, biking, or walking. There’s even a frequent daily shuttle service they’ve set up just for the closure.

When it comes to biking, here’s what you need to know:[Read more…]

OHSU employees have logged one million days of biking to work

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 13th, 2018 at 11:32 am

Ample parking with valet service, rewards for riding, and a scenic trip on the Tram are just some of the motivations for OHSU staff to ride.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Five day closure of Aerial Tram starts February 14th

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 9th, 2018 at 11:41 am

The circuitous shuttle route will take 30 minutes. The tram route (lower middle, in grey) takes just four minutes.

A five day closure of the Tram starts next week. The closure of this crucial connection between the South Waterfront and OHSU will provide an interesting preview of how users will handle the 38-day shutdown coming up this June.[Read more…]

The Aerial Tram will close for 38 days next summer

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 17th, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Go By Bike shop in South Waterfront-9

The Tram reflected in an OHSU building as seen from the Go By Bike valet lot.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

I know it’s eight months away, but I thought you might want to start saving up for an e-bike…

The Portland Aerial Tram will close for track maintenance from June 23rd through July 30th, 2018. That’s 38 days where you’ll have to find a different way up the hill. If you need or want to bike up to Marquam Hill for the campus and facilities of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), your ride will go from 180 seconds to about 30 minutes. Or maybe not (keep reading).

The Tram is a crucial link between South Waterfront and Marquam Hill for 7,000 daily commuters. OHSU data shows that of the 10,000 employees who work on the hill, about one-fourth of those who take the tram use a bike to get to campus. The Go By Bike valet at the base of the Tram averages over 328 bikes in its parking lot every day.

If a bunch of people decide to hop in a car during the closure this summer, it could be a mess. Not only are the roads leading to Marquam Hill relatively narrow, parking is extremely limited (Metro has reported an eight-year waiting list and an average monthly fee of $128) and spots must be maintained for patients and their visitors. Hopefully a large percentage of people will continue to bike. But it won’t be easy…
[Read more…]

The Portland Aerial Tram’s impact on bicycling has been profound (and vice versa)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 27th, 2017 at 11:53 am

(Photo: PBOT)

All eyes will be on the Portland Aerial Tram as the beloved transit mode turns 10 years old this weekend. While the Tram deserves all the attention, a big part of its coming-of-age story is the symbiotic relationship it has had with cycling.
[Read more…]