TriMet or Amtrak: How To Take a Train to PDX or From the Terminal Easily

Last Updated on December 11, 2022 by Snezana Grcak

Traveling by public transport to or from Portland Airport—or any other major one—can be a hassle, but Shuttle Fare is here to take the stress out of the process. Discover how to take a train to PDX, where to find TriMet at the airport, and how to get from PDX to the closest Amtrak Station. You’ll also find hours of operation, MAX Red Line fares, and the best alternatives to rail. Use all the helpful info, links, and tips to make a perfect trip plan and save both time and money.

Where Is PDX Train Station?

TriMet’s MAX Light Rail is south of the ticket lobby on the airport’s main level, right past Starbucks. The station and all ticket machines are on the lower level near the baggage claim area. That’s where you can hop on the MAX Red Line trains running towards the city.

All About TriMet’s MAX Red Line

MAX Red Line runs between Portland International Airport and Beaverton, making several downtown stops. It’s ideal if you’re headed to the city center, (north)east Portland, or Beaverton. See the system map here to discover all the stations en route.

The first Red Line train arrives at the airport at 4:43 AM, while the last departs terminals at around 12:30 AM. The trains run approximately every 15 minutes, so chances are you can quickly hop on one whenever you arrive at PDX.

The Portland Airport train ride to the downtown area takes less than 40 minutes, and the single-ride fare is $2.50. You may also get a Day Pass for only $5.00. Click here to learn more about prices and ways to pay.

How To Get From PDX to Portland Amtrak Station

Amtrak Cascades’ trains run from Eugene, OR, to Vancouver, BC, and are popular among people traveling from Portland to Seattle. 

Although you can’t take an Amtrak train to Portland Airport, there’s a cheap and smooth way to travel between the terminals and the Union Station:

  1. Take the Red Line at PDX.
  2. Hop off at Old Town/Chinatown MAX Station.
  3. Take a 10-minute walk to the Portland Union Station.

Note: The station’s waiting room is open from 5:30 AM to 10 PM, and you can purchase tickets on-site or online.

Other Portland Airport Transfers

If the rail routes don’t fit your travel plans, you have a few alternatives. Depending on your needs and budget, consider using one of the following.

  • Airport shuttles are a middle ground between public transit and private transfers; they are reasonably priced and sufficiently fast. Groome Transportation is one of the most popular companies.
  • Rideshare is arguably the most popular service for quick rides to and from PDX. Unlike shuttles, Uber and Lyft have variable pricing, so we suggest using their calculators to check the approximate fare before booking.
  • Private car services are pricey but the most convenient. If you don’t mind spending extra bucks, we highly recommend it.

Tip: If you’re searching for a ride to your hotel, call them first to see if they operate free airport transfers. Alternatively, click here to find a list of all nearby hotels with courtesy shuttles.

Use Our Help To Travel Nationwide

Our editorial practices and in-depth research make us an expert in the transportation field, and we also provide info about other airports. So, aside from taking a train to PDX, you can learn more about using rail at the following airports.

Plus, you can use our booking form to find reliable airport shuttles countrywide!