Portland International Airport station
|MAX Light Rail station|
The platform of Portland International Airport station, seen from the terminal entrance in 2011
|Location||7000 Northeast Airport Way|
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
|Platforms||1 island platform|
|Parking||Paid parking nearby|
|Opened||September 10, 2001|
|Passengers||2,461 weekday boardings (Fall 2018)|
Portland International Airport is a light rail station in Portland, Oregon, United States, that is served by TriMet's MAX Light Rail system. It serves Portland International Airport as the eastern terminus of the Red Line, which connects travelers to Portland City Center and Beaverton. Located near the southern end of the arrivals hall of the airport's main passenger terminal, the station consists of one wedge-shaped island platform with both tracks joining just beyond, as the section approaching the terminal is single-tracked. It recorded an average of 2,461 weekday boardings in fall 2018.
Portland International Airport station was built as part of the Airport MAX project, which extended light rail service to the airport with the construction of a four-station, 5.5-mile (8.9 km) branch line off of the Eastside MAX segment near Gateway/Northeast 99th Avenue Transit Center. Construction of the station began in July 2000 and it opened on September 10, 2001. Trains serve the station for 22 hours daily with minimum headways of fifteen minutes during most of the day. TriMet offers 24-hour service to the airport with a supplementary night bus route to Southeast Portland that runs when the light rail line is not operating.
TriMet had served Portland International Airport with bus routes beginning in 1970, including the 12–Sandy Boulevard since 1986, prior to the first formal proposals for an airport light rail line from Metro planners in 1987. These early plans envisioned the line to run up from Clackamas to the airport via Interstate 205 utilizing right-of-way provided by the I-205 Transitway, which had been built in 1982 to accommodate mass transit. In 1991, the Port of Portland adopted a multi-phased, $300 million airport expansion plan in an effort to address expected passenger traffic growth through 2010. The project raised the capacity of the main terminal and its concourses over a 20-year period and provisioned for a future light rail station near the arrivals hall. By 1994, travelers using the airport had risen by 34 percent within four years, far exceeding the Port's expectations. Port officials, struggling to meet the surge in demand, moved to accelerate airport light rail plans not anticipated until the late 2000s as TriMet aimed to complete the Westside MAX and the South–North Line beforehand.
In 1996, construction firm Bechtel approached the Port with an unsolicited proposal to build the airport line. After several negotiations between Bechtel, the Port, and local jurisdictions, Bechtel was granted the design–build contract for the extension in exchange for development rights to the 120-acre (48.6 ha) Portland International Center, then Portland's largest commercially-zoned property, which was later renamed Cascade Station. The Port projected the airport terminal station to cost $8.4 million and allocated a $3 ticket fee to fund its construction. Delta Airlines, Reno Air, and United Airlines protested the use of ticket fees, but the Federal Aviation Administration gave its approval in May 1999. Construction of the line commenced in June 1999. Hoffman Construction began building the station's platform in July 2000, and by August, Stacy and Witbeck crews had started to lay 3,000 feet (914.4 m) of rail along the segment closest to the terminal.
The station opened along with the entire Airport MAX extension, which introduced Red Line service between downtown Portland and the airport, on September 10, 2001. Celebrations planned for the following weekend were canceled following the September 11 attacks, and the airport itself was closed for three days. Initially served by single-car trains, TriMet deployed two-car consists on the line after recording 3,800 riders over Thanksgiving weekend in November 2001. In 2006, Portland International Airport station handled more than one million passengers for the first time in a single year.
|Westbound||← Red Line toward Beaverton Transit Center (Mount Hood Avenue)|
|Island platform, doors will open on the left or right|
|Westbound||← Red Line toward Beaverton Transit Center (Mount Hood Avenue)|
Portland International Airport station's platform is situated outdoors on the lower level of the airport's main passenger terminal, near the southernmost entrance and within 150 feet (45.7 m) of the baggage claim area. It consists of one wedge-shaped, at-grade island platform and a glass canopy designed by ZGF Architects, the firm that also designed the airport terminal's main entrance canopy. The 80-seat station lobby, located just inside the terminal, features ticket vending machines and real-time displays showing train departure times. The station occupies the end of one of only two single-track sections on the MAX system; the other is located just west and north of Gateway/Northeast 99th Avenue Transit Center.
Pieces of public artwork commissioned for the Airport MAX project had a common theme of "flight". The station houses one art installation as part of TriMet's Public Art Program, which is funded at 1.5 percent of a project's total cost. Time Flies by Christine Bourdette is a large, porcelain enamel mural displayed on the wall between the station platform and the baggage claim area. The work is described as "[featuring] a sequence of images related to time and motion." Additionally, Bourdette installed bronze rails that lead passengers from the escalators to the platform, and blue chevrons on the platform pavement to depict movement.
Portland International Airport station is served by TriMet's MAX Red Line, which connects the airport to Northeast Portland, Portland City Center, and central Beaverton. In fall 2018, the station recorded an average of 2,461 boardings on weekdays. The first train arrives from Beaverton Transit Center at 4:40 am and departs from the station at 4:56 am. The last westbound train departs at 12:26 am, while the final three trips travel eastbound to Ruby Junction/East 197th Avenue station as through services of the Blue Line, the last of which departs at 1:41 am. Headway between trains varies from as short as fifteen minutes for most of the day to 30 minutes during the early mornings and late evenings, and service operates on all days of the week and is the most frequent on weekdays. Trains from the station take approximately 40 minutes to reach Pioneer Square in downtown Portland, where transfers to all lines are available, and approximately 65 minutes to reach the other end of the line at Beaverton Transit Center.
From 1:53 am to 3:53 am, TriMet operates the 272–PDX Night Bus during hours when the Red Line is not operating to provide 24-hour service to the airport. The bus departs from the airport arrivals platform near the station once per hour and travels to Southeast Washington & 80th in Southeast Portland, running along much of Southeast 82nd Avenue. Riders continuing to downtown Portland may transfer to bus route 20–Burnside/Stark, which also runs on a 24-hour schedule.
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- "Public Art". TriMet. Archived from the original on September 7, 2018. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
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- "Permanent Art – PDX Art". Port of Portland. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
- "Frequent Service". TriMet. Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
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- "272–PDX Night Bus To Washington & 80th via 82nd & Burnside • Weekday". TriMet. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
- "272–PDX Night Bus". TriMet. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
- "20–Burnside/Stark". TriMet. Archived from the original on January 13, 2019. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
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