(Nov. 24, 2020) The Portland Aerial Tram will close for scheduled maintenance from 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, reopening at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 30. The work is scheduled for the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend, when the tram experiences lower than normal use and also closes for the national holiday.
The closure will allow crews to shorten the tram’s haul rope. The haul rope, used to propel the tram cabins from one station to the other, stretches over time and must be shortened approximately every 18 months.
Tram ridership has been limited to patients and essential healthcare employees only since March, under safety precautions for the COVID-19 pandemic. For more detail about the current operations, which were adjusted in June, see the PBOT travel advisory from that time.
During the closure, shuttle buses will run between Oregon Health & Science University’s South Waterfront and Marquam Hill campuses. Passengers can catch a shuttle bus from the South Waterfront at SW Whitaker between SW Bond Ave and SW River Pkwy (see on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/WTKPdRrubzs) and on Marquam Hill at the Kohler Pavilion roundabout at 808 SW Campus Drive (see on Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/2KCANT52xzE2).
Commuters who transfer to the tram as part of their normal route are advised during the closure to plan an alternative route that does not involve a waterfront to hill transfer or vice versa, if possible. Explore direct connections to the hill or waterfront here.
Shuttles will run during the tram’s normal operating hours. The shuttle hours will be:
- Wednesday, Nov. 25: 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Friday, Nov. 27: 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 28: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More shuttles will run during peak travel times (7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.) Nonetheless, people should plan to add as much as 30 minutes to their usual trip. If possible, it is also advisable to avoid scheduling meetings and appointments on the hill and at the waterfront on the same day.
Anyone needing ADA access and transport will need to speak to an attendant for assistance. Since the tram is normally closed on the Thanksgiving Day holiday, the shuttle service will be closed as well. Fare will not be required to board the shuttles.