Portland Aerial Tram to close for routine maintenance Nov. 18-28

Traffic Advisory
Plan ahead for the 10-day closure; See maps and shuttle bus schedules at GobyTram.com

The Portland Aerial Tram will close for scheduled maintenance from 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18, reopening at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 28. The work is scheduled for the Thanksgiving Day holiday week, when the tram experiences lower than normal use and also closes for the national holiday.

The closure will allow crews to replace the tram’s haul rope, which is used to propel the tram cabins from one station to the other. The haul rope stretches over time and must be shortened every 18 months and replaced every six years.

Workers atop a Portland Aerial Tram rope tower during the haul rope replacement maintenance project in 2016. Photo courtesy of Randy Glary

Workers atop a Portland Aerial Tram rope tower during the haul rope replacement maintenance project in 2016. Photo courtesy of Randy Glary.

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 on S Whitaker Street between S Bond Ave and S River Pkwy and on Marquam Hill at the Kohler Pavilion roundabout at 808 SW Campus Drive.

Even though shuttles will be available during the Tram’s normal hours, please plan to add as much as 30 minutes to your time in transit, and expect to wait 10-15 minutes at each of the stops.

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 on the tram website.

Shuttles will run during the tram’s normal operating hours. The shuttle hours will be:

  • Friday, Nov. 18: 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  
  • Saturday, Nov. 19: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  
  • Sunday, Nov. 20: No service 
  • Monday, Nov. 21: 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22: 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.  
  • Wednesday, Nov. 23: 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.  
  • Thursday, Nov. 24: No service, normal holiday closure  
  • Friday, Nov. 25: 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. 
  • Saturday, Nov. 26: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
  • Sunday, Nov. 27: No service 

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.


The Portland Aerial Tram is owned by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and operated by OHSU.  It opened to the public on Jan. 27, 2007. The cabins, named Walt and Jean, travel 3,300 linear feet between the South Waterfront terminal adjacent to the OHSU Center for Health & Healing and the upper terminal at the Kohler Pavilion on OHSU's main campus. Traveling at 22 miles per hour, the tram cabins rise 500 feet for the three-minute trip over I-5, the Lair Hill neighborhood and the Southwest Terwilliger Parkway. Visit GoByTram.com or find the tram on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.

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The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the city’s transportation system and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage, and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at portland.gov/transportation