Portland firefighters monitor a tram operator who is lowered from a tram car from about 100 feet above ground in the annual evacuation drill in 2022. The Portland Aerial Tram is owned by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and operated by OHSU. The exercise has been conducted annually since the tram opened in 2007. Photo by PBOT.
(Oct. 12, 2023) – The annual evacuation exercise for the Portland Aerial Tram is set for Sunday morning, Oct. 15. The exercise will begin at 9 a.m. and should be concluded by noon.
Members of the Portland Fire & Rescue Technical Rescue Team will lead the exercise. They will be assisted by representatives from both the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), which owns the tram, and Oregon Health & Science University, which operates the tram in conjunction with Doppelmayr USA.
Using ropes and harnesses, the team will lower four Doppelmayr employees playing the role of passengers 100 feet to the top floor of the OHSU Casey Eye Institute’s parking garage. All tram operational staff are required to participate in the drill as part of their training.
The training allows crews to practice an aerial rescue in the event the tram is stopped for an extended period of time with passengers on board. If members of the public contact you with questions about the training, please inform them that this is a scheduled training exercise and not a real emergency.
The exercise has been conducted annually since the tram opened on Jan. 27, 2007, and is designed to provide personnel with experience in executing a last resort safety measure. There has never been a real emergency.
More than 5,000 daily commuters and tourists ride the Portland Aerial Tram, one of only two aerial gondolas used for urban public transit in the United States.
Event Details: Annual Portland Aerial Tram evacuation exercise
When: 9 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 15. The exercise should be completed by noon.
Location and news media instructions:
The training will take place above the OHSU Casey Eye Institute parking garage. At that location, a small number of exercise participants will be evacuated from the tram and lowered via ropes and harnesses down to the top of the parking structure. Local news crews are welcome to film the evacuation from sidewalks immediately adjacent to the main thoroughfares, e.g., SW Campus Drive and SW Sam Jackson Park Road. To reach an OHSU media relations specialist Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need assistance over the weekend, please call 503-494-8311 and ask the operator to page the after-hours communications specialist.
The Portland Aerial Tram is closed on Sundays. As a result, the training exercise will not interfere with regular operations. For those interested in observing, please do so from nearby locations and refrain from entering the Casey Eye Institute parking lot.
ABOUT THE PORTLAND AERIAL TRAM
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.
Portland firefighters use ropes and harnesses to conduct the annual Portland Aerial Tram evacuation drill in 2022. The Portland Aerial Tram is owned by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and operated by OHSU. The exercise has been conducted annually since the Portland Aerial Tram opened in 2007. Photo by PBOT.
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