Driver & Veteran Owned in Taxi Business Since 1946

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Taking Public Transportation to and from PDX – Pros and Cons

Taking Public Transportation to and from PDX

How to book reliable transportation from Portland International Airport? PDX is the largest airport in Oregon, with hundreds of thousands flying in and out every month. The most common way for all those passengers to get from and to this large airport is public transportation, and in Portland, that includes buses and light rail. Public transportation can be a good or bad choice, depending on how important it is for you to arrive quickly or enjoy the ride. In this article, we’ll cover some pros and cons of using public transportation to reach or leave Portland International Airport.


Let’s focus on the positive side of taking a bus or a train from PDX. There are many advantages compared to other transportation options.


Of course, you can save money. The price of public transportation is lower compared to taxis or private cars. If you’re not rushing and don’t prioritize comfort, this option might be perfect.

Well-Connected with Downtown

MAX light rail will take you from the airport to the city center and vice versa in about forty minutes, and you’ll pay only 2.5$ for the service. So, if you’re staying anywhere close to downtown, light rail might be OK.


Compared to driving your car, choosing public transit is a more environmentally friendly choice since it lowers emissions and minimizes traffic congestion.

No Parking Fees

Driving to the airport has some downsides. One of them is parking fees. People initially don’t think about these charges, but they can add up and change your final cost. Of course, you can eliminate this cost by using public transit or taking a taxi.


Portland, OR, has pretty good and well-functioning public transportation. People can choose between TriMet buses, MAX Light Rail, and Portland Streetcar. But sometimes things are not so great. Let’s check out the list of things that can turn your airport transfer into a stressful experience.

Crowded and Uncomfortable

Especially during peak hours, buses and light rail can be pretty packed with passengers. That can lead to exhaustion, especially after a long flight or if you’re dragging a lot of luggage.


While the central area of the city is quite well connected with PDX, traveling time can be significantly longer for those staying outside of downtown Portland. If you need a lift to South Portland or Alberta Arts District, for example, you’ll need to do some planning first.

Small Luggage Space

Travelers who carry large or multiple bags should think twice before using MAX or getting on an airport bus. You won’t find enough room for your belongings, and carrying bags around can be tiring and stressful.

Unpredictable and Unreliable

You don’t want to miss your flight or arrive late to the meeting or event, do you? Sometimes public transportation can become chaotic and unpredictable. That usually happens during peak hours. If you appreciate the accuracy and have a place to be at a scheduled time, consider booking a taxi in advance or finding another option for your airport transfer.

Long Travel Times

Your ride to or from PDX with any form of public transportation will last longer than a cab ride, especially if you need to make connections to reach your final destination. Make sure to have a flexible schedule before you use MAX or a bus.

Pro Tip

Even though we saw some clear points of why you should or shouldn’t use public transit from and to PDX, deciding how to travel might still be difficult. Taxis and private cars are not always better options for people who want to arrive on time and relax after or before the flight. Choosing a dependable taxi company that won’t break the bank isn’t easy. However, relying on an established taxicab that has been serving Portland since 1946 makes sense. Radio Cab is a driver&veteran owned taxi company that takes airport transportation seriously, providing timely, comfortable, and wallet-friendly rides to any place in Oregon or neighboring Washington. Once you book a taxi ride, you can be sure to have a car waiting for you on time, with a friendly driver and plenty of space for your luggage. 


Public transportation in Portland is affordable and quite convenient, especially for people going to and from the downtown area. However, things don’t always function perfectly, especially if you arrive at the airport during busy hours or you need a ride between PDX and a local neighborhood outside the city center. Travelers who carry large bags or appreciate convenience, comfort, and promptness shouldn’t rely on MAX and buses every time. 

Choose your transportation according to your current needs and preferences, and enjoy beautiful Portland and its stunning surroundings. Welcome!

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Cancellations and Bookings

All cancellations of local trips made before the booking time and prior to vehicle dispatch will not incur a penalty charge. If you need to cancel a booking please contact us by phoning our call center at 503-227-1212. As a general rule, local trips are normally dispatched up to twenty minutes before their due time.


In the event of circumstances beyond our control, Radio Cab reserves the right to cancel all services. Where payment has been made, a refund will be issued. If a car breaks down during the journey, an alternative will be provided as quickly as possible.


No refunds will be given for trips terminated part way through the hire. If the trip was prepaid or a flat rate, full fare will be due to the driver. If the trip is not prepaid, full meter rate for the portion of the journey completed will be due to the driver.

Radio Cab Return/Refund Policy

Due to fraud concerns, our return & refund policy varies depending on the type of transaction for which a refund is sought.

Gift Cards

Radio Cab gift cards cannot be refunded or exchanged unless the balance remaining is less than $5. To redeem a Radio Cab gift card with a remaining balance of $5 or less please follow these simple steps:

Please email us with your request at manager at Be sure to include your name, gift card number, and the reason for your request.

Ship your card(s) back to us at the below address. Be sure to use a trackable shipping method such as FedEx, UPS, or USPS Priority Mail. Please include your contact information and your gift card(s).

Ship to:

Gift Card Return

Radio Cab Co.

1613 NW Kearney St.

Portland, OR 97209

Acceptance Criteria for Refunds:

Please ensure that the gift card you are returning meets the following criteria in order to receive a refund:

The gift card has not been damaged in any way

The balance on the card is $5 or less

Once we have verified that your returned gift card(s) meet our acceptance standards, a credit will be put back on your credit or debit card within 10 days after receiving your returned Radio Cab gift card.

Radio Cab is not responsible for any loss, damage or failure of delivery of your gift card return.

This policy ONLY applies to physical gift cards that are shipped to you.

AR Accounts

Credit card, debit card, and gift card over payments on AR accounts may be refunded. A refund must be requested with 90 days of the payment date. Radio Cab will verify the reason for your refund request and a credit will be put back on your credit or debit card within 10 days after verification of the reason for your refund request.

In-cab Credit Card Transactions

In-cab Credit card, debit card, and gift card payments are refundable in the event of an overcharge or fraud. In-cab credit card payment refunds must be requested within 90 days of the ride date. Refunds to credit/debit cards can only be refunded to the original card used. 

* Radio Cab Co. its subsidiaries and its licensees, successors, and assigns reserve the right to amend these terms at any time and to make exceptions on case-by-case basis.