Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I am taking at trip to the NW soon, and I am trying to work out the most economical rental car situation. I get a pretty decent rate from one car company in particular (although at times their customer service sucks) but I found on my last trip there (I do this trip twice a year to work on a house we have in WA state) that it is much cheaper to rent a car downtown than at the airport.

So in the interest of saving some money on this trip, I had worked it out that I would rent a car for one day from the airport and then drop it off downtown where I would pick up the longer rental. There is no charge to drop the car off at the airport if renting it from downtown or vice versa, so that seemed to work, except that I was paying like 50 bucks (one day rental with taxes and fees) for basically a ride downtown from the airport. So this weekend I changed my mind and thought I would figure out how to get from the airport to the downtown agency by rail and bus.

I got in touch with my sister who lives in Portland and she did the public transit thing for me. Her and her husband are pros at the area and the TriMet system so I knew they were the ones to ask. I have to say, after spending a lot of time in Portland and Seattle that these two American* cities have figured out a economical and convenient way to do public transport (which I think is required if you are ever going to get anyone to use it). My sister sent me a link to the TriMet website, and it has a trip planner on it so you can find out exactly what buses, rails and what have you, you would need to take to get from point A to point B....isn't that cool?

Do other metro areas have this kind of system and if so, how would you rate it?

*My experiences with metro systems in Asia have to be the best I have seen ever....they rock when it comes to public transport.

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