Tracking the New Streetcar Line

It’s opening day!

I’ll shortly be leaving for OMSI for the speechifying for the new Streetcar Loop line, officially know as the “CL” line (Central Loop).

If you want to know when to catch the new train, your options are a little bit limited today, but getting better quickly. Local app developers have to translate between the NextBus web service and TriMet’s nomenclature and schedules. And we’re all busy with our conversions right now!

Our own Transit Appliance system is up-to-date (and indeed, later this weekend, I’ll announce a new display format to celebrate the new line). And TriMet’s Transit Tracker has the new line integrated.

PDXBus’ Andy Wallace made a heroic effort to get a revision in the app store in time, but didn’t make it because of some incomplete information coming from NextBus – but he’s rushing to catch up.

My Transit Surfer mobile app (I may be the only user left) will require a significant overhaul to work with the new line, it may be a few weeks.

Other apps will probably catch up at different rates.

If you’re looking for real time arrivals on your phone today for the CL line, TriMet’s mobile version of Transit Tracker ( is your best bet!

11 responses to “Tracking the New Streetcar Line”

  1. Mrs Dibbly & I went to OMSI via the CL line yesterday and stayed for a few of the speeches, then we went to the railroad museum, which was a lot of fun.

    On the way back, we met an Australian couple who had gotten on the CL line in the Pearl by mistake, intending on heading towards the Aerial Tram on the NS line. I suspect there may be a few locals who get on the wrong line over the next few weeks, too.

  2. Three comments on opening weekend:

    1) Apparently rides this weekend were free. Not that the payment kiosks told you that. Oh well, Portland Streetcar Inc needs the money.

    2) Opening weekend glitches are common, two that I noticed were on the reader boards for the next station on the tram (and by tram I mean what everyone else cars the streetcar). “Grand” was misspelled, I think it was “Granbd”, there was an extra “b” used for good measure in the word. And on a stop shortly after leaving OMSI “and” was spelled “adn”.

    3) Nice to see after 10+ years the Streetcar is still (a) slow (b) noisy and (c) ugly [granted that is up to the individual]

    Can’t wait to see the schedule adherence next Friday in the afternoon.

  3. My wife and I rode the CL line from 10th & Glisan to OMSI, today (Sun) about 3 PM. A few comments:

    (1) The kiosk at 10th & Glisan indeed had a label saying it was free this weekend.

    (2) The reader board at 10th & Glisan mentioned only NS arrivals. The boards at the new CL line stops showed CL arrivals. I’m surmising that they haven’t got the reader boards on the trunk re-programed to show both lines. I hope they fix this soon.

    (3) The schedule was a mess, essentially non-existent. I asked the operator of a passing NS car about this; he attributed it simply to CL-line overcrowding due to interest in the new line.

    (4) The stop-announcement displays and recorded messages in the car functioned just fine, on the trunk and on the CL line down to OMSI and back.

    (5) My wife and I were on Car #005, in the end section over the wheels. This is one of the original batch of 7 cars. We’re both frequent Streetcar users; we both agreed there was an unusual amount of vibration in the wheels under us. Not the kind of clunk-clunk you get with a flat wheel, just vibration.

    (6) The CL cars seemed to be running closer together than planned; I conjectured that they had added service to handle the crowding, maybe at the expense of the NS line. I figured all 10 cars were operating (or maybe 11 if the prototype was running); I meant to check the live map when I got home, but forgot to do so. At the moment, 9:10 PM, the map shows 4 cars on each line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *