Getting Around Portland!

Max Train and Streetcar Map

The Venue

All Congress events will take place in the Smith Memorial Student Union building at Portland State University. SMSU is located at 1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201. The main entrance to SMSU is on Broadway Street, which is on the East side of the building. Only the Main Entrance is guaranteed to be unlocked during Congress hours (7am-10pm). The building closes at 10 pm each night and all attendees must exit SMSU by this time. The majority of events and all the games will be held on the 3rd floor of SMSU. Some workshops and special events may also take place in rooms on the 2nd floor. Participants are welcome to use the public seating and lounge areas throughout the building. The primary help desk during Congress will be in the entrance to the Main Ballroom on the 3rd floor (to your right when exiting the elevators). SMSU is located conveniently along the Orange and Green Max Lines, as well as along the Streetcar loop. These are great tools to use to get to and from the venue and to access various parts of Portland for dining, activities and accommodations.

Getting from the Airport to Go Congress

There are no shuttles this year because the Portland public transit system offers an easy and direct way of getting from the Airport to the PSU Campus. I recommend using the MAX Train, Portland’s light rail transport. For up-to-date transit details and a handy “Trip Planner” functionality visit If you use the trip planner you can input your exact arrival time and the location of your accommodations to get the optimal transit route from the airport to your destination, and you can customize your route based on your specific needs and preferences. If you are going directly to the Congress Venue or to any of our recommended accommodations you can follow the below instructions (though for different Hotels you may want to get off the Max a stop or two earlier or later than you would for SMSU).

  1. Turn right when you walk out of baggage claim and follow the sidewalk to the MAX terminal (it is nearby and has many signs). Purchase a single-ride 2 and a half hour fare at one of the kiosks (cost $2.80). On the MAX Train they do not check fare when you board the train, but random spot checks are made by Trimet officers so make sure you have valid fare (there is also an app you can use throughout your visit called HOP Fastpass if you don’t want to purchase paper fares)
  2. Get on the Red Line MAX toward Beaverton/City Center
  3. Get off the MAX Red Line at Pioneer Square North stop (large brick townsquare in the heart of downtown)
  4. Walk 1 block East to the other side of the Pioneer Courthouse (old stone courthouse on the downhill side of the square) to the Pioneer Place/SW 5th Ave MAX stop.
  5. Board Green Line to City Center/PSU or Orange Line to Milwaukie (they take the same route and you will get off before the lines diverge)
  6. Get off at the PSU Urban Center/SW 5th & Mill Stop. You made it! Walk two blocks West to get to the Smith Memorial Student Union and play go. I recommend going to your accommodations first to drop off bags, and all of the recommended accommodations are within a few blocks of this MAX line. Use Trip Planner if you want to find the optimal route to your accommodations.
    • For Hotel Vance and Hotel Zags you will want to get off one stop earlier at City Hall/SW 5th & Jefferson. Zags one block south (continue in the direction the train was going). Vance is one block South and two blocks West.
    • To check-in at the dorms go to Broadway Hall (not Ondine, all dorm checkins are done at Broadway Hall even if you are staying in the Ondine building), closest max stop is SW 5th and Jackson. Walk West one block along Jackson St.
    • For University Place Hotel if you are on the Green line get off at SW 5th and Jackson and walk 3 blocks, or get off at that stop and switch to an Orange Line train and continue one stop further to Lincoln St/SW 3rd Ave stop which is directly adjacent to the hotel. If you are on the Orange line just get off at Lincoln St/SW 3rd Ave stop, Hotel is right there, due South.


If you are driving to Congress or will have a vehicle while you are here, we have arranged for discounted Parking ($6.75/day) at the various campus lots adjacent to the venue. Here are the instructions and locations for discounted on-campus parking: Garage and Lot Locations:

Parking Structure 1: 1872 SW Broadway, Portland OR 97201 Parking Structure 2: 1724 SW Broadway, Portland OR 97201 Shattuck Lot: 701 SW Jackson St, Portland OR 97201 University Place Hotel Lot: 310 SW Lincoln St, Portland OR 97201

Park in any non-reserved space and proceed to a pay station upon arrival.

Enter in your license plate information. Please include stacked letters if applicable. If you do not have a license plate please enter the last 5 digits of your VIN or your DMV issued temporary plate number.

Next, select “Pay to Park” and all day $14 rate. The all day rate must be selected. Then you will be prompted for a coupon code for a discounted rate. NOTE: The ParkingKitty App will not accept coupon codes. It must be entered at the pay station and the all day rate must be selected. Please enter the 5 digit coupon code 26101 to validate parking. Then pay the balance due with a credit or debit card. Cash is not accepted at the pay stations.

Displaying your receipt is not necessary as long as your license plate was entered correctly.

Local Transit


Portland State University (the Congress venue) is centrally located in Portland’s Downtown area. This means there is easy access to the Trimet public transit system. We strongly encourage using and the Trimet Trip Planner app while you are here. You can also download the Hop Fastpass app in order to load money digitally and use your phone to pay fares. The MAX Train and Streetcar lines both run through PSU’s campus and get you quickly and easily to a number of local hotspots. The Streetcar does a loop path around downtown so it is also a fun ride for seeing the city and a great way to get to shopping and dining areas like the Pearl District and NW 23rd Ave.

Scooters and Bikes

  • Biketown! Portland is famous for being bicycle friendly, and throughout the city there ar kiosks for grab and go bike rentals. Download the Biketown App to find and use these bicycles. You can get around on bicycle and there are lots of fun rides to take.
  • Scooters: There are two main apps you can use to find and rent electric scooters for getting around. They are called Lime and Spin. You can see scooters sitting around throughout the city, or use the apps to find one nearest to you.


Portland is great place to get around on foot. It can often be nice to take the Streetcar, Max or Bus to get into an interesting area, and then just walk around.

The Shape of the City

Portland is on a loose grid, and understanding the shape of the city can make it much easier to get around and explore. The Willamette river divides East Portland and West Portland (so it runs loosely South to North). Go Congress and PSU are in an area called “Inner South West”. The North and South side of the city are divided by Burnside Street. The numbered streets in Portland all run parallel to the river, so as you go down in numbers on either side of the river you are getting closer to the river. In Northwest Portland the streets go in alphabetical order North from Burnside (so the next street North of Burnside is Couch, then Davis, then Everett), so this can be helpful in that quadrant. Alas Southwest (where Congress takes place) is not alphabetical, but you can use the numbers to get your baring. Broadway, which is the road Congress is on, is equivalent to West 7th Street.