Buses and trains best bet for ride to graduation

The Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade is expected to clog both traffic and parking from early morning until well into the afternoon Saturday, June 11, possibly creating a jam with those attending the Portland State spring commencement ceremony.

Those attending the commencement ceremonies at 3 p.m. in the Rose Garden Arena will be wise to travel by TriMet. The MAX will probably be the best travel option for commencement-goers. The Grand Floral Parade will march through the Memorial Coliseum, near the Rose Garden, at 10 a.m., with the final floats due to promenade through Memorial Coliseum at noon.

The MAX will run every 15 minutes until midnight Sunday, June 12, and express buses will supplement MAX service to relieve overcrowding around parade time. MAX blue and yellow line trains will run through downtown during the parade, with blue lines to Gresham and Beaverton due every 15 minutes and yellow lines to the convention center every 20 minutes. The red line will travel only between Gateway Transit Center and the airport from about 7 a.m. until about 4 p.m. on Saturday. Persons wishing to travel between the airport, downtown and Beaverton on the red line will need to transfer at Gateway.

TriMet will add extra bus service Saturday morning from the outlying areas to the Coliseum neighborhood.

Rose Quarter parking should be available for commencement parkers. But parade parkers will be paying $8 to fill up Rose Quarter parking from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Whether commencement parkers can count on the parade parkers clearing out completely by 2 p.m. is uncertain.

Parking at the nearby Convention Center garage is reserved by pass only for the disabled. Commencement attendees may want to avoid approaching the Coliseum from the east, as three areas to the immediate east of the Coliseum will be reserved for vehicles with disabled parking permits.

Parking downtown and near the parade route on both sides of the Willamette River is likely to remain virtually impossible until well into the afternoon.

The university has arranged a special shuttle bus service from the campus to the Rose Garden, but it is reserved for faculty and volunteer workers. Shuttles leaving from Smith Center and Neuberger Hall begin at noon for volunteers and 12:30 p.m. for faculty.

TriMet trip planning assistance is available by calling 238-RIDE or at www.trimet.org.

Buses 1, 4, 12, 19, 33, 35 and 54 will serve the Rose Garden. Number 57 will run from Forest Grove to Beaverton Transit Center beginning at 6:30 a.m.