Frequently Asked Questions


About the new trip planner

What is the new trip planner?

TriMet’s new trip planner is multimodal: it combines transit, biking and walking trips in a single itinerary.  The project was funded by a pair of Metro Regional Travel Options Grants (2009-11 and 2011-13). TriMet released a beta version of the new trip planner on October 15, 2011 (at which marked the first official deployment of a fully open source / open data trip planner by a major U.S. transit agency.  The August 6, 2012 release will replace the map-based trip planner at ( 

The new trip planner uses all open source technologies including OpenTripPlanner for multimodal routing. To find out more about the technology behind this new application, please visit

What makes the new trip planner special?

TriMet’s new trip planner includes several exciting new features, from multimodal trip planning to an elevation graph and a bicycle preference triangle. Ever wanted to bike and bus to work? Now you can plan the most efficient trip that combines your bicycle and the bus. Want the flattest bike route possible? Adjust the bike preference triangle to flattest, and let the router do the work.

What does Multimodal mean?

Multimodal trip planners can create routes that mix different modes of travel. Not only can users plan a transit-only trip or a bike-only trip, they can also plan a mixed mode trip—like biking to the train and then continuing by train to their destination.

Why is TriMet switching to a new trip planner?

What information does the new trip planner use to plan trips?

The data come from three sources. The streets and trails are from OpenStreetMap, a Wikipedia-like worldwide map. Transit routes and schedules come from TriMet. Elevation data come from United States Geological Survey.

How to use the new trip planner

How do I plan a transit trip?

The new trip planner works a lot like TriMet’s transit-only trip planner. Fill in your origin and destination in the “from” and “to” boxes and choose “depart” or “arrive” and your date and time. You can also right-click on the map and choose “start a trip here” or “end a trip here.” By default you will be provided with the quickest transit trip with a walk distance of no more than ½ mile. If you want to change your trip from the default settings, choose from “quick trip” or “fewest transfers” and a wide range of maximum walk distances from the drop-down menus on the “plan a trip” tab. Now click “plan your trip,” and it will give you up to three different plan options. Click on steps to expand them and see more specific instructions.

How do I plan a walk-to-transit trip?

The transit, bus only, and train only options include a walking portion. Underneath the "travel by" options, there is a drop-down menu labeled "maximum walk." The default value for this setting is ½ mile but can be raised as high as 100 miles.

How do I plan a bicycle trip?

TriMet’s new trip planner gives users a bicycle-only option as well. Just as you would with a transit trip, choose your origin and destination by clicking on the map or filling in the address along with your departure or arrival time. From the drop-down menu next to “travel by,” choose “bicycle.” Next you have the option of choosing whether you want the quickest trip regardless of bicycle infrastructure or the most bike friendly trip. You can also choose “custom trip” and move the cursor in the triangle to adjust the flatness, bike friendliness, and quickness of your route. Click “plan your trip” and see what the trip planner gives you. To see where a step is located on the map, hover over it with the cursor and a dialog box will pop up on the map, click on a step to center the map on the corresponding portion of the trip.

Can TriMet’s new trip planner plan a route with both biking and transit?

Yes, the mixed-mode option is one of its most exciting features. Just as you would with any other trip, choose your origin and destination by clicking on the map or filling in the address and your departure or arrival time. From the drop-down menu next to “travel by,” choose “transit & bicycle.” It defaults to a “bike friendly trip” which favors multi-use paths, streets with bicycle infrastructure, and low-traffic streets. To change the bicycling preferences, pick from the drop-down menu or move the cursor in the triangle. The new trip planner automatically chooses a 3 mile maximum bike distance, but you can choose a larger or smaller limit. Click “plan your trip” and browse the options. To expand a leg of the trip for specific instructions, click on it. To see where a step is located on the map, hover over it and a dialog box will pop up on the map, click on the step to center the map on that portion of the trip.

How do I use the bicycle preference triangle?

The triangle gives you the option to make the biking portion of your trip as bike friendly, flat, or quick as possible, or a mix of all three. If you want the flattest route possible, move the cursor towards the lower left corner. Be aware that the further the cursor is from the bike friendly corner, the more likely that the router will place you on busy thoroughfares without bicycle infrastructure. Once you set your preferences, click “plan your trip” and view the results. You can even experiment with the triangle - it saves each of your trips in the tabs above the address boxes.

What is the difference between the bicycle preference triangle and the drop-down menu?

The drop-down menu’s “bike friendly” and “quick” options are the same as the corresponding corners of the triangle. Use the bicycle preference triangle if you want more precise control over flatness, bike-friendliness, and distance on your route.

How is the bike friendly route calculated?

Bike friendly routing is determined only by street type and available bicycle infrastructure. Be aware that the new trip planner does not take crime data, pavement quality, crash statistics, or real-time traffic data into account. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or safety of routes. Please use caution and let us know of issues at

The new trip planner looks at street type and bicycle infrastructure to choose the most bike-friendly route. Roads with bike lanes or sharrows are considered better than roads without, while multi-use paths and dedicated bikeways are considered the best option for bicycles. Street classification is also considered. For instance, an arterial like SE Hawthorne Boulevard is considered worse for bicycles than a residential street, like SE Main Street. When the user chooses “bike friendly trip,” it prioritizes the best roads and routes the user along them as much as possible while still providing a reasonably direct trip plan.

How is the flat route determined?

The new trip planner uses elevation data from the US Geological Survey. After calculating the slope of streets and paths about every 10 meters, it penalizes climbs. In particular, very steep ascents are penalized more heavily than several less-steep climbs. Bridges are assumed to be flat. In addition, both ascents and descents affect the time estimates for any trip involving biking.

How do I increase or decrease the distance I bike to, from, or between buses?

Make sure “transit & bicycle” is selected, then adjust the maximum bike distance in the drop-down menu. Try increasing this limit for more biking and decreasing it to reduce biking distance. Keep in mind that the new trip planner will often give you a route with significantly less biking than the maximum bike distance. In these cases, the trip planner has found that using transit for a larger portion of the trip is significantly faster than longer distance biking. 

How do I plan a trip to a car-share location?

To view car-share locations, click on the green car icon on the top bar called "Car-share Locations." The locations of these cars will then appear as icons on the map. Click on an icon to see a pop-up dialog box with the rate, vehicle type, and options to plan a trip to the location of this car. Also provided is a link to the vehicle's profile from which you can check its availability. At this time, all car-share locations are shown, including cars that are reserved. In the future, TriMet hopes to show real-time data for car-share availability and to incorporate additional car-share providers.

Can I print the directions?

Yes, the trip planner supports printing. After you have planned a trip, click the "Print" button in the bottom right corner of the itinerary window. This will produce a printer-optimized itinerary and overview map in a pop-up window. Also note that the map that appears on the printout will reflect the position and zoom level of the interactive map immediately before the "Print" button is clicked. This allows users to focus on areas of interest such as difficult connections within their trip.


TriMet’s new trip planner is sending me on a bike lane, path, or road that doesn’t exist.

Maps require constant vigilance to stay up-to-date, so please let us know if you find incorrect information about streets or paths in your route. Send us an email at, and we’ll fix it.

The trip planner can't find the address I want.

While we work on increasing the range of addresses that the trip planner can find, try zooming into your desired location and right-clicking that point on the map. You can then choose to start or end a trip at that point.

The bike trip it gave me is absurd.

Try checking your preferences. Did you choose a quick trip or a bike friendly trip? Did you set a custom trip on the triangle? “Quick trip” will often route you on high-traffic roads, so try “bike friendly” for routes that are better suited for bicycling. If you’re using the bicycle preference triangle to get a flatter ride, try adjusting the cursor. If you’re still having trouble, please let us know at

My bike-to-transit trip has too little biking.

Try increasing the maximum bike distance which defaults to 3 miles. If the biking portions remain too short, it’s probably because the new trip planner has found that less biking and more transit is a significantly faster way to complete your trip. If you already know what stop you want to go to, you can always plan the biking portion separately. Let us know at if you continue to have problems.

It’s not giving me enough options for my bike-to-transit trip.

In most cases the new trip planner will give you three different trip options to travel between your origin and destination, however for longer trips, it may only provide one option. Longer trips take longer to plan, and to ensure that you aren’t left hanging, we make sure that at least one option is returned in a timely fashion. Our developers are currently working to make the new trip planner even more efficient so that three options will be presented on every trip.

I just want to plan a regular transit trip, and this newfangled trip planner is confusing me.

If you’re just looking for a transit trip, try our text-based trip planner at If you still have issues, give us a call at 503-238-RIDE (7433).

Having a problem not listed here? Suggestions? Other comments?

Email us at


"How to use a transit trip planner" - Portland Afoot's guide to transit and multimodal trip planners in the Portland area:

Future development

Upcoming features

These are some of the new exciting new features we're working on, so stay tuned:

Bugs and known issues we’re working on

We are constantly working to improve the data and the code, and user feedback is crucial. Please report problems to