The Portland MAX Challenge


“Takin’ it to the MAX!”

(working title)

The object of this challenge is to ride all MAX stations in the Portland area in the quickest time possible. This is inspired by, and will roughly follow the rules of, the London Tube Challenge.

You may make your attempt any time you like.

Rule 1: You must arrive at and/or depart each station on a MAX train. Riding through a station on a MAX counts; you don’t have to exit the train. You may attempt the challenge any day and time you like, so be strategic. (There may be an organized challenge day in the future).  You may start and end at any MAX stations you wish. There are 97 MAX stations as of September 2019. Streetcar and WES stations are not counted, but hey, you do you. I expect it to take about 5 hours.

Rule 2: Your time starts the moment the first MAX you’re on moves out of your first station and ends the moment the train’s doors open at your final station. But, as with anything, there are a few catches:

Rule 3: You must comply with TriMet fare rules at all times. Be aware of how HOP works.

And if you get in trouble or break any laws, rest assured, I will absolutely NOT back you up.

Rule 4: Moving between MAX stations (“Overground” travel):

To move between stations, you may travel by:

  • MAX (duh), TriMet bus, Portland Streetcar, or C-tran
  • foot, bicycle, skateboard, scooter (including electric)
  • wheelchair or other TriMet-approved mobility device

You may NOT travel by, ride in, on, or be pulled or pushed by:

  • any car, truck, or other privately-owned and/or registered motor vehicle
  • police car, motorcycle, fire truck, or ambulance, you clever bastards
  • any other wheeled or tracked object not listed in the rules (so no tanks!)

Counting downtown Portland stations:

With the exception of Providence Park station (which is labeled on the map as, so counts as, a single station, despite having two separated platforms) all other downtown stations on the 5th, 6th, Yamhill, and Morrison, are separate, single platform stations and must each be visited per the rules above.

Rule 5: Documentation (proof of time and completion of all stations):

To prove you visited all stations and to verify your time, you must do at least one of the following:

1) Take a photo at every station, from onboard a train, showing the station name sign. Photos must be taken on a phone or GPS-capable camera that shows the correct time and coordinates at which the photo was taken in each photo’s EXIF data. Photos must be provided for verification.

2) Use a tracking app (e.g. Strava, Glympse) that will show the complete route and timing of your attempt, including overground moves between MAX lines. Send in whatever data format you can export that shows your whole route and time.

Verified times will be posted… somewhere (TBD)

I will have a list of challengers’ completion times for the following categories non-MAX transport:

  • Transit only (bus, streetcar between stations)
  • Bike/Scooter (if you use a wheeled vehicle allowed above)
  • Mobility device
  • On foot only (no transport besides MAX)

For questions, comments, or submissions, email Adam Harris: