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How to get from Portland Airport PDX to Salem

Just a short trip away from Portland lies Oregon’s capital city, Salem. Salem is a great option for travellers looking for an easy going destination, and who are seeking to explore the historic attractions of the state. Home to numerous parks and access to the Willamette River, visitors can combine visiting the Oregon State Capital and Willamette Heritage Center with the beautiful outdoor environments of Bush’s Pasture Park and Riverfront Park. Salem sits in Oregon’s Willamette River Valley which is one of the most fertile agricultural lands in the US, giving rise to world class produce, like the Willamette Valley cheeses or the delicious Oregon wines from the Salem Wine Trail.

Portland airport PDX is 90 km (56 miles) from Salem and there is only one direct method of transport to this destination from the airport, which is a taxi or private shuttle service. The public transport option involves a combination of the Max Light Rail service to Portland and then taking the Amtrak service to Salem.

Welcome Pickups offers meet and greet services and a friendly introduction to Portland at the same price as a regular taxi. Click here to see the cost.

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  • 20 minute gap between transfers

  • Regular Car Sanitisation

  • Contactless ride

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Comparison of the options

Taxi €165 70min 24/7
Train €29.40 135min 11:10–21:55

How to get from Portland airport PDX to Salem by shuttle or taxi

A taxi or private shuttle is the only direct travel option from Portland airport PDX to Salem, making it the most favourable method of transport to this destination. Taxi fares are calculated using a taximeter which charges an initial base fee and records the total distance travelled, in order to determine the total cost of a journey. Furthermore, by booking your transfer with a taxi company or shuttle service in advance, you can arrange a fixed-rate fee for this journey and simply enjoy the travel experience.

How much is the taxi fare from Portland Airport PDX to Salem?

A Portland airport to Salem shuttle or taxi using a taximeter will cost approximately $175 (€165). You can get a fixed-rate fare for this transfer by booking your Portland airport shuttle to Salem in advance, as most cab/shuttle companies offer this option to popular destinations.


$175 (€165)

Trip Duration

1h 10 mins

*There is a $3.50 (€3.30) extra charge for transfers to and from the airport.

Value for money

The taxi and shuttle service from Portland Airport PDX is available 24/7.

Where do I get a shuttle or taxi from?

Shuttles and taxis at Portland airport PDX are located outside of the baggage claim area, in the central section of the airport terminal’s lower roadway.


A Portland airport taxi or private shuttle to Salem is the only direct travel method currently available for this journey, making it the most convenient and time saving option.

Editor’s Note

For a seamless travel experience, we recommend booking your transfer from Portland airport PDX to Salem with a shuttle or taxi in advance, using a reputable company like Welcome Pickups, and avoiding any wait times once you’re at the airport.

Useful Tips

Tipping the driver is standard practise in the state of Oregon. Tipping is 10-15% of the total fare depending on the services offered.
There is no extra charge/different rate when using a taxi at night in Oregon.
There is a $3.50 (€3.30) extra charge for transfers to and from the airport.

Welcome Pickups transfer

Welcome Pickups

Book a trained, English-speaking taxi driver to pick you up at the same price as a regular cab from the line

If you feel more relaxed knowing that somebody is waiting for you, you may as well book a Welcome Pickups transfer. As soon as you arrive at the airport you will be greeted by your driver. He will be waiting for you at the terminal of your arrival with a sign that has your name on it. Your driver will help you out with your luggage and together you will make your way to the vehicle. While he is driving you to your accommodation, the driver can give you some tips and recommendations on what to do during your holidays in Portland. Our drivers are hand-picked and speak fluent English. No need to worry about miscommunication issues that you may face with the local taxi drivers regarding your destination. Relax and enjoy your ride.

Best drivers

Hand-picked english-speaking drivers

Flight monitoring

Drivers are always on time

Quality support

24/7 email & phone support

Cancel up to 24h before and get a refund

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Same price as a regular taxi from the line


Sedan Car

4 pax, 4 pieces of luggage

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How to get from Portland airport PDX to Salem by train

A public transport option is available for the journey from Portland airport PDX to Salem and it involves the use of the local railway services. There is no direct train route and travellers have to use a combination of the Max Light rail service and the Amtrak Rail service to travel to Salem.

The first leg of the journey involves taking the Max Light rail service (Red Line) from the airport to Rose Quarter TC station in Portland. Service runs every 15 mins from the airport apart from early in the morning and late at night when the service runs every 30 mins. You then change to either the Green or Yellow Line service to Union Square station, which is a short four minute ride. Once at Union Square station make your way to the Amtrak Rail service and take either the Cascades or Coast Starlight routes, southbound to Salem. The Amtrak rail service runs about 6 trips a day to Salem via these routes. You can expect the actual travel time for the entire journey to be just over 2 hours, but that does not include any waiting time that you may experience between connections.

How much is the train option from Portland airport to Salem?

The first leg of the journey using the Max Light Rail service from Portland PDX to Union Square Station costs $2.50 (€2.40). Tickets on the Amtrak Rail service to Salem from Union Square Station for the second leg of the journey start from $13 (€12.30). The total cost of the combined train journey therefore starts from $15.50 (€14.70).


From $15.50 (€14.70)

Trip Duration

2 hours 15 minutes

The Max Light rail service costs $2.50 (€2.40) and the cost of the Amtrak Rail service to Salem starts from $13 (€12.30)

Value for money

The Max Light Red Line service runs every 15 minutes from the airport and the Amtrak service to Salem runs up to 6 trips a day from Union Square station.

Where do I get the train option from?

The Max light railway train station is located in the lower level of Portland airport, next to the south baggage claim area. The Amtrak Rail service for Salem leaves from Union Square station which is located in the Old Town area of Portland.


Taking the train to Salem from Portland airport, which is the public transport option, involves changing trains on a number of occasions and is therefore not a direct travel service. It is certainly an affordable option however can be an inconvenience due to the connections and the extra time needed to reach your destination.

Editor’s Note

Tickets for the second leg of your journey to Salem using the Amtrak Rail service can be purchased from the Amtrak website or at Union Square station.

Useful Tips

Tickets on the Amtrak Rail service are tiered starting with the affordable Saver ticket. The saver ticket is only available when purchased in advance either online or at the station.
Tickets for the Amtrak Rail service can be purchased onboard the train but at a higher cost, as only the premium tickets will be made available.
The Max Light Rail service offers discounted tickets at a cost of $1.25 (€1.20) to senior citizens 65 and over, and youngsters between the ages of 7-17.

Frequently asked questions

How to get from Portland airport to Salem, Oregon?

There are two main travel options to get from Portland airport PDX to Salem, Oregon. The only direct and therefore fastest mode of transport, is the use of a taxi or shuttle service. For a reliable service we recommend Welcome Pickups for your transfer. The public transport option involves using a combination of The Max Light and Amtrak Rail services where you will have to change trains on two occasions.

How much is a shuttle from PDX to Salem?

A shuttle or taxi service from Portland airport PDX to Salem will cost approximately $175 (€165). If you’d like to plan ahead and know how much you’re going to pay for this journey we recommend pre booking your transfer with Welcome Pickups.

What's the distance from PDX to Salem?

The city of Salem is located to the south of Portland airport PDX and the distance between them is 90 km (56 miles). This journey is expected to take about 70 minutes via a taxi or shuttle service, depending on traffic.

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