When walking around downtown Portland, it’s common to see many street musicians, especially around the major light rail stops and bus shelters that make up Fareless Square.
Earlier this week, music was present near the public transit stops, as usual, but with a twist.
“The New Rail~Volutionaries are a group of young professionals who participate in the Rail~Volution Conference. It’s a Portland-based conference which has spread to a global conference on transit-oriented development and planning,” said Nolan Lienhart, a local member and Portland native who works in urban design.
As part of Streetcar Mobile Music Fest, people travelling between NW 23rd and Marshall and Portland State University during the tail end of the evening commute experienced a musical ride.
Most streetcar riders were pleasantly surprised, despite the standing-room only conditions created by the musicians’ instruments, including a small, pink piano played by pianist and vocalist Sara Jackson-Holman.
“I heard about it on Facebook,” said an incoming PSU student who boarded the train at 10th and Jefferson. “It’s definitely pretty cool and I’m gonna be on OPB.”
Streetcar hopping was common throughout the evening. Many riders swapped between the south and northbound lines in an attempt to catch all the acts.
“The goal of this event was to make people aware of the fantastic transit system that Portland has and to bring awareness to the Portland Streetcar,” said Lauren Joyner, event coordinator for the New Rail~Volutionaries.
In the end, the event was a huge success for the organizers, who pledged that Portlanders might again find musicians on the streetcars at some point in the future.