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‘Portland by Streetcar’ app offers behind the scenes tour of the city

The app features an interactive map with photos, trivia and audio recordings of more than 80 attractions around the Streetcar lines

PORTLAND, Ore. — Whether you take the Portland Streetcar to work or school, use it as a causal way to get around the city, or haven’t taken a ride yet – there is a new way to explore what the city has to offer while riding the lines.

“We’re going to find that people use it to get to the art museum, but also to get to find out about a city they've lived in for years,” said Portland Streetcar public affairs manager Andrew Plambeck.

The "Portland by Streetcar" app gives riders an interactive tour of various landmarks, historical sites, and points of interest within a three-block radius of the A loop, B loop and NS line.

“We wanted to allow visitors to explore and learn about the city, but the vast majority of our riders are taking the streetcar to work or school every day and we thought it might be a fun way to break up the monotony of the morning commute and learn a little bit more about the city and find ways to explore,” Plambeck said.

Bob Richardson grew up in the metro area and has been living in Portland for 15 years now. This is a project that has special meaning to the app's content producer.

“It's kind of a love letter back to the city,” Richardson said. “A way to explore all of those nooks and crannies that I didn’t know everything about.”

Richardson spent about a year photographing and collecting trivia for the app. From tidbits of info many Portlanders might already know about to bizarre and unfamiliar facts.

“I think most Portlanders know The Simpsons characters. Many of them are named after streets in Northwest Portland and the alphabetic streets, like Lovejoy, Quimby, Flanders and so forth,” Richardson said.

Travel Portland: "The Simpsons" landmarks in Portland 

The Simpsons was created by native Oregonian Matt Groening and the “Portland by Streetcar” app is filled with factoids to help point out his street name inspiration.

The app also features colorful historical characters who helped shape the city, such as Benjamin Holladay, for whom Holladay Park is named.

“Apparently he was quite a scoundrel,” Richardson said. “Wikipedia describes him as a sharpster and a rake. I had to look up what that meant. So, we put that in there.”

The app features an interactive map with photos and audio recordings of more than 80 attractions around the Streetcar lines. The app is also “location aware,” which means that as a user rides on Streetcar with the app open, their screen will update on its own to show all relevant attractions around them, with a simple touch of the screen providing more detailed information.

“The great thing is that you can get on and off. It can be a walking tour, it can be a riding tour, whatever suits your mood at the time,” Richardson said.

The “Portland by Streetcar” app is free and available to download now at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Download it and read more right here

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