The days when using paper timetables and maps to plan your trip was the only option are long gone. Sometimes you still want a paper map — at home, we have all the Portland neighborhood bike/walk maps posted in our stairwell — but there are also great ways to plan your trip online.

Trimet also offers realtime arrival information letting you know when your bus will really arrive, not just when it’s supposed to. Although they tell you that too, and you can use the schedules to plan your trip the old-fashioned way. The full system map can help you figure out which routes are available and which ones you need. Printed copies are available on buses, at ticket outlets, and at the TriMet office in Pioneer Square.

Developers have used Trimet’s data to create apps for when you’re on the go, to make finding your next bus easy.

Tips for getting the most out of trip planner resources can be found at:

If you’re looking to figure out where you’d like to live for the kinds of trips you want to take (including your commute), try out Walkscore’s Apartment Search, which lets you look at apartment listings within your target travel time by transit, bike, or foot.

If you like map-based bike trip planning, the city offers paper and online resources. The City of Portland Bicycle Map [PDF] (also comes in pocket size for handy reference!) and the neighbonhood bike/walk maps are available by request, at events, or at bike shops around the city. Metro’s Bike There map  is $9 at local retailers, or try the interactive Flash version online.