TriMet Drives Forward with Improvements

A line 20 bus pulls into a stop on SE Division St. Many Franklin students rely on TriMet to get to school. Photo by Sevea Schuler Hulbert

TriMet bus lines provide people with efficient and affordable transportation around Portland. Numerous Franklin students rely on TriMet to commute to and from school. Recently, TriMet has begun a 10 year expansion project that is focused on improving transportation issues within their service. Improvements include the possible addition of a low income fair, reinstatement of two 24-hour bus lines, upgrades to the MAX Red Line, advancements to make a fairer citation process, and movements towards electric buses. These changes are still up for debate but are expected to occur before 2020.

“TriMet has a number of exciting proposals for the years ahead,” states TriMet Public Information Officer Tommy Moore. Moore explains the low income fare system, saying, “it will provide a fare reduction by half for those below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.” Moore also wants to emphasize that the possible reinstatement of 24 hour bus lines is due to “a changing job market… With many employers having multiple shifts, we are looking to help accommodate some of the transportation needs of those riders.” Moore is looking forward to these changes.

TriMet has been seeking feedback from its riders online and through many open houses held this November. Asha Fuson (11) frequently rides TriMet and is looking forward to some of these improvements. Fuson approves of the possible reinstatement of some 24-hour bus lines. “I think that a huge pro is that the buses are available all the time, so if you’re doing something that involves being out at 3am you will have a guaranteed way of getting home,” she said. She also believes that 24-hour bus lines would help prevent possible drunk driving. “Teenagers will go out and party, and they’ll drive out without a designated driver and that can be super dangerous, and if they had a way to take the bus home that would be much safer.” Fuson also has some thoughts on the possible instatement of a low income fare. “Depending on what system they are using, the low income fare could bring up the issue of labeling poor people as poor…it’s good in theory but it depends on how the system works.” TriMet is still discussing these possible changes. They will be accepting questions and comments concerning these issues until December 31 via their website at trimet.org/plan or email at comments@trimet.org. TriMet hopes to improve its riders’ experience through these changes and is showing how valuable rider feedback is to them as a company.

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