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30% of TriMet bus lines to see changes Sunday

‘Forward Together’ planned with community input

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Beginning Sunday, TriMet buses will make more stops on some routes and stop serving other routes altogether.

TriMet officials said 30% of all bus lines will see some change with this new plan, part of their “Forward Together” project. The aim is to increase service and ridership in areas that need public transit the most.

On the expanded service, some routes will see buses every 30 minutes and riders can expect more buses early and late — along with weekend service.

But these improvements in Round One of their overall plan come with a trade off.

TriMet Manager of Media Relations Tia York, August 25, 2023 (KOIN)
TriMet Manager of Media Relations Tia York, August 25, 2023 (KOIN)

“What we’re doing with ‘Forward Together,’ is taking the service that was dedicated to those low ridership (the 60s lines in this case) and moving it to other lines that can reach more people, and help more people get to where they’re going using our service,” said TriMet Manager of Media Relations Tia York.

“We wish we could just expand service, but given our limited human and financial resources, we have to make some tradeoffs,” York said. “And what that looks like with this service is that some of our lesser used bus lines, the lines with low ridership are going away.”

Forward Together, devised with community input, aims to move some service away from areas with higher incomes and lower ridership to instead increase service where people with lower incomes rely on mass transit to get to work and school.

The effort to bring service to more people means TriMet will discontinue several bus lines providing service up to Marquam Hill — which is a big change for riders connecting to health care facilities there.

But the route changes along the 43, 54 and 56 lines will allow TriMet to expand their network.

‘Wish transit was 24 hours’

TriMet rider Jordan Bloom said they’re concerned the shift in services might isolate suburban areas and further divide classes. But Bloom is glad to hear TriMet is expanding service hours.

“I appreciate that it’s becoming more accessible to people with lower income, just because generally we are the working class, so we will be using it the most. But I do worry about the isolation of taking it away from places with higher income,” they told KOIN 6 News.

TriMet rider Jordan Bloom, August 26, 2023 (KOIN)
TriMet rider Jordan Bloom, August 26, 2023 (KOIN)

“I just wish transit was kind of 24 hours, just to make it more accessible. But if we can at least start expanding the hours, that would be a lot more helpful, because a lot of the jobs that we rely on do have these odd hours.”

Bloom, who works overnight, said beyond the convenience they hope TriMet’s new increased accessibility will also help keep riders safe.

“The buses stop running at 9 p.m., and now if you don’t have the funds or resources to get home by some kind of digital service like Uber and Lyft, people are probably not getting home safe,” Bloom said. “People are probably out at places that they shouldn’t be or don’t want to be, particularly at late times. And it makes me kind of concerned for the safety of that.”

With 1-in-3 bus lines impacted by these changes, TriMet recommends riders visit to stay up-to-date on commutes.


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