5 holiday safety tips for TriMet riders

MAX Red Line and ridersWhile Transit Police officers ramp up their missions during the holiday season to help keep you safe, there are also steps you can take to protect yourself and your belongings when you’re out and about on TriMet:

  1. Pay attention to your belongings. This is especially important when a bus or train is getting ready to leave a stop or station. Thieves may try to snatch items just as the doors are about to close.
  1. Keep your purse, backpack, bag and shopping bags close. Don’t set them down on another seat or a bench. (And hey, that’s just good TriMetiquette, anyway!)
  1. Keep your phone and other devices hidden. When listening to music, put your phone in a pocket or a bag that’s under your control.
  1. When it’s dark out, stand near others in well-lit areas. Move toward the bus stop pole as the bus is approaching or toward the train as it arrives at the station.
  1. Parking at a Park & Ride? Store your belongings out of sight. Put your stuff in the trunk or use a cargo cover in the back of your car. Thieves are on the lookout for quick “smash-and-grab” opportunities.

 Here’s to a fun and safe holiday season for you and yours!

 

 

How Tilikum Crossing lights up the night

You’ve probably been bombarded with status updates and photo galleries of the new lighting system on the Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People. We just finished our second lighting trial where the artist fine-tuned the color and motion program and its relation to the Willamette River’s activity.

Sadly, the lights will not be turned on permanently until September 2015, when the new MAX Orange Line opens. So until then, here are some interesting tidbits of information about the lights to hold you over.

  • The lighting system was created by San Francisco artist Douglas Hollis and his wife, the late Anna Valentina Murch, for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project’s Public Art Program.
  • There are 178 LED lights aesthetically placed on 40 bridge cables, the four transmission towers above and below the deck, and on the Sonic Dish artwork along the Eastside Esplanade and future Willamette Greenway at the ends of the bridge.
  • The lights change colors based on the Willamette River’s speed, height and water temperature.
  • This data is collected by a U.S. Geological Survey river monitor near the Morrison Bridge.
  • Specialized software designed by programmer Morgan Barnard takes that data and translates it into movements of color and light across the bridge.
  • The water temperature determines the base color.
  • The river’s speed controls the pace the colors change and move across the bridge.
  • The river’s height is displayed by a second color that moves vertically up and down the towers and the cables.

Learn more about the MAX Orange Line, opening in September 2015!

10 must-do events for the Ho-Ho-holidays!

PSTL 2012-9It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so get into the holiday spirit without the hassle of traffic, parking and gas! Gather up your friends and family, purchase some 1-Day Passes and let us take you to these holiday events in the Portland-Metro area.


Santaland at Macy’s

November 28 – December 24
Stop by Macy’s in Downtown Portland and meet Santa! You’ll find him on Level A. Don’t forget to have your photo taken with Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, and check out the restored original monorail next to the train garden.

ZooLights at the Oregon ZooZoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo.

November 28 – January 4, 2015
You don’t want to miss the zoo’s annual winter festival. This year, experience a new train route through a never-before-seen light experience!

Holiday Ale Festival at Pioneer Courthouse Square

December 3 – 7, opens at 11 a.m.
Toast to the spirits of the season! The Holiday Ale Fest features more than 50 winter ales you won’t find in the supermarket. (Sorry! No one under the age of 21 is allowed to attend.)

America’s Largest Christmas Bazaar at the Expo Center

December 5 – 7, opens at 10 a.m.
Since 1982, the Christmas Bazaar has been considered both a holiday tradition and great place to shop for holiday gifts.

Christmas Ships Parade

December 5 – 20
This year marks the 60th anniversary of Portland’s Christmas Ships Parade on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. The first run will begin at 7 p.m. on December 5th down North Portland Harbor on the inside of Hayden Island.

The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of LightsGrottoFOLchapel1

November 28 – December 30
With over 500,000 lights, 150 choral performances, a petting zoo, carolers, puppet shows and hot chocolate, this special event is sure to be a holiday treat for the entire family.

Super Colossal Holiday Sale at the Oregon Convention Center

December 13 – 14, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More than 250 artists and crafters will be selling their handmade goods during this holiday shopping event. The first 150 shoppers will receive goodie bags on both days—don’t miss out!

Portland Menorah Lighting at Director Park

December 16 – December 23, 5:30 p.m.
Join Chabad of Oregon at Director Park for the annual Portland Menorah Lighting ceremonies. Take part in post-lighting dancing, latkes and apple sauce on December 16th.

The Lights on Peacock Lane

December 15 – December 31, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (except 12/24 and 12/31, runs to midnight)
Houses in this Southeast Portland neighborhood have been decorating for Christmas since the 1920s. Don’t miss this Rose City tradition—you’ll find Peacock Lane between SE Stark Street and SE Belmont Street, one block east of SE 39th Street.

Celebrate Kwanzaa at the North Portland Library

December 27, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Each day of Kwanzaa recognizes a different value or principle. On December 27, Ujima, the third day, highlights the value of collective work and responsibility.


Don’t miss these opportunities to get into the spirit of the season—we’ll take you there!

Plan your trip at trimet.org

December 3rd is International Day of Persons With Disabilities

TriMet100915TJ094
You probably didn’t know it, but today is International Day of Persons With Disabilities. The day was established in 1992 by the United Nations to highlight the importance of inclusiveness and accessibility in our society and development.

This year’s theme focuses on the opportunities for technology to improve the lives of the more than 1 billion people who live with some form of a disability. (That’s about 15% of the world’s population!)

When we design products, buildings, cities and vehicles in a way that is accessible and inclusive, it can make a huge difference to someone with a physical or mental disability. But it’s really much bigger than that: Accessibility makes the world a better place for everyone.

Anything you can do to improve accessibility is a benefit to all users.

According to the UN, “Evidence shows that when barriers to their inclusion are removed and persons with disabilities are empowered to participate fully in societal life, their entire community benefits.”

That’s certainly true for transportation. If you can get around, you have an opportunity to fully participate in your community.

And when it comes to building an accessible transit system, TriMet is fortunate to have the guidance of the Committee on Accessible Transportation (or “CAT,” for short). The CAT is a 15-member citizen committee that advises the TriMet board and staff on plans, policies and programs with the goal of improving access to transit services.

“Anything you can do to improve accessibility is a benefit to all users,” says Jan Campbell, the committee’s chairperson.

“When you hear the next stop being announced on the bus, or you see a family use the boarding ramp—these are features that were designed to help people with disabilities get around,” Jan adds. “But in the end, they make transit easier for all riders.”

TriMet service is a lifeline for many of us who can’t drive due to our age or a disability. Each year, 12 million rides are taken by seniors and people with disabilities who would otherwise have few options for transportation.

“That’s what’s good about TriMet,” says Jan. “We really do have one of the best transit systems here, and we have put a lot of effort into making it totally accessible for everybody.”

In partnership with the World Affairs Council, TriMet has recently hosted visitors from Canada, Turkmenistan, Egypt and Korea who wanted to learn about the accessibility of the Portland area’s transit system.

Here are a few of the accessibility features on TriMet that you might use every day:

  • Buses, MAX trains and streetcars have ramps that extend for easier boarding if you need it, and most buses can “kneel,” lowering the first step closer to the curb. Just ask the operator.
  • All vehicles have priority seating areas inside by the door for seniors and riders with limited mobility, plus space for mobility devices.
  • At MAX, WES and Streetcar stations, there are textured tiles along the length of the boarding platform to warn you when you’re near the platform edge. You can feel these tiles with your feet or a cane.
  • Many bus stops and MAX stations have digital displays that show you when the next bus or train is expected to arrive. At some stations, including those on the Portland Transit Mall, you can also hear an audio announcement of the next arrivals by pushing a button.
  • MAX trains and buses announce their line name and destination over an external speaker system as they pull up to a stop. Inside, major stops and transfer points are announced over the speaker system and displayed on a reader board.
  • For riders who have a physical or mental impairment that prevents them from riding regular buses or trains independently, TriMet’s LIFT paratransit service can help keep them moving.

Learn more about accessibility features on TriMet

Learn more about the International Day of Persons With Disabilities

Take TriMet to holiday tree lighting events

Pioneer Courthouse Square TreelightingLet us help you get in the holiday spirit—take a bus or hop on the MAX to these accessible tree lighting events in the greater Portland area!

Portland: Celebrate 30 years of lighting the 75-foot tree in Pioneer Courthouse Square. The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 28th.

Lake Oswego: The tree lighting events at Bigelow Plaza and Millennium Plaza Park take place on Friday, November 28th at 5:30 p.m.

Gresham: Take part in the Spirit of Christmas on Saturday, November 29th, at the Arts Plaza. The lighting of the 60-foot Ponderosa pine tree will begin at 5 p.m.

Hillsboro: The annual tree lighting ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. on November 29th at the Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza.

Cornelius: Join the annual tree lighting ceremony at Veteran’s Memorial Park on December 5th. The event begins at 6 p.m.

Tualatin: Head to the Lake at the Tualatin Commons on December 5th for the city’s tree lighting ceremony. The countdown to tree lighting and Santa’s arrival starts at 6 p.m.

Tigard: On December 5th head over to Liberty Park for the Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa’s arrival! The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m.

Beaverton: The 11th annual tree lighting ceremony takes place December 5th at 7 p.m. at City Park (across from the City Library).

Sherwood: Catch the tree lighting event on December 6th during the city’s Winter Festival. The lighting ceremony takes place in Cannery Square Plaza after 4 p.m.

Milwaukie: The Tree Lighting Ceremony is set for December 6th—the lighting event follows the Milwaukie Umbrella Parade and should begin around 4:45 p.m. at City Hall.

Fairview: Join the city’s eighth annual tree lighting on December 6th at 6 p.m. The event takes place at Fairview City Hall and Community Park.

Oregon City: The annual tree lighting event downtown begins at 5 p.m. on December 6th. Following the lighting ceremony is the opportunity to sit and take your picture with Santa!

Avoid the hassle of traffic and parking and allow us to get you to the festivities—plan your trip at trimet.org.

I’m running the entire MAX Blue Line in a “TriMet Ultramarathon”

Steven Wong

Steven Wong

My name is Steven Wong and I’m on a mission.

In 2013, I ran 26 races before my very first marathon, the 2013 Portland Marathon. This year, 2014, has been a Marathon of Marathons where I completed nothing but half marathons, full marathons, and one ultra marathon.

Before the end of this year on December 1st, 2014, I will be running the entire MAX Blue Line from Hillsboro to Gresham, to inspire the human race and to celebrate TriMet’s 45th birthday!

I want to change [the tragedies in my life] into a motivational story to inspire people to keep moving forward, keep turning the pages of their stories, and keep chasing their dreams.

My life is filled with unfortunate events that have made it so painful in so many ways. I want to take all the tragedies in my life and change them into something inspirational. I want to change it into a motivational story to inspire people to keep moving forward, keep turning the pages of their stories, and keep chasing their dreams.

TriMet Ultramarathon

The MAX Blue Line is 32.7 miles long, stretching across four different towns (Hillsboro, Beaverton, Portland, and Gresham). I will be taking the sidewalk and side roads to meet up with my Support Team at each of the 47 stops along the way. Please spread the word of my journey and tell others about this marvel of a milestone! You can follow my progress on Monday on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What: Steven Wong’s TriMet Ultramarathon
When: Monday, December 1st, 2014 — start time is 7 a.m.
Where: All 47 stops along the entire MAX Blue Line

What we’re thankful for

TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlaneAs we give thanks this week, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on a few things that we at TriMet are thankful for this year.

First and foremost, we’re grateful for the growing economic recovery in the region. Although there are still families who are struggling, the steady improvement in the jobs picture is a tremendous boost to the community.

  • Sustainable financial path: Our new labor agreement puts us on a sustainable financial footing for the future. During the four-year contract, we avoid $50 million in costs, allowing us to maintain our current level of service and even expand a bit. This is critical as our region continues to grow.
  • MAX Orange Line: We’re set to open the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project – the future MAX Orange Line – on time and on budget. In about nine months, we’ll have a 60-mile MAX system, expanding high-capacity transit service into Clackamas and Multnomah counties. We’ll have more service and more connections in a fast-growing corridor.
  • Growing ridership: Riders continue to respond to the investments in better service. Last month our bus ridership peaked at its highest level in five years.
  • New buses: Our newer bus fleet is providing cleaner, more reliable and cost-effective service. We’ve gone from having one of the oldest fleets to meeting the industry standards within just a few years.
  • A safe system: Following last year’s 25 percent drop in reported crimes, we’re seeing that incidents remain low, with statistics essentially flat for the first half of 2014.
  • Ticket vending machines: Performance of our fare machines has greatly improved and with it so has the customer experience. A new electronic fare system is on its way too.

All of this means that we are focused on delivering quality service to our riders and the growing region, and looking to the future.

Thank you for riding, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Neil McFarlane's signature

 

 

Neil McFarlane
TriMet General Manager