Recap: Providence Park MAX Track Work

It may have only lasted six days, but we got a lot done.

The MAX track work last week outside of Providence Park allowed us to rebuild an aging section of tracks that was causing reliability issues. Here’s what we did:

There were several improvements we wanted to make going into this project.

The asphalt around the tracks had broken down, which made MAX trains sway as they traveled through the area. It was uncomfortable for you and it caused unnecessary wear and tear on our trains.

Technology has improved since this section of track was built in the early 1990s, so we ripped out the rails and the materials supporting them and replaced them with materials that will be more durable, reliable and longer-lasting. When replacing the rails, we secured them with a new grout that should keep the rails in place better —  preventing that swaying — while also proving to be more durable than asphalt.

Finally, we replaced the old switches and improved the drainage underneath them. This should also increase reliability and lessen maintenance needs.

We were able to accomplish other necessary work at the same time. We moved the poles that hold the overhead wires, which should minimize future disruptions. 

There is still a bit more work to do: You’ll notice some gaps in the pavement near the tracks that still need grout. It’s safe for trains to pass through but the street will remain closed for the rest of this week.

This necessary work wouldn’t have been possible without your patience. We can’t thank you enough!

Tom Williams

Tom Williams

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to share our story, and to keep you up-to-date on how TriMet can help you navigate Portland. When I'm not working, I love to read, spend time outdoors, and visit tiki bars.

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MAX is Back at Providence Park. Thank You for Your Patience!

And that’s a wrap! We’ve finished our Providence Park MAX track work and trains are running normally again.

Friday, May 11: The test train was the first to roll on the newly installed rails.

We want to thank you for your patience during this work. We understand how inconvenient these disruptions can be. We’re commuters ourselves, after all.

New rails outside Providence Park.

This six-day disruption allowed us to replace the rails and outdated switches near Providence Park. The next time you ride MAX past the stadium, we hope you notice the smoother ride. (Or at least that you don’t notice any bumps.) This necessary work should improve MAX reliability, as well.

We’ll share a video overview of the project next week, but until then: Thank you!

Tom Williams

Tom Williams

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to share our story, and to keep you up-to-date on how TriMet can help you navigate Portland. When I'm not working, I love to read, spend time outdoors, and visit tiki bars.

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Commemorating May 26th, 2017

Nearly a year ago, our community was left reeling in the wake of the tragic attack on a MAX train near Hollywood Transit Center. What transpired on May 26, 2017, remains in our memories — as does the overwhelming community response of healing and love.

If you’ve traveled through the Hollywood Transit Center in recent weeks, you’ve no doubt noticed the station’s renewal. A mural has transformed the formerly gray walls into a vibrant tribute to the selfless individual acts aboard the train and our community’s response.

On the 1-year anniversary, there will be a gathering at the Hollywood Transit Center to dedicate the mural and commemorate those targeted and the incredible outpouring of love, support and unity that followed. We’ll be co-hosting this community event with the Hollywood Boosters and the Hollywood Neighborhood Association.

Here’s the schedule:

Saturday, May 26, 2018
3:30 p.m. – Gather at the Transit Center
4:00 p.m. – Dedication Program begins
4:30 p.m. – Open time for reflection and community healing

You can RSVP here.

Be aware: Because of the event, the bus stops at Hollywood Transit Center will temporarily be relocated nearby before and during the program. We expect the Transit Center to reopen to buses by about 5:30 p.m.. The MAX platforms will remain open and trains will serve the station.

Tom Williams

Tom Williams

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to share our story, and to keep you up-to-date on how TriMet can help you navigate Portland. When I'm not working, I love to read, spend time outdoors, and visit tiki bars.

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Bus Driver by Day, World Champion by Night

That bus operator you thanked as you exited the bus this morning? They may have a whole other set of super powers you never knew about.

Take Tofer Sneed, a TriMet bus driver since 2014. This April, Tofer took home gold at the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup in Barcelona, Spain. Watch to see him in action and to learn how he balances training with work:

Driving for TriMet is a great platform for pursuing your passions. Bus operators make more than $60k/year after three years, receive generous paid time off and get great medical, dental and vision benefits, even while working part-time.

Want to know more? Visit trimet.org/driveforus.

Tom Williams

Tom Williams

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to share our story, and to keep you up-to-date on how TriMet can help you navigate Portland. When I'm not working, I love to read, spend time outdoors, and visit tiki bars.

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The Plan for Providence Park

We’re about to kick off another MAX improvement project, but this one will be a bit different than last year’s lengthy Morrison–Yamhill MAX work. While the end result will be similar — a smoother ride and system upgrades to help keep trains running on time — the Providence Park work will be shorter and will have less impact on MAX service.

This project will only disrupt MAX Blue and Red lines from Sunday, May 6, through Friday, May 11. Still, with fewer trains running on the west side and on the Blue Line, riders should plan ahead: leave extra time for your commute, avoid rush hour commuting (if you can) and use TriMet bus service or other transportation. We’ve shared all you need to know about getting through the closure, including where to catch shuttle buses, on our Providence Park MAX Improvements page.

The work will be done on SW 18th Avenue, right in front of the Providence Park stadium. This work is unrelated to the stadium expansion construction. Previous MAX improvement projects focused on removing the wooden ties used in MAX construction during the early 1980s and replacing them with longer-lasting materials. There are no wooden ties underneath the 18th Avenue tracks, but there is a need for improvement.

This section of track on SW 18th Ave will be replaced.

Ever notice how MAX sways side-to-side in the Providence Park area? That’s because when the rails were installed in the early 1990s, they were attached to concrete blocks under the roadway with spring-clips, insulated plates and bolts, with asphalt filled in between the rails. Over time this asphalt has broken down, and the result is that side-to-side movement. It’s not just a rider comfort issue – the swaying movement can cause mechanical issues with our trains.

For this project we’ll be removing the existing rails and replacing them with new rails fitted into pre-formed rubber jackets. Then concrete and a special type of grout, which are more durable than asphalt, will be filled in between the rails. This all will hold the rails in place better.

The old and degraded asphalt around the rail will be replaced with concrete and grout.

Crews will also replace outdated switch machines and improve the drainage underneath them. Right now debris gets clogged in the switches, which requires workers to clear out. We can prevent that from happening by redesigning the storm water collectors and increasing the size of the drainage pipes underneath leading leading to the storm/sewer system.

We know service disruptions can be frustrating, so we thank you for your patience while we make MAX better and more reliable!

Learn more about the service adjustments and how to navigate around the disruption.

Dave Sauter

Dave Sauter

I’m a Project Manager for TriMet’s Capital Projects & Construction Division, working on track improvements on the MAX system along with other projects. I regularly ride public transportation — the Line 96 bus and the MAX Blue and Orange lines — so I personally know the value of transit that’s reliable and enjoyable. I was born and raised in Portland. My wife and I and our five kids frequently visit my parents who still live in the house where I grew up.”

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Coming Soon to TriMet: Electric Buses

It’s no secret that public transit is good for the environment.

Consider:

Every day TriMet eliminates more than 200,000 car trips, and a TriMet rider’s per mile carbon footprint is 60 percent less than a car driver’s.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t do more. This Earth Day, we want to share our plans for a project that could be a major step towards making Portland an even more environmentally friendly place.

Soon, five battery-electric buses will run along Line 62 in Beaverton. These buses, which were paid for by a federal grant and funds from Portland General Electric, make up a real-world test of battery-electric bus technology that will helps us determine if we can roll out these zero emission, whisper-quiet buses across the TriMet system.

Want to know more about these buses, including the seriously cool technology powering them, our plans for the pilot program and when and where you can meet them in-person?

Visit our Electric Buses page.

 

Tom Williams

Tom Williams

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to share our story, and to keep you up-to-date on how TriMet can help you navigate Portland. When I'm not working, I love to read, spend time outdoors, and visit tiki bars.

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New: Virtual Hop Card for Android Devices

Big news for Android users: The virtual Hop card is available now!

This new feature lets you pay with your phone while automatically earning day and month passes as you go. Plus the virtual card works for Honored Citizen and Youth fares, too.

And get this: the first 1,000 riders who download the app and add money to their virtual card will get a $3 credit from Google.

Update: The $3 credits have all been claimed. Thanks to everyone who has set up their virtual card!

Setting up the virtual card is easy. Just open the Hop Fastpass app on your Android phone, tap “Get Virtual Card Using Google Pay” on the home screen, and follow the instructions to sign in or create an account. Tap “Add Virtual Card” to add your Hop card to Google Pay, then select a card type and initial amount to load and buy your card. Tap “Save” and view your virtual card in Google Pay. You’re ready to go!

Watch our video to view the entire process:

Get the Hop Fastpass app for your Android device.

Tom Williams

Tom Williams

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to share our story, and to keep you up-to-date on how TriMet can help you navigate Portland. When I'm not working, I love to read, spend time outdoors, and visit tiki bars.

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