Behind the scenes at the Rose Festival with Supervisor Ryan Hughes

Lead Field Operations Supervisor Ryan Hughes
Lead Field Operations Supervisor Ryan Hughes

When we think of Rose Festival, many think about colorful floats, marching bands and carnival rides. Ryan Hughes, lead supervisor for TriMet Field Operations, thinks about bus and MAX service for thousands of riders who take transit to festival events.

Before the first tuba is tuned, Ryan, one of four lead supervisors, works with Field Operations (the on-the-street operational arm of TriMet) to plan for and coordinate the events that will affect transit.

Planning for Rose Festival begins in January with TriMet operations staff determining where to allocate resources during the Starlight and Grand Floral parades, how to manage service when Portland’s bridges lift for fleet arrivals and how to best staff the emergency operations center set up for the parades.

During the events, Ryan is in contact with TriMet’s command center in Gresham, requesting resources such as trains for an area that needs capacity or dispatching any of TriMet’s 50 supervisors to locations where riders may need assistance.

“My job is to take care of the road and rail supervisors and provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs.”

He stays mobile during his shifts, lending support to his supervisors on the scene of an incident or helping make decisions at a moment’s notice. He also communicates regularly with Transit Police Division officers, TriMet’s contract security personnel and the agency’s customer service staff.

And for two action-packed weeks in June, Ryan’s big picture is Rose Festival and helping make sure all of TriMet’s preparations lead to smooth operations during Portland’s busiest time of year.