As 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!
TriMet General Manager