All posts by Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

Get Ready to #BIKEMORE in May

Every ride counts.

That’s the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s new slogan to accompany its revamped annual event, the Bike More Challenge. It was formerly focused on bike commuting during the month of September, but has now moved to May (National Bike Month) and embraced all types of biking (not just to work).

We love this. Biking and transit make a natural pair — both are active modes of transportation, and they offer benefits like reduced congestion and less emissions compared to driving. They also tend to be more enjoyable ways to travel than driving alone: On the bus you can watch the world go by (or play Candy Crush), on your bike you get fresh air and an unobstructed view.

And honestly, the timing couldn’t be better this year. We’re about to start a two-week MAX improvement project that will severely disrupt service, and we’re really encouraging our riders to consider alternate ways of getting to work, school or wherever. Biking — and the Bike More Challenge, specifically — is a near-perfect solution for anyone who’s able to do it. The four steps to participating are simple:

  1. Register. It’s free, and you can join your workplace’s team.
  2. Ride. Wherever, whenever and for whatever reason. If you ride for more than 10 minutes, log your trip.
  3. Recruit. It’s more fun to ride with someone — or to challenge them to see who can log more miles.
  4. Win. There are prizes and awards, but it’s the glory you’re after.
If you're combining your bike trip with transit, lock up before you board.
Secure bike parking facilities like this Bike & Ride are available throughout the region.

If your bike route bypasses the MAX disruption, you’re in luck. But for the work-bound cyclists who need to combine their trip with transit (to get over the West Hills, for example): Park your bike before you get on board. Trains are going to be extremely full during the project, and there won’t be room for your bike. We have lots of secure bike parking around — remember your lock and you’re good to go.

The best part about the Bike More Challenge is its commitment to getting interested beginners to try cycling. If you’re a returning participant this year, consider ways you can help someone else — a co-worker, colleague or friend — enjoy life on two wheels.

Register now for the Bike More Challenge

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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How to navigate MAX during the 1st Avenue Improvements

Think of our upcoming work on First Avenue, and the accompanying service disruption, like a root canal procedure. It’s going to be messy and cause plenty of headaches. You’ll wish it were over sooner. And, in the end, you’ll be glad it happened.

And like with an invasive dental procedure, you’re going to have to be a little altered (your commute, anyways) to get through it.

We'll be replacing sections of track and switches along First Avenue in Downtown Portland.
It’s time to replace sections of track and switches like this along First Avenue in Downtown Portland.

Here are a few things we’re recommending for MAX riders during the two-week project:

Change your trip. If you can avoid peak hours or work from home, do it. Or take the bus (our buses will run on their regular routes during the project), the streetcar or try Lyft/carpooling. And if you choose to drive yourself for those two weeks, well, we get it.

Better yet, why not…

Bike there instead. May is National Bike Month and, even more excitingly, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s inaugural Bike More Challenge. Formerly the Bike Commute Challenge, which took place every September, the event is now more encompassing and accessible to every rider. Plus, it preempts the warm, sunny months that are perfect for cycling.

If you can bike all the way, more power to you. If you want to combine your trip with transit, lock up at the station (we have really nice Bike & Rides and secure bike parking all over the system) — don’t bring your bike on board. Trains are going to be packed, and it’s not worth the hassle of trying to wheel through the crowd. That’s a lot of nasty glares.

Plan extra time. In the end, we’re talking about significantly more crowded and less frequent trains, and the possibility you’ll have to transfer to a shuttle or walk a few more blocks to get to your destination. Everything’s going to take a little longer, so allowing at least 30–45 extra minutes for your trip is a good idea.

Now you’re ready to check the temporary schedules and plan your trip. (Don’t worry — our trip planner and TransitTracker will take these into account.) It’s going to be a little painful, but keep in mind what’s on the other side: more reliable service. The track and switches we’re replacing are old — MAX turns 30 this year — and malfunctions have become more frequent in the past few years. It’s time to dig in.

View animated maps and schedules for the 1st Avenue MAX Improvements

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

More Posts

You asked: Is petitioning allowed on TriMet?

With elections coming up and ballot deadlines approaching, you may have been stopped by folks collecting signatures during your commute. We’ve been asked more often lately: Are people allowed to gather signatures on board or at the station?

The answer, generally, is yes. Canvassing and petitioning are constitutionally protected activities under the First Amendment, and are therefore legally permitted on TriMet property. Of course, this doesn’t give anyone license to act disruptively or dangerously — if you ever feel unsafe, let your operator know or call the police.

And if you’re feeling like this election season can’t end soon enough, think of petitioners on transit like that one friend’s political posts in your Facebook feed. (If you can’t relate, you are that friend — it’s OK.) Just like it’s best if you scroll right past those, feel free to pass on a petition you don’t feel like signing in real life.

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

More Posts

Hop Fastpass Will Change the Way You Pay Fare — If You Want It To

When it makes its debut next year, Hop Fastpass™ will change the way many of us ride transit. It will be a convenient option for lots of riders, allowing them to pay their way toward a daily or monthly pass, protect their balance even if they lose their card, and automatically reload funds so they’re never stuck without fare. But rest assured, you can always pay with cash, too.

We’re introducing Hop Fastpass as another option for TriMet, C-TRAN and Portland Streetcar riders — one that many have been dreaming of for years. (Electronic fare systems have been hugely successful in leading transit cities around the world.)

We’ve designed Hop Fastpass to be inclusive and accessible, but you don’t have to use it. You’ll still be able to pay with cash or purchase fares at ticket vending machines or on board buses, just like today. We want to make this clear, especially after seeing some inaccurate information floating around lately.

We do have programs to benefit low-income riders

The benefits of affordable transit are undeniable, and we’re on board. We lowered the cost of Youth fares to $1.25 back in 2014, which helps make transit more affordable for students and low-income families.  We also have $1.5 million dedicated to two programs that provide free or reduced-cost fares to non-profits and community-based organizations that serve low-income individuals and families. These groups are then able to offer fares as part of a suite of services for their clients.

For the many low-income families and individuals who ride frequently, Hop Fastpass offers a great advantage over paper tickets: the pay-as-you-go pass. This allows riders to pay towards a 1-Month Pass in increments as small as $5 – once they’ve paid the equivalent of a monthly pass, the rest of the rides are free that month. This eliminates the upfront cost of a pass while making its significant discount more accessible.

We’re (really) expanding our retail network

Right now, riders can purchase fare from about 130 retailers throughout the service area; with Hop Fastpass, there will be about 500 fare outlets. In the future, Hop Fastpass fare can also be loaded online, using a smartphone app, by phone and at our ticket offices.

And remember: You can always pay fare in cash on buses and at MAX stations.

Each rider needs their own card, but one person can manage multiple accounts

Lots of riders travel in groups, like families or classes, which is why Hop Fastpass will allow one rider to manage multiple accounts. Each rider age 7 and older will need their own card to use Hop Fastpass (just like each needs separate fare today).

Plus, there’s a big benefit to using individual cards: It will allow us to offer pay-as-you-go passes. Pay for two 2½-Hour Tickets in a day and ride free until the end of service; pay the equivalent of a monthly pass in one month and ride free until the next month. This extends the value of passes to more riders, without the upfront cost.

To kick things off, we’ll be giving out about 200,000 free cards, many of which will be available to low-income riders. Otherwise there will be a one-time $3 charge for a new Hop Fastpass card, which is designed to last for up to 10 years. The low card fee (which, when taking advantage of balance protection available with a Hop Fastpass card, is less than the cost of losing a single 1-Day Pass) will help us maintain a wide-reaching and convenient retail network.

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You’ll know when you’re running low

The theme of Hop Fastpass is convenience, and that means not having to worry about your account balance. The easiest thing to do is set it and forget it — register your account and activate automatic reloading, so you’re never stuck without fare. But even if you don’t do this, you can always check your balance online, using the app or by phone. And if your balance is running low, you’ll get an alert when you tap on board. And if you don’t have money on your Hop Fastpass card, you can always pay with cash on the bus or at the train station.

Your personal information remains private

Hop Fastpass users’ credit or debit card information will be assigned secure, randomly generated alphanumeric tokens. Cybersource, owned by Visa, will handle all the payment processing for Hop Fastpass and will marry the digital tokens with the corresponding credit or debit card numbers.

Your personal information is safe, too — in fact, we’ll allow you to register your Hop Fastpass account using a four-digit security PIN that you create. We’ll tally the taps on your card to make sure you’re charged the correct fare and to cap your fares once you’ve paid the equivalent of a daily or monthly pass.

We want to know what you think

We know our riders want an electronic fare system, and we want Hop Fastpass to work for as many people as possible. We’ve welcomed public input every step of the way, and we’ll continue to share our progress and listen to riders before, during and after the system makes its debut.

Send us a note or sign up for email updates about Hop Fastpass (especially if you’re interested in the chance to become a beta tester) or to learn about upcoming public meetings and hearings.

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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Instagram Roundup: March

Congratulations on making it through winter — it was a big one, and you did it in style. Now sun’s out (hello, 75 degrees!), everything’s blooming and the days are quickly getting longer.

Not that you’d need to go outside to know this. A quick glance at Instagram confirms that spring is here — these vibrant scenes are filled with color and life:

Tilikum Illuminated, Series 2/4 (facing East) | #tilikumcrossing #ridetrimet #bridges_aroundtheworld #igers_portland #tilikumilluminated

A photo posted by Amanda Ulrich ✨👟✨ (@amandapdxrunforcongo) on

Follow @ridetrimet on Instagram »

City kids for a day. #portland #trimet

A photo posted by @mikanmorton on

On the train! Off to the airport!!! #guenbttravels #vegas #onthetrain #trimet #airport #blackandwhite 🚟

A photo posted by gmaher (@guenbtdotcom) on

It’s spring vacation now. バスでお出かけ! #bus#pdx#trimet #springbreak

A photo posted by @miauring on

Portland rain #portlandoregon #pnw #downtown #rain #trimet #oregon #exploreportland #nofilter #lighting

A photo posted by She flies with her own wings (@myemeraldvalley) on

My kind of weather! #desaturated #bridge #broadway #steel #portland #pdx #oregon #fog #foggy #trimet #commute

A photo posted by j.todd (@j.todd.desaturated) on

#Bybee #orangelineproject #nofilter #trimet #portlandmax #goodmorning

A photo posted by @brittany_kay_detarr on

As always, tag @ridetrimet and #GoByTransit to share your ride!

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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The 2016 Spring Break Staycation Guide

If you’ve got a break coming up and you’re staying in town, here are some transit-accessible ideas for when…

Image: Picnic House
You could eat at three different restaurants a day during Portland Dining Month and not try them all. Image: Picnic House

You’re hungry: Portland Dining Month

In a city known for embracing food culture, March is the tastiest month. This year, more than 120 restaurants are offering a three course special for $29. Browse the entire list, which spans 24 (!) categories and restaurants citywide. (And don’t think for a second that there’s a shortage of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options — there’s a checkbox for that.)

Every day in March at 120+ restaurants throughout Portland. portlanddiningmonth.com

You’re thirsty: Spring Beer & Wine Fest

Not only are 39 great, mostly local breweries and wineries exhibiting at this event — there are also cideries, meaderies, distilleries, cheesemakers and chocolatiers. And the fact that it’s indoors means you don’t have to worry about spring showers diluting your drink!

Oh, and get there early if you can: The first 500 in line on Friday get in free!

March 25 & 26 at Oregon Convention Center. springbeerandwinefest.com

 

Portland Saturday Market
Don’t forget: Saturday Market is open Sundays, too.

You’ve got family in town: Saturday Market

This month marks the return of one of Portland’s longest-running events, Saturday Market (it’s on Sundays, too). At its core, the market is an artists’ community that gives visitors — approximately one million each year — a direct connection to the artisans, makers and artists. Within the 250+ craft and food booths everyone in your party is guaranteed to find something they want, love or simply and inexplicably need to have.

Saturdays and Sundays, March through December at North Waterfront Park and Ankeny Plaza. portlandsaturdaymarket.com

You’re feeling nostalgic: Gresham Skate World and The Tiki Putt

In an age where throwbacks reign supreme, this is the real deal — a neighborhood roller rink that’s been open since the mid-70s. There’s even a Spring Break All-Nighter if you think you’ve got what it takes.

Open daily at 1220 NE Kelly Avenue in Gresham. greshamskateworld.com

If your skating skills are suspect, try the nearby mini-golf course at The Tiki Putt. Its 18 holes feature huts, jungles and an active volcano — plus the whole thing is blacklit.

Open daily at 1776 NW Fairview Drive in Gresham. thetikiputt.com

 

Flickr/Portland Japanese Garden
The Strolling Pond is one of many serene spaces at the Portland Japanese Garden. Image: Flickr/Portland Japanese Garden

You need a close-in getaway: Portland Japanese Garden

After a six-month closure to work on an expansion, this local treasure has reopened its doors. It’s been hailed as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, and a stroll around the grounds (you’ll visit the Natural Garden, Sand and Stone Garden, Flat Garden, Strolling Pond Garden and Tea Garden) makes this abundantly, serenely, beautifully clear.

Open daily in Washington Park. japanesegarden.com

You need a wardrobe update: The Mall

You’ve earned your break, why not treat yourself? Head over to the shop whose Instagrams you’re always liking and see what’s in store. Or go to the mall and surprise yourself (any mall will do, but Washington Square, Clackamas Town Center and Lloyd Center are the biggest). We love spring because it symbolizes a fresh start, and a new outfit pairs well with a new outlook.

 

Train to Plane
We’ll take you right to the terminal.

You’re leaving town: Portland International Airport

It’s been quite a winter. So if your plan is to get far, far away (a week of sun and sand, perhaps) we’ve got you. Skip the parking and catch the train to the plane — MAX Red Line trains arrive at PDX about every 15 minutes during the day.

(We can get you to Amtrak and Union Station, too!)

trimet.org/traintoplane

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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Instagram Roundup: February

After a few years in Portland, you become accustomed to the February Fakeout: a string of mild, sunny days that tricks you into thinking spring has begun. But inevitably the rain returns and you realize daylight saving time hasn’t even started.

Even if they don’t last, these days are a good pick-me-up for commuters coming out of a dark, damp winter. For proof, just look at the sun and the blossoms in some of your photos from the last few weeks:

Follow the glow of the distant sun.

A photo posted by Fredo R. (@supfredo) on

Follow @ridetrimet on Instagram »

Happy Monday! 😊

A photo posted by Penelope The Hedgehog (@hedgiepenelope) on

left intentionally or unintentionally, me gusta 🌸 #pdxblooms #trimetmax

A photo posted by Angelica M. Millán Lozano (@antagoniista) on

Riding the public transit may not be an exciting occurrence for most people, but as a large group of people and dogs board the bus or train, it becomes a lot more interesting. Of course it’s not just for fun, it’s very important for our guide dog puppies to learn how to properly board public transit and sit or lay quietly and calmly while it rumbles along. As a guide dog they will likely utilize buses, trains, or other forms of public transportation with their handler so while they are in training with us we expose them to that experience, often many times, to ensure that they are comfortable and confident doing so. Our puppies had the opportunity to demonstrate just how awesome they are at that on Tuesday when we boarded a bus with ten puppies and headed to the mall for a very big outing (to be announced in the following post). #guidedogsfortheblind #Sightmasters Pictured above is now 14-month-old yellow lab, Ryan, relaxing on a commuter train on a previous club outing. He is laying down on the blue speckled floor, tucked under a seat on a raised step. The edge of the raised area is outlined with a yellow stripe. His paws are hanging over the edge, one hanging down and the other sticking straight out, and he is looking directly at the camera. #ryan

A photo posted by Sightmasters (@sightmasters) on

An aptly placed etching | #tilikumcrossing #pdxsunrise #ridetrimet

A photo posted by Amanda Ulrich ✨👟✨ (@amandapdxrunforcongo) on

| Tilikum #Transitnerdery | #🌉 #🔳 #transitnerd #bridgevibe #igers_portland #portlandnw #pdxavsquad #trimet

A photo posted by G R A N T 🍀 O’C O N N E L L (@ghoconnell) on

Tag @ridetrimet and #GoByTransit to show us your stuff in March!

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Coordinator. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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