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.

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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