It’s never too early to start preparing for a natural disaster, so we’ve been working with city and county partners to put together an emergency plan in case something big — like Cascadia — hits.
If something disastrous were to happen, we’d keep transit running as long as roadways are usable. We’ve also been developing a transportation recovery plan with other local transit agencies to ensure we’re able to move people to and from emergency shelters and bring in resources if needed.
Do you already have an emergency plan in place? Here are some tips to help you plan ahead:
Can you believe it’s been two years since we opened the MAX Orange Line? Neither can we! But since September 12, 2015, more than six million rides have been taken on this line, and that number only continues to grow!
Fall is finally upon us. This means days are shorter, nights are colder and — more often that not — it’s raining. And it won’t be stopping anytime soon.
So, as we adjust to the changing seasons, here are some tips for commuting in wet weather to help hold you over until the dry days of summer return.
#1. Dress in layers.
Weather in Oregon can be unpredictable. One minute, the sun’s out. The next minute, it’s a downpour. It’s best to layer up before you head out so you’re prepared for whatever weather conditions come your way. (And yes, umbrellas are allowed!)
#2. Check trimet.org/alerts before you go.
It’s always best practice to check our Service Alerts page before you go to make sure your bus or train is not experiencing any detours or delays. You can also sign up for email updates to get service alerts that affect you delivered right to your inbox.
#3. Light up the night!
Bring a small flashlight or blinky-light with you (or use the flashlight on your smartphone) to help you see and be seen. It gets darker much earlier and stays dark later into the morning, so having a personal light on you keeps you safe and helps our operators see you better!
#4. Heads up while walking, please.
It’s so easy to be distracted by our devices, but walking while looking at your smartphone poses a safety risk for yourself and everyone else around you. When out and about, please pay attention to where you’re going, especially when crossing streets or MAX tracks. In addition to keeping your eyes off your phone, do make sure that you can see out from beneath your umbrellas and hoods!
#5. Be aware of your surroundings.
In extreme weather conditions, unforeseen incidents may happen, like a fallen tree or downed power lines. A downed line doesn’t have to spark to be dangerous. It can be dangerous even if you’re not touching it: Water, metal, tree branches, concrete or other materials touching the wire can conduct electricity to you. Please be extra safe and take extra precautions if you must travel during intense weather situations.
Every year on (or around) September 22, the planet comes together to celebrate World Carfree Day. This global car-free movement encourages motorists to leave their cars behind and try alternative modes of transportation for one day.
Thinking about going car-free? Here are some reasons to give it a try:
#1. It saves you money.
When you take TriMet, you don’t have to pay for parking or gas. But if you go completely car-free, you don’t have to worry about loans, car payments, insurance or maintenance costs.
Fact: According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), transit riders in Portland can save up to $861 a month ($10,334 a year).
According to a study released by APTA, commuters reduce their risk of of being in a traffic accident by more than 90 percent by simply taking public transit over commuting by car.
Fact: Cities that average more than 50 annual transit trips per capita have about half the average traffic fatality rates as cities where residents average fewer than 20 annual trips.
#4. It’s better for the environment.
Choosing to walk, bike, or take public transit during your commute helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion. When you decide to reduce your carbon footprint, you help keep our planet clean!
#5. It’s good for your health.
We’re just more active when we’re less dependent on cars. Taking public transportation helps us get in more exercise because of the walking and biking we do getting to and from our stops.
Day in and day out, our bus operators carefully maneuver 40-foot buses through city streets, along highways and over bridges. It’s no easy feat to drive a TriMet bus — it takes skillful coordination, patience and whole lot of wheel-turning to get through those tight corners — but for one day, our operators can put their bus driving skills to the test by competing in the annual TriMet Bus “Roadeo.”
The Bus Roadeo is a challenging obstacle course broken down into nine different sections. Each section tests different techniques, like guiding the bus through tight spaces, zig-zagging around barriers and stopping on a dime with the bus going 15 miles per hour.
And it’s not only bus operators who can compete in the Roadeo. All TriMet employees have the opportunity to see what it takes to drive a bus — and get in some good laughs because we definitely knock things over!
This is the third year we’ve held the Bus Roadeo, and we definitely think we’ll do it again! It’s a great way to demonstrate the challenges our bus operators face, plus it’s fun for all the different departments to come together (and enjoy delicious food off the grill).
Now, it wouldn’t be an Oregon summer without the annual Oregon Brewers Fest! For the 29th year in a row, you can sip more than 80 independent craft beers along the banks of the Willamette River. (Must be 21+ to attend this event.)
For just a few weekends, CityFair takes over the South Waterfront! Take a ride on the Ferris wheel, get your face painted and eat something deep-fried before it’s too late! CityFair closes at 11 p.m. all nights.
This floral-filled parade is a beloved annual tradition. The Grand Floral Parade is reflection of all the co-existing communities in Portland, and every year hundreds of thousands of cheering viewers come out to watch this parade wind through the 4.2-mile route through city streets and across the Willamette River.
The Rose Festival parades are typically our busiest days of the year, so please plan extra time and don’t forget your fare!
You can purchase tickets in advance on the TriMet Tickets app, at the grocery store, the TriMet Ticket office, or online. (Also available on the app is a new feature to help you connect with transportation options, like Lyft and car2go.)
Each year, three operators are chosen as the TriMet Operators of the Year. The winners are selected by their colleagues and qualify for the annual award based on their driving, attendance and customer service records.
Here are 2016’s Operators of the Year:
Justina Carrillo, “Mini-Run” Operator of the Year
Justina lives in Southeast Portland and has worked as a part-time, or “Mini-Run,” bus operator since 2003. She’s received 21 National Safe Driving Awards, which mean zero preventable accidents in 21 years, and six Superior Performance Awards (awarded each time an operator drives for 1,960 hours without any preventable accidents, warnings, reprimands or suspensions). Thank you, Justina!
Jeffery Evans, MAX Operator of the Year
Jeffery started as a bus operator in 1991 and moved to MAX Light Rail in 1998. The Beaverton resident has earned 11 Superior Performance Awards and has been chosen twice as Rail Operator of the Quarter — once in 2002 and again in 2015. (He also briefly appeared in a Siemens commercial earlier this year!) You rock, Jeffery!
Alex Ohly, Bus Operator of the Year
Alex has been a TriMet bus operator since 1990. The Lake Oswego resident has earned 21 National Safe Driving Awards, 15 Superior Performance Awards, three Ace awards for helping his Honored Citizen riders — not to mention, nine straight years of perfect attendance! Alex is also a Master Operator, a title given to operators who earn at least 10 Superior Performance Awards. Way to go, Alex!
Congratulations Justina, Jeffery and Alex — Thanks for keeping us all moving!
During this time, we’ll be sending out fewer trains, and all MAX lines will be running on adjusted schedules and reduced frequencies. Depending on your commute, you may have to transfer to a shuttle bus or walk a few extra blocks to your destination.
It’s going to be different — possibly a little hectic and crazy — but if we practice good TriMetiquette while we ride, it will help us navigate this disruption a little smoother.
With fewer trains running, space is going to be tight on board. Help out your fellow riders by moving towards the back of the bus and up the stairs on Type 4 and 5 MAX trains. (Take advantage of these cramped quarters and chat with your neighbor about the latest Game of Thrones episode.)
When boarding buses and trains, please let exiting riders off first. Even if you’re eager to get on board (especially if you’ve been waiting for a while), it’s easier for everyone if you let folks off the bus or train first.
Seats are for butts — not bags, newspapers, laptops, or feet. (Yuck!)
With so many riders on board it’s bound to be noisy. Please use headphones and keep your voice down during phone call conversations.
Offer up priority seats. In the priority seating areas, you are required to move for seniors and people with disabilities. (They need that seat more than you do!)
We sincerely appreciate your patience as we work to complete this important project. Have an etiquette reminder you’d like to share with others? Tag your tweets with #TriMetiquette.
By now you’ve seen how Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, lights up the night — but how exactly do those lights work?
There are 178 LED lights aesthetically placed on 40 bridge cables, the four transmission towers above and below the deck, and on the Sonic Dish artwork along the Eastside Esplanade and future Willamette Greenway at the ends of the bridge.
Monitors from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, located in the water near the Morrison Bridge, collect data from the Willamette River. A program developed by digital artist Morgan Barnard translates the data into a colorful and aesthetic display.
(Video: December 2014 Testing)
The temperature of the river controls the color of the lights. Warmer river conditions will display warmer colors, like orange and yellow, while cooler temperatures will display cool colors, like green and blue.
Notice how the lights seem to dance across Tilikum Crossing? That’s controlled by the tide. When the tide is coming in, the lights move towards the center of the bridge. As the tide goes out, the lights move towards the ends of the bridge. Additionally, the tide levels affect the speed of the lights. When the tide is higher or lower, the lights move faster. At midpoint, the lights move slowly.
The speed of the river controls how quickly the colors change. If the river is moving fast, the colors will appear to move and cycle through quicker.
The river’s height affects the contrast in the lights. The higher the river, the more contrasted the colors appear, which affects the pattern and movement of the lights. This change varies with the season, so in the summer (when the river levels are pretty static) the bridge color will appear even and bright. In the spring, when the water tends to move more, the bridge colors will appear more fluid.
While a lot of scientific data is gathered to create this aesthetic light display, the bridge lights aren’t meant to serve as a weather tool. The artists, the late Anna Valentina Murch and Douglas Hollis, wanted these lights to represent a dialogue between the Willamette River and Tilikum Crossing — quite a poetic way to look at the lights, don’t you think?