All posts by Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

5 Tips for Commuting in the Rain

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.

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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5 Reasons to Go Car-Free

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).

#2. It’s less stress.

The average American driver can spend up to 450 hours each year on the road, resulting in rising levels of frustration and stress that can really take a toll on your quality of life. By taking public transportation, you can use your commute time to read, text friends, or just take some well-deserved “me” time.

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#3. It’s safer.

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.

Fact: A study in North Carolina showed that light rail passengers were 81% less likely to become obese over time and would lose an average of 7 pounds over a one-year period.

Bikes on Tilikum Crossing

Are you up for the car-free challenge?

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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The 2016 Bus “Roadeo”

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.”

Winners take home a trophy, and bragging rights for being a Bus Roadeo Champion!
Winners take home a trophy, and bragging rights for being a Bus Roadeo Champion!

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.

Tennis Ball Test: Fit the dual rear wheels through the tennis balls without running them over.
Alley of Cones: Fit through two tight alleys without knocking over any cones.
Alley of Cones: Fit through two offset alleys without knocking over any cones.
Cone Serpentine: Weave through the cones without knocking any over!
Cone Serpentine: Weave through the cones without knocking any over!
Barrel Test: Squeeze between two rows of barrels while accelerating to 15 mph and stopping.

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).

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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Five Fun Things To Do in July!

Nothing beats an Oregon summer. After so many months of rain, we welcome the sun with open arms and celebrate the warmest season of the year with brews, blues, and inner tubes!

Here are a few fun events taking place this July and, of course, you can #GoByTransit!

Waterfront Blues Fest: July 1-4

LoveBomb Go-Go | Photo by Brit Forbes
LoveBomb Go-Go | Photo by Brit Forbes

Listen to some great tunes and help fight hunger at the same time! For its 29th year, the Blues Fest will take over the South Waterfront from July 1 through 4.

waterfrontbluesfest.com

The Big Float: July 10

Grab your inner tubes and get ready for the Big Float! Celebrate the Willamette River at this annual event — and everyone’s welcome! (This year the float features two 100-foot Slip & Slides!)

thebigfloat.com

Portland Highland Games: July 16

slideshow.fiddler

The Highland Games bring the sights and sounds of the Scottish highlands to Rose City. Bagpipe bands, whiskey samples, highland dancers — there’s something for everyone at this event!

phga.org

PDX Pop Now! July 22-24

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This free, all-ages, non-profit festival returns this year with performances from 43 Portland artists. Catch the music, a street fair, food carts and more under the Hawthorne Bridge at AudioCinema.

pdxpopnow.com

Oregon Brewers Festival: July 27-31

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.)

oregonbrewfest.com

Get out and enjoy fun in the sun — we’ll do the driving!

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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2016 Rose Festival Events

Once again, it’s time for the annual Rose Festival! This Portland summer tradition has been celebrated for over 100 years, and this year the theme is “Excessive Celebration!”

Here’s a quick guide to some of the big events taking place this summer — Avoid the hassles of traffic and parking downtown and let us take you there!

CityFair: June 2-5 and June 9-12

City-Fair

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.

Starlight Parade: June 4

falun-dafa

This year, the Starlight Parade celebrates 40 years! This crowd-favorite parade runs along a 2.25-mile route and lights up the streets of Downtown Portland from 8:30 p.m. through 11 p.m.

Service information during the Starlight Parade

Fleet Week: June 8-12

Since the very first Rose Festival back in 1907, visiting ships and other fleet-related elements (like submarines) have been making their way to Portland’s waterfront — and this year is no different!

One of the purposes of Fleet Week has always been to celebrate and thank the active and reserve military personnel and all veterans.

Service information during Fleet Week

Junior Rose Festival Parade: June 8

The Junior Parade has been an official Rose Festival event since 1936! Join in on the nation’s oldest and largest children’s parade from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Hollywood District.

Service information during the Junior Parade

Grand Floral Parade: June 11

grand_floral4

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.

Service information during the Grand Floral Parade

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.)

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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2016 Operators of the Year

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!

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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TriMetiquette: Let’s ride together!

The 1st Avenue MAX Improvements project has begun and for the next two weeks, May 8-21, it’s going to be a bit chaotic on our trains.

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.

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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