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.

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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How It Works: Tilikum Crossing Art Lights

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.

Tilikum Crossing in September (Photo Courtesy: Victor von Salza)
Tilikum Crossing in September (Photo Courtesy: Victor von Salza)
Flickr
Tilikum Crossing in November (Photo Courtesy: Sky Schemer)

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.

Video Credit: Mike Warner

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?

Learn more about Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People

Learn more about our Public Art Program

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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Date night ideas—all accessible by transit!

heart rosette whitebgValentine’s Day is just around the corner, so why not surprise your sweetheart with a date you can get to by bus or train? Here are some fun (and frugal!) date nights — and you don’t have to drive!

The good ol’ go-to

Who doesn’t love dinner and a movie? MAX Blue and Red lines will take you right to the Regal Lloyd Center Cinema, or hop on the Green Line to check out Clackamas Town Center’s XD Theater. Want to have dinner delivered to your seat during the film? Check out the Living Room Theater in Downtown Portland. The Portland Streetcar and Line 20-Burnside/Stark will take you there.

Brunch lovers

Forget the fancy dinner and take your Valentine out to brunch. Portland — known for its brunch scene — is chock full of great spots. Here are a few you can get to by public transportation: Old Salt Marketplace (Line 75-Cesar Chavez/Lombard), Kerns Kitchen (Line 19-Woodstock/Glisan), An Xuyen (Line 14-Hawthorne), and Roman Candle (Line 4-Division/Fessenden).

Plan a private pub crawl

Perfect for the beer lover in your life! Stay safe and off the streets by planning your crawl along a bus, train or Portland Streetcar route. Need a little inspiration? Here’s a Belmont pub crawl by bus, a pub crawl through the Pearl District and a crawl all along the streetcar’s North/South Line.

Play in the park

Washington Park, that is! Take MAX Blue or Red lines to the Washington Park MAX Station and explore! There’s not much in bloom at the International Rose Garden, and the Portland Japanese Garden is closed through March, but you can still enjoy a stroll with your sweetie through the Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum or the World Forestry Center.

Nature lovers

Spend some alone time with your Valentine in the wild outdoors. There are so many hiking trails accessible by transit, rain or shine! Frolic through Forest Park — Lines 15, 20 and MAX can get you there .

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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Making the MAX Orange Line green

The Portland area thrives on sustainability. From its city-wide recycling programs to a nationally recognized bike-friendly ranking, it’s clear to see our region cares about the environment — and we do too.

From the early stages of the MAX Orange Line project, we’ve been committed to sustainability. Of course, the new Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, set new standards by being the first (and only) vehicle-free bridge in the United States dedicated exclusively to transit, bicycles and pedestrians, but sustainable practices can be found all along the Orange Line — from the vegetation planted along the rails to the energy initiatives set in place, sustainability has been a focus the entire time.

Going green

eco_track

You’ll find 4,204 square feet of flowering, low-growing evergreen plants between the tracks at the Lincoln St/SW 3rd Ave MAX Station. Although green trackways exist in Europe, this is a first for Portland and the only known eco-track treatment in the U.S. These plants help enrich the urban experience along the MAX line and reduce train noise and vibration.

Additionally, eight buildings on the alignment—six on the east side of the Willamette River and two on the west side—have eco-roofs. This top layer of vegetation and soil improves a building’s insulation, absorbs carbon dioxide, helps filter dust and pollutants out of the air (A 1,000-square-foot green roof removes about 40 pounds of airborne particulates per year!) and diverts stormwater by absorbing rainwater.

ecoroof

Speaking of stormwater…

Bio-swales, stormwater planters and rain gardens are found all along the Orange Line so that stormwater runoff can be collected and safely filtered back into the groundwater. Rain that falls on Tilikum Crossing is directed to treatment facilities on both sides of the river — another first for Portland as runoff from the other bridges flows directly into the city’s combined sewer overflow facilities.

stormwater
Stormwater is captured and filtered at 252 curbside facilities and 34 other swales and basins.

Energy usage

At most of the Orange Line stations you’ll see solar panels on the shelter roofs. These panels generate electricity from both sides and help offset the power usage needed at each station.

solarcells

Additionally, all lighting along the Orange Line is LED instead of conventional halide bulbs. LEDs use one-sixth of the electricity as halide bulbs and will only need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years.

Collaborative sustainability

The SE Park Ave Park & Ride is a prime example of many sustainable practices coming together as a whole. Metro, the Oregon Department of Transportation, Urban Green and members of the community all joined together to create this innovative parking structure.

parkride

Some key practices in place:

  • All of the building’s stormwater runoff is captured and treated onsite.
  • Invasive plants were removed and native species were planted to restore former habitats.
  • Over 100 bike parking spaces are provided, as well as an area for future car-sharing programs.
  • Solar panel energy operates all of the Park & Ride’s functions — including its elevators and lighting — allowing the building to achieve net zero energy usage!

The MAX Orange Line project’s deep commitment to sustainability and social benefit will help shape how we plan projects in the future, and hopefully, encourage other agencies and industries around the world to keep sustainability in mind.

Learn more about the sustainable practices in place on the MAX Orange Line.

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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You asked: Why is the bridge still closed?

During the People’s Preview, many of you asked why Tilikum Crossing won’t be open for another month. Truth is, we’re almost done—We’ve just got a few things to finish in the next 30 days to ensure the bridge is safe and ready for use!

  • We have safety improvements to complete along the bicycle and pedestrian pathways on the bridge, like striping—our word for painting—a line to clearly define where the bike lane is.
  • There are also some areas on the pathways that need additional concrete work.
  • We still have interpretive signs to install at the belvederes (the extra space on the bridge that juts out).
  • Our Fireworks Spectacular event on August 22 will require us to close the pathways for about four days.
  • Lastly, we’re continuing to train our operators on the new MAX Orange Line for the next month. On August 30 we’ll begin “simulated service”—which means trains will be running on their actual schedules, but without riders.

We can’t wait for Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, to open—but the wait is definitely worth it! In the meantime, feed your anticipation at one of our “Catch the Orange” events or stay in the loop with email updates.

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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New rules for vaping and service animals

As you know, we have a set of “Rules for Riding” in place to help our riders and employees feel safe and comfortable while on the transit system. Effective today, we’ve revised our rules on two issues that we know are really important to riders—smoking and service animals. Here’s what’s changing:

“No smoking” now includes vaporizers

Smoking (anything!) is already prohibited on all TriMet property for the health and comfort of our riders. But we’re updating our rules to specifically call out vaporizers/vape cigarettes in addition to e-cigarettes. Many of you have called or written us about riders vaping at stops and stations, and this change will allow us to enforce the smoking ban more effectively. So, when you see a “No Smoking” sign, that means no smoking—of any kind.

As to where you can and can’t smoke, there is an exception to the rule: Smoking is allowed outside of bus shelters and MAX stations along public sidewalks, such as in Downtown Portland.

By the way, if you see someone smoking regularly at a stop or station at around the same time of day on the same days of the week, let us know. Enforcement actions include a $250 fine or even an exclusion from the system.

If you smoke, please be courteous to your fellow riders and smoke away from the shelter, and definitely not on buses or trains!

Companion animals must be in a carrier

For the safety of our riders, we’ve revised our definition of a service animal. Effective today, pets that provide emotional support or companionship (“companion” or “comfort” animals) are no longer considered service animals and will have to ride in a closed carrier. Only guide dogs, signal dogs or other animals trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability will be allowed on board outside of a carrier.

So how can operators tell if an animal is really a service animal? Operators can ask, “Is that a service animal?” and “What service is your animal trained to perform?” But that’s about it. By law, if a rider claims their animal is a service animal, we have to take their word for it. We know some people abuse this policy, but there’s really not much we can do about it.

Keep in mind, many riders legitimately need and use service animals to help them get around—and it may not always be obvious that an animal is a service animal.

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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