Author Archives: Drew Blevins

Drew Blevins

About Drew Blevins

I am TriMet's Director of Marketing and Customer Information. I manage the agency's customer information services through an integrated approach to retaining and increasing customers by positioning our transit system as simple to understand, easy to use, reliable, innovative and friendly. Our team is responsible for outreach and promotion, customer research, creative services, websites and interactive media, and on-street service information.

We’re adding arrival screens at more Blue and Red line MAX stations

Arrival screen at a MAX station in Downtown Portland

An arrival information screen at a MAX station in Downtown Portland

About the author: Drew Blevins is TriMet’s Director of Marketing and Customer Information.

More Blue and Red line MAX stations are getting arrival information screens this year, thanks in part to a $180,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

The digital displays, which are already in place at Green Line stations and on the Downtown Portland Transit Mall, show TransitTracker arrival countdowns for buses and trains, as well as service alerts in the case of a major delay or disruption.

Later this summer, crews will begin placing the first of 58 new screens scheduled for installation over the next year. We’re starting with Blue and Red line stations mostly on the west side, including Tuality Hospital/SE 8th, Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport, Orenco/NW 231st, Quatama/NW 205th, Willow Creek/SW 185th TC, Elmonica/SW 170th (eastbound), Merlo/SW 158th, Beaverton Creek, Millikan Way (eastbound), Beaverton TC, Goose Hollow (eastbound and westbound), and Convention Center (eastbound and westbound).

Then, this fall, we’ll start adding screens to eastside stations from E 102nd Ave MAX Station to Gresham Central Transit Center.

Green, Yellow and some Red Line MAX stations already have some kind of arrival display (either flatscreen monitors or reader boards). Within about two years, all MAX stations will be outfitted with screens so you have access to service information at-a-glance.

Questions or comments about our arrival screens? Discuss this post on Facebook

UPDATE: Controversial ads on the sides of buses and trains

Drew Blevins is TriMet’s Director of Marketing and Customer Information.

Recently I shared some information about the ad featuring the headline “Palestinian Loss of Land” that is currently posted on some TriMet vehicles. What appears to be a response ad—with the headline “In any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man”—will start showing up on some TriMet vehicles this week.

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These are the controversial ads you may see on the sides of TriMet buses and trains.

In the past, TriMet’s advertising policy has only allowed ads that were commercial in nature, defined by the promotion of goods or services. Non-commercial ads were not allowed, as we didn’t want to open our doors to all advertisements. A 2008 Multnomah County Circuit Court ruling concluded that our advertising policy could not limit the categories of advertising accepted. The Oregon Supreme Court is now reviewing that decision. TriMet has asked the Court to treat us like any other entrepreneurial advertising media and to allow us to make reasonable determinations as to the categories of advertising we will accept. While awaiting the Court’s decision, TriMet is in the unfortunate position of having to accept all advertising.

We acknowledge that ads like these, indeed, make things challenging for everyone. We began to permit advertising on TriMet buses and trains to create a source of revenue for the good of TriMet and our customers. While TriMet supports our constitutions and the free speech they ensure, we recognize that our purpose is to unite our communities through transit. We are disappointed that the sides of our buses and trains have become a medium for divisive discussions, and we apologize to you. We hope that when the Oregon Supreme Court decides the case that we will once again be allowed to limit advertising to commercial goods and services.

Ask TriMet: What’s with the “Palestinian Loss of Land” ad on some of the buses and trains?

Drew Blevins is TriMet’s Director of Marketing and Customer Information.

Ask TriMet logoSome of you have expressed concern about the “Palestinian Loss of Land” advertisements that are posted on some of our buses and trains. We value and respect this feedback, so we wanted to share with you why we were legally required to post this ad.

In the past, we only accepted commercial ads—those that promote goods or services. Under this policy the “Palestinian Loss of Land” would not have been accepted. However, in 2008, the Multnomah County Circuit Court ruled that our policy violated free speech rights under the Oregon and United States constitutions.

We have requested the Oregon Supreme Court review this decision. But until the court decides the issue, our ad policy has been suspended so that we are in compliance with the law.

Here’s another thing to keep in mind: Advertising on TriMet property generates more than $5 million per year in revenue that—particularly in this difficult economic environment—helps support keeping buses and trains in service.

That said, TriMet does not endorse any particular viewpoint or product of an advertiser, and all ads are clearly marked “Paid Advertisement.” The “Palestinian Loss of Land” ad is a paid advertisement.

Again, thank you for your interest in this issue, and I hope this helps clear up any confusion about the ads appearing on TriMet vehicles.

UPDATE: Pro-Israel ads also appearing on TriMet vehicles, more on TriMet’s advertising policy