Category Archives: Rider News

How the Orange Line is changing active transportation

I’m calling it: September is the best month for cycling.

Temperatures have begun to settle while the days are still long (and concern about rain-slicked fallen leaves is still a ways off). Perhaps that’s why the Bicycle Transportation Alliance chose the month to hold its annual Bike Commute Challenge, in which workplaces throughout the area go head-to-head to see whose employees can bike the most.

This year, biking in September will bear a new aspect for many commuters. The opening of Tilikum Crossing completes 7.8 miles of bike infrastructure associated with the MAX Orange Line, and introduces new options for thousands of cyclists and pedestrians.

A multi-use path links SW Harbor Drive to the Moody cycletrack.

The west side of the bridge connects to the bright green cycletrack on SW Moody, which Bike Portland called “the most intuitive, comfortable, low-stress set of bike lanes in the city.” Just down the road, the Portland Aerial Tram lifts off, carrying cabins of OHSU students and employees up to their campus in the clouds. (OHSU is Portland’s largest employer.)

At Tilikum Crossing’s eastern landing, 14-foot-wide paths weave into a network of new and improved bike lanes, signals and sidewalks along the Orange Line. This corner of the Central Eastside has always been tricky: Cyclists, trains and automobile traffic converge in a sort of asterisk, where each needs to cross the others. The addition of signals, bike lanes and bike boxes has immensely improved cycling through the area — something few people attempted before.

Farther south, the Orange Line makes an important connection at the SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek Station, where it meets the Springwater Corridor Trail, a popular multi-use path that runs from the Willamette River out to Boring, Ore. This could be a game-changer for many bike commuters in Southeast, who will be able to ride a low-stress route to a secure Bike & Ride, then hop on MAX to head to the office.

The Rhine–Lafayette Pedestrian Overpass in SE Portland opened Sept. 2, 2015.

And farther south, over the new multi-use path over Kellogg Lake in Milwaukie, the SE Park Ave Station houses another new Bike & Ride with secure parking for 74 bicycles.

Take a ride out to any of these places and you’ll notice that cyclists aren’t the only ones enjoying an upgrade. Walkers, joggers and strollers line the paths, too — they’re at the heart of 10.3 miles of new or replaced sidewalks and improvements to ramps, crossings and lighting along the Orange Line. And pedestrians will get the best look at the public art projects along the route, like the six sculptures lining the Trolley Trail between Milwaukie/Main St and SE Park Ave stations.

If your commute takes you through the Orange Line corridor, give active transportation a try. Ride or walk to the MAX station. See if you can work a new path into your trip. Recruit a friend or coworker, and see if both of you aren’t hooked by the end of the month.

See the summary of bike and pedestrian improvements »

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. 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

You asked: Will there be Park & Rides along the MAX Orange Line?

Commuters in Southeast will be happy to know that we’re adding two Park & Ride facilities, along with two Bike & Rides, to the system with the opening of the Orange Line.

Whether you’re meeting your carpool, catching the bus or hopping on a train, you can park free up to 24 hours at both new Park & Ride locations. (You can park overnight, too, as long as you observe the 24-hour limit.)

SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek Station
318 cars, 72 bikes

The SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek Station is located near the Sellwood, Westmoreland, Ardenwald-Johnson Creek and Eastmoreland neighborhoods in SE Portland. The station is connected to the Springwater Corridor Trail, which runs from the Willamette River, through Gresham and out to Boring.

Along with 318 parking spaces, this station has a Bike & Ride facility with secure bike parking for 72 bikes, in addition to 34 bike rack spaces. There are also electric vehicle chargers with universal port connections.

This lot is expected to fill up quickly on weekdays. As an alternative, use the 401-space garage at SE Park Station (below).

SE Park Ave Station
401 cars, 74 bikes

The SE Park Ave Station, in Clackamas County’s Oak Grove neighborhood, is the Orange Line’s southern terminal. The station’s Park & Ride has 401 parking spaces, plus seven electric vehicle charging stations. Bike commuters can use the station’s Bike & Ride, which holds 74 bicycles, with an additional 28 bike rack spaces available at the station.

A signature feature of this Park & Ride is the building’s rooftop solar array. It will provide enough energy to offset annual electricity usage for the building’s basic functions like elevator and light usage — making it a net zero facility.

Nearby: Milwaukie Park & Ride

Another commute alternative is the the 329-space Milwaukie Park & Ride at SE Main Street & Milport Road, south of the SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek Station. While it’s not located at a MAX station, it’s served  by bus lines 34-Linwood/River Rd and 99-Macadam/McLoughlin, which connect to MAX on weekdays.

Learn more about the MAX Orange Line, station by station »
Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. 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

Orange All Around: Recapping the Orange Picnic + Fireworks Spectacular [VIDEO]

Last Saturday, a hazy orange day turned into a dazzling orange night.

The line of picnic-goers waiting to get in to Zidell Yards, a former shipbuilding site nestled between Tilikum Crossing and the Ross Island Bridge, popped with orange: shirts, hats, sundresses, blankets. At 5 p.m., picnickers began streaming in to the festival site, where they were greeted with games, food carts, a beer garden and a set by the Student Loan Stringband.

Kids chased bubbles and ate ice cream (Salt & Straw debuted their honorary Orange Line flavor: Olive Oil and Burnt Orange Marmalade) and curious onlookers chatted with the Portland Picnic Society about their picture-perfect spread.

Families and friends claimed tables and tucked into their orange picnics as Bearwater took the stage, and the deep orange sun dipped out of sight.

Thousands more spectators flooded in and lined the riverbank, buzzing with anticipation for the fireworks (and maybe a glass of BridgePort’s Orange Line IPA, too). And then it was time.

All eyes were on Tilikum Crossing as the show began with a magnificent cascade of white light pouring off the bridge’s deck. The crowd gasped as the sky lit up: red, purple, yellow, blue — and, of course, orange.

And to prove how well-planned the display was, even the soundtrack sparked joy. The Decemberists’ “On the Bus Mall” played our heartstrings and Washed Out’s “Feel It All Around” proved undeniable, despite its renown as the Portlandia theme song.

The grand finale was an incredible sight, as glittering bursts spanned the entire sky above the bridge.

For those 12 minutes it became clear that we were celebrating more than a bridge or a light rail line. I’m an optimist, but I’d say we were cheering for each other. Community — that’s what gets us out of the house wearing blaze orange and sits us down with thousands of neighbors we’ve never met. So to everyone who shared this special night with us: Thank you.

Orange Picnic + Fireworks Spectacular (music: “Good Times” by …Last Saturday’s all-orange party was one for the ages: bit.ly/1NQi0EvTo everyone who helped make the night special: Thank you!

Posted by TriMet on Monday, August 24, 2015

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. 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

Pardon our dust! Upgrades are coming to our oldest MAX stations

This spring and summer, you may have come across crews at MAX stations putting in underground cables to power TriMet’s future electronic fare (e-fare) system. Riders who use our oldest MAX stations will notice more construction coming soon—as we get to work on even more improvements to make your ride better.

Starting next week, we’re updating 14 stations from Hollywood/NE 42nd Ave Transit Center to Cleveland Ave in Gresham. These stations opened when we launched our first light rail line, the Eastside MAX Blue Line, in 1986.

E 172nd Ave Station is among the original Eastside MAX Blue Line stations, which opened on Sept. 5, 1986. The station and 13 others will get makeovers that include sleeker shelters, added lighting, a more open look and feel, and equipment for TriMet’s upcoming e-fare system.
E 172nd Ave Station is among the original Eastside MAX Blue Line stations, which opened on Sept. 5, 1986. The station and 13 others will get makeovers that include sleeker shelters, added lighting, a more open look and feel, and equipment for our upcoming e-fare system.

There’s lots of work to do:

  • Add more and brighter lighting
  • Upgrade security cameras to digital technology
  • Give platforms a more open look and feel
  • Update the design of shelters
  • Add digital information displays
  • Install cables and equipment for e-fare

The construction will take about five years and will be broken up into phases. We aim to do as much as possible in work zones, rather than closing the entire station, to make the work less of an inconvenience.

FutureStationDesign

The first phase will focus on platform entrances and getting the stations ready for e-fare. Crews will start working on Monday, August 17, at our Ruby Junction/E 197th Ave Station, and you’ll see workers soon after at our E 102nd Ave, 122nd Ave and 148th Ave stations.

Learn more about how we’re making transit better

Roberta Altstadt

Roberta Altstadt

I’m TriMet’s public information officer. I communicate with the news media on all TriMet-related topics. When I’m not busy working, I like learning new skills, gardening, and going for walks with my sweet three-legged dog, Ernie.

More Posts

What a day! Recapping the People’s Preview of Tilikum Crossing [PHOTOS]

Yesterday, between 40,000 and 50,000 people walked, biked or rolled over Tilikum Crossing during its public preview, a sort of “soft opening” for the country’s first car-free pedestrian and transit bridge.

Beginning just after sunrise, waves of cyclists streamed over the new bridge, which makes its official debut Sept. 12. Bike counters on the east and west sides (similar to the one on the Hawthorne Bridge) tallied thousands of Providence Bridge Pedal participants. The air buzzed with excitement as each made their first-ever crossing.

After the last of the Bridge Pedal participants made their way to the finish line, the public began queuing up for the People’s Preview of Tilikum Crossing.

What happened next was beyond our most hopeful expectations.

The People's Preview of Tilikum Crossing

Last Sunday, more than 40,000 people walked, biked or rolled over Tilikum Crossing during its public preview: bit.ly/1MlyTcEIt was a first-rate display of community, and it meant the world to us. If you were there, even if only in spirit: Thank you.(Produced by Jarratt Taylor)

Posted by TriMet on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

 
Tens of thousands of families, friends and neighbors came together and claimed their bridge. In true Portland spirit, they didn’t just cross it: they jogged, skipped, tall-biked and skated. They unicycled, bicycled and tricycled. And each had a smile — just check out the #PDXBridgie tags on Instagram for proof!

It was a first-rate display of community, and it meant the world to us. If you were there, even if only in spirit: Thank you.

When it opens next month, Tilikum Crossing will carry transit (bus, MAX and Portland Streetcar), bikes and pedestrians, but no private vehicles. Find out more at catchtheorange.com.

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. 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

Buses keep getting cooler

And we mean that literally.

If you think the heat wave we endured over the last couple weeks felt epic — well, you’re not wrong. It was our second-hottest stretch on record, and it made going about our business both difficult and uncomfortable to some degree. We reached the point where air conditioning becomes essential — especially when we’re on the move.

But for bus riders, getting a ride with A/C hasn’t always been a guarantee. That’s why, over the last four years, we’ve put 249 new buses into service as part of an accelerated bus-replacement program. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, we suspended our regular bus purchases; since then we’ve redoubled our efforts to return the fleet to an average age of eight years (the industry standard).

Today, we have more vehicles with amenities like:

  • low floors
  • air conditioning
  • better lighting, inside and out
  • larger windows
  • easy-to-clean vinyl seats

See the full list of features on our new buses »

At the moment, there are only nine buses in the fleet — about 1.5 percent — that aren’t equipped with air conditioning. By next summer, the delivery of 77 new buses will complete our replacement program, and you can rest assured that the next bus you catch will be cool.

New bus, anyone? 🚌🚌🚌🚌 #3400series #TriMet

A photo posted by TriMet (@ridetrimet) on

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. 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

A pioneering connection between Tualatin and Sherwood

Tualatin and Sherwood are five miles apart, but they’ve never had a direct transit connection.

This gives us extra cause to celebrate last week’s announcement of a new bus line between the two cities — our first new line in years. We plan to start service next June by running buses during weekday commute hours. The route hasn’t been set, so the new line doesn’t have a name or number yet.

Get email updates about the new Tualatin–Sherwood bus line »

Both cities’ mayors have emphasized the importance of the connections this bus line will provide. Residents need to get places: Tualatin’s WES Station, downtown and industrial areas; the shops at Sherwood’s Parkway Village. After months of work and conversations with both communities, we determined that a line with 5,200 hours of service could begin as soon as summer 2016.

(We understand if you’re eager to get on board sooner, but consider all that’s left to do: researching the route, building bus stops, creating schedules, assigning operators, coordinating connections…)

We’re grateful for every opportunity to provide more and better service, and to be able to bring communities together makes that feeling even better. Often, when it comes to planning for the future, it’s easy to think change is still years down the road — this is a nice reminder that great things are often just around the corner.

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. 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