Category Archives: Rider News

Alternatives to the MAX Orange Line Park & Rides

Commuters parking in nearby neighborhoods was never a big issue following the opening of previous MAX lines. But since the Orange Line opened in September, we’ve seen its two Park & Rides fill up quickly on weekday mornings, leading some drivers to find spots along residential streets.

The Park & Ride at the SE Park Ave MAX Station has quickly proven popular.
The Park & Ride at the SE Park Ave MAX Station has quickly proven popular.

It’s not that we didn’t want to offer more parking. After all, more commuters using a Park & Ride means more riders — and that’s a good thing! But faced with reducing the scope of the Orange Line project after federal funding was reduced from 60 percent to half, we decided to limit the size of the Park & Rides (while laying foundation for future expansion) and try our best to secure the funding later. This was just one of many cuts we had to make; unfortunately, even after the new line came in under budget, the Federal Transportation Administration didn’t allow these deferred items to be added back to the project.

(There’s a chance the savings will be returned to us — along with our local partners — in 2019, when the last phase of the project concludes.)

So while we anticipated that the Park & Rides would be popular, we also hoped the excellent network of bike routes, trails and transit connecting to the Orange Line would mitigate problems with packed parking garages. If you’re an Orange Line Park & Ride user, consider the following as ways to potentially save time, money and sanity.

Bike there (or walk!)
There are Bike & Rides at the Tacoma and Park Ave stations with plenty of secure and enclosed parking. Plus, both facilities are connected to great off-street trails (the Springwater Corridor and the Trolley Trail, respectively) and bike-friendly roads. Many bike commuters ride year-round; if you’re thinking of getting started now, check out the Community Cycling Center’s tips for riding in the rain.

There are a total of 146 secure and enclosed bike parking spaces at Orange Line Bike & Rides.
There are a total of 146 secure and enclosed bike parking spaces at Orange Line Bike & Rides.

Connect
Many buses serve Orange Line stations, either directly or via a nearby stop. For example, there are eight lines that stop at SE 21st & Jackson in Milwaukie, less than a quarter-mile from the Milwaukie/Main St Station. Try planning a trip to see how you can connect to MAX.

An alternate Park & Ride
The Milwaukie Park & Ride connects to the Orange Line via Line 34 — a quick one-mile trip will get you to MAX and on your way. Walking’s an option, too, and a great way to get fresh air and exercise before starting your day. And don’t forget: During commute hours, Line 99 will take you all the way into Downtown Portland.

Carpool
Chances are a neighbor or coworker is headed the same way you are. Give carpooling a try and better your chances at getting a spot at the Park & Ride.

The Trolley Trail runs six miles between Gladstone and Milwaukie and connects to the SE Park Ave MAX Station.
The Trolley Trail runs six miles between Gladstone and Milwaukie and connects to the SE Park Ave MAX Station.

Be considerate if you park in the neighborhood
If you miss out on a spot at the Park & Ride and decide to park on a nearby residential street, keep it legal and be courteous. Please respect private property and don’t park in nearby lots. There are parking ordinances that apply (check out this helpful list from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office) and, just as importantly, neighbors’ feelings to consider. Neglecting these could earn you a costly citation or a nasty note.

The Orange Line has been successful because riders were willing to try something new. Changing our routines isn’t easy, but it often leads us to discover some great benefits, both for ourselves and our community. In that spirit, why not see if there’s a better option for your next commute?

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.

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Say hello to Hop Fastpass

It’s great to have options — especially when it comes to transportation.

That’s why we designed Hop Fastpass™, the new electronic fare system arriving in 2017, with flexibility in mind. Hop Fastpass will work with a fare card, smartphone (using our app or services like Apple Pay, Android Pay and likely Samsung Pay) or your credit/debit card. Plus it can get you aboard TriMet, C-TRAN and Portland Streetcar. How’s that for choices?

Say hello to HopHop will make paying your fare easier, faster and more convenient!myhopcard.comHere’s how it’ll work:

Posted by TriMet on Thursday, September 24, 2015

 

How it will work
  1. Get Hop Fastpass. We’re expanding our retail network by leaps and bounds, so you’ll be able to find Hop cards at 500 neighborhood markets, grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies — just look in the gift card rack.
  2. Load value. You can add funds to your Hop Fastpass card anytime via myhopcard.com, using the smartphone app, at transit ticket offices or a participating retailer. Or just give us a call!
  3. Register your card (recommended). Sign up online or over the phone to get all the benefits of Hop Fastpass and to make sure your balance is protected in case you lose your card. You can even have funds auto-load when your balance is running low.
  4. Tap and go! Just touch your card to the Hop Fastpass reader on board the bus/Streetcar or at the MAX/WES platform, and you’re on your way!
We think you’ll love it

If you’ve ever used e-fare systems on transit in other cities, like ORCA in Washington or the Clipper Card in the Bay Area, you probably know about the benefits of going contactless. Once you’ve registered your Hop Fastpass card you’ll be able to manage your account and set up features like automatic reloading — a worry-free option that means your card won’t run out of fare.

Hop Fastpass can also save you money (especially if you’re a frequent rider). You’ll be able to pay your way toward a monthly pass, one ride at a time — if you commute more than 20 days that month (or fewer if you’re paying Youth or Honored Citizen fares), you’ll ride free until the next month, but you’ll never pay for rides you don’t use.

TriMet Tickets app users know about the luxury of going cash-free, which will continue with Hop Fastpass. (No more searching for exact change or crumpled paper tickets!) We’ll still accept cash on buses, MAX platform ticket machines and the Portland Streetcar — remember, it’s all about options.

hop1

It’s for everyone

Regular riders might get the most out of Hop Fastpass, but there’s something in it for everyone. Features like lost-card protection mean your balance is safe even if your card goes missing, and automatic reloading will even benefit infrequent riders when they don’t have to worry about a low balance. Riders without bank accounts can use Hop, too, and manage their fare card using cash at the 500 stores in our retail network.

Used to getting a pass through work or school? Hop Fastpass cards will be available for employers and institutions, too.

By now you’ve probably started to think about how you’ll use Hop Fastpass, and you’ve probably got some questions. Head over to myhopcard.com to learn more about how it will work and sign up for email updates (especially if you’re interested in being a beta tester).

Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker

As Director of Revenue Operations, I lead our agency’s efforts to modernize our fare collection systems. My goal is to provide excellent and efficient service while maintaining reliable, easy-to-use equipment.

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MAX Orange Line Grand Opening: A historic convergence [VIDEO]

It’s what we’ve wanted since the beginning: for the new Orange Line to connect us as families, friends, neighbors and communities.

And if last Saturday’s opening day celebrations were any indication, this wasn’t just wishful thinking. Thousands gathered to commemorate a new chapter in our region’s history as they caught the Orange, crossed the bridge and partied from Oak Grove to Portland (and back).

MAX Orange Line Grand OpeningYou caught the Orange, crossed the bridge and partied from Oak Grove to Portland (and back): bit.ly/1LdjOsr

Posted by TriMet on Monday, September 14, 2015

 
The morning began with an extraordinary sight as the first Orange Line train from Milwaukie, filled with community leaders, crested Tilikum Crossing with a procession of members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Morning sun poured through the bridge cables, illuminating the regalia and bringing the moment’s full splendor to light.

Grand Opening (1 of 1)

Soon after, when the train reached the Lincoln St/SW 3rd Ave Station, the party began. Toasts were given, balloons were released (biodegradable, of course!) and music marked the festivities. Hundreds of eager riders lined the sidewalk to catch the first trains to Milwaukie and, just like that, the MAX Orange Line was in service.

The next seven hours of celebrations were a testament to the new line as a vital connection: The crowds that explored the route saw new things, met new people and formed new associations. From Grand Ronde’s Tilikum Village in the South Waterfront to the festival atop the Park Avenue Park & Ride, everyone showed an abundance of curiosity, excitement and patience — our community’s finest traits.

At the outset, our hope was simply for people to show up and check out the new line; what we witnessed was something bigger, both in scope and significance. More than just a celebration, Opening Day was a story — and it’s all thanks to you.

The Orange Line has arrived! Head to catchtheorange.com for schedules, stations, parking and more »

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.

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Five things to know about the MAX Orange Line Grand Opening celebrations

One. Day. Left. Can you believe it?

The Orange Line has been years in the making and we’re going all out for its introduction, with celebrations all day from Park to PSU!

If you’re joining the party tomorrow, here are five things to know before you go:

  1. It all starts at 11 a.m. — that’s when the Orange Line, Tilikum Crossing and all the special events are scheduled to begin. Rides will be free all day on all TriMet buses, MAX, Portland Streetcar and Aerial Tram.
  2. Lots of people will be celebrating. Excitement has been building in the community for a while now, so don’t be surprised if there’s a wait.
  3. There are events at every platform along the Orange Line, including a block party at Milwaukie/Main St and opera performances at OMSI/SE Water Ave.
  4. Orange Marks the Spot! Our updated TriMet Tickets app includes a community-wide scavenger hunt all along the Orange Line. Check in at local businesses and stations while you’re out celebrating — you could win some awesome prizes (seriously) and unlock coupons.
  5. Plan for a hot, fun day. Stay hydrated and keep cool — we’re gonna have a blast!

Get all the Grand Opening details at catchtheorange.com »

Join the Facebook event and invite a friend »

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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