The communities in the Southwest Corridor are no longer sleepy suburbs, with the traffic to prove it. As these cities continue to grow, light rail could play a huge part in keeping everyone moving.
Learn more at swcorridorplan.org.
The February Fakeout didn’t really show up this year, but there was plenty to distract us from the record rain — starting with the dazzling displays at the Portland Winter Light Festival. Elsewhere, neon signs, fiery sunsets and a living statue caught our eye.
|| two seats in front of me, a young man and an old signage || . . street series through commute train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #shotoniphone (iphonese) #outofphone #jj_mobilephotography #youmobile #mobilephotography #1415mobilephotographers #icapture_mobile #helloicp #fox_bnw #bnw_demand #bnw_planet #bnw_drama #amateurs_bnw #moodygrams #ourmoodydays #visual_heaven #portlandnw #visualsgang #agameoftones #strangertones #tv_pointofview #igersmood #friendsinperson #everydaystreet #shootermag_usa #upperleftusa #streetsgrammer #thestreetpr0ject #jj_forum_1826
Gresham 😐 : : : #photography #rooftop_prj #handshakesnhugz #dslr #canon #streetmobs #createcommune #moodygrams #way2ill #agameoftones #streetdreamsmag #heatercentral #highsnobiety #exklusive_shot #instagoodmyphoto #vsco #vscocam #livefolk #hboutthere #aov #artofvisuals #justgoshoot #portlandnw #climbing #ig_color #urbanXY #urbangathering #nissan240sx
Enjoying the night out in Beaverton #Trimet #Portland #Oregon #newflyer #newflyerindustries #D40LF #Beaverton #PacificNorthwest #urban #citylife #urbanphotography #streetphotography #thetransitjournal #streetshots #justgoshoot #allshots_ #welcomeaboard #busesofinstagram #Thebuslife #RideTheBus #TryTransit #welcomeaboard #splendid_transport #loves_vehicles #loves_transport #Kings_Transport #instagram #instapic #instabus #moovit
Today we launched the public beta test of Hop Fastpass and, for the first time, riders have begun paying with a fare card on buses and at rail stations.
It’s a small step in some ways — there are only 250 people in the first group of testers, and not all of Hop’s features have been implemented — but it marks a significant shift in the way our region uses transit. Hop is a thoroughly modern system designed to make paying fare easier and more convenient. Smart features like Auto-Load and the ability to earn passes mean riders simply tap and go, with no need to think about which type of fare to buy, and a robust retail network and cash compatibility make Hop accessible to everyone.
As our beta testers put Hop through its paces, we’ll see how these benefits work in real life. We’re looking forward to their feedback, which will help us prioritize the improvements we want to make before Hop officially launches this summer.
If you’re curious (or jealous) and want to try Hop sooner, sign up for emails at myhopcard.com. We’ll be adding beta testers every couple weeks and rolling out new features like single-use tickets, compatibility with mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Android Pay, and the official Hop app.
Turns out a foot of snow overnight wasn’t the only remarkable thing we saw this month. Meet Albert Baby Cat (if you haven’t already), fashion icon, Instagram celebrity and finalist on America’s Next Cat Star. A couple weeks ago, Albert hopped in a BIKETOWN basket and hitched a ride to Tilikum Crossing, where he watched the trains go by.
OK, now onto the snow. This was the fourth snow of the season, but it was unlike anything we’ve seen in years. If nothing else, it made for some great photos.
🌬🌨❄️| @portland has turned into a #winter #pnwonderland ☃️🏂🐼! The #statue at the last stop for the @ridetrimet #orange line was looking pretty this #snowy evening 😊 #pdx #portland #snow #snowpocalypse #snowmageddon #pnw #thatpnwlife #pnwonderland #pnwdiscovered #pnwcollective #snowing #sculpture #instagood #liveauthentic #wanderlust #wanderfolk #artofvisuals #nikon #nikonowners #nikonphotography
Yesterday was fun and @TriMet kept rolling along. — #portland #pdx #oregon #trimet #publictransportation #publictransport #bus #busstop #train #tram #city #cityscape #urban #urbandesign #landscape #commute #sociallandscape #nikon #nikond810 #nikonphotography #photography #digital #color #colorphotography #metra #subway #snow #snowapocalypse #bridge #bridgetown
The unofficial Hop mascot for the month:
#Portland #PDX #Snow #Winter #Snowpocalypse #PortlandSnow #PDXSnow #WinterStorm #WinterStorm2017 #PortlandWinter #Snowmageddon #White #SnowCovered #SnowDay #PublicTransit #PublicTransportation #TriMet #MAX #LightRail #Train #Trains #Station #PacificNorthwest #PacificNW #FastPass #Snowman #AngrySnowman #MadSnowman #PirateSnowman
There were inspiring sights on the dry days, too. (Plus Darth Vader, because Portland.)
📸》i always regret sharing too much, caring too much, doing too much, feeling too much.. – – – – – – – -i had to catch that bus.. #pnw #nw #oregonnw #pnwonderland #pdx #pnwdiscover #streetphotography #illgrammers #way2ill #fatalframes #artofvisuals #streetmobs #portlandnw #urbangathering #visualsgang #nightphotography #streetshared #agameoftones #natureromantix #upperleftusa #urbanromantix #weekly_feature #moodygrams #exklusive_shot #gramkilla #vsco #wanderlust #shoottokill #pdxavsquad #mg5k
As you could have guessed, we saw lots of snow this month. But before we get to that, take a look at what Portland indie rockers Helio Sequence shared at the beginning of the month:
This brought tears to my eyes. Larry on the left is the driver of the @ridetrimet Trimet Line 4 bus that I take to the studio. Every morning as people enter the bus he greets them with a genuine smile and “hello” and wishes every single person a good day on the way out. He chats with his “regulars” and strikes up conversations with new riders. I always love seeing Larry and talking with him and am amazed how he the consistently gives energy to those around him. His kindness and openness to all gives me perspective each day and what I saw from him today was really beautiful. This morning he stopped on Division at a bus stop that had not been requested. At first I was confused and I wondered what was going on when I saw him reach into his bag and take out his lunch. He stepped out of the bus and gave his food to a homeless man who was near the stop wishing him well and then hopped back in the driver seat and carried on. To see such an act of unprompted true kindness was really profound. Larry surely deserves the driver of the year award and beyond that I hope he knows the deep effect his simple but strong acts of kindness have on those around him. I learned yesterday that soon he’ll be switching to an earlier time schedule and I won’t see him in the mornings any longer. Larry…I’ll miss you…I hope we run into each other soon. Thank you for all that you give to everyone! #trimet #driveroftheyear #publictransit #kindness #thankyou #portland #lovewins
Awesome, right? We love seeing notes like that.
And now for the snow:
⠀ I’m bout that snow life but I’m also a jetsetter. 🚉 #snowlandia⠀ —————————————————— ⠀ #artofvisuals #moodygrams #streetdreamsmag #pnwonderland #mobilography #aovmobile #portlandnw #icapturemobile #illgrammers #pnw #northwestisbest #bleachmyfilm #upperleftusa #jj_mobilephotography #createexplore #shootermag #stayandwander #visualauthority #iphonography #agameoftones #thatPNWlife #oregonexplored #vscogrid #pdxavsquad #shoot2kill #mobilephotography #northwestcreatives #justgoshoots #cascadiaexplored @ridetrimet
📸》10:08 – – – – – – – – 3 pictures in a day, kinda went MIA for a bit #pnw #nw #oregonnw #pnwonderland #pdx #pnwdiscover #streetphotography #illgrammers #way2ill #fatalframes #artofvisuals #streetmobs #portlandnw #urbangathering #visualsgang #nightphotography #streetshared #agameoftones #natureromantix #upperleftusa #urbanromantix #weekly_feature #moodygrams #exklusive_shot #gramkilla #vsco #wanderlust #shoottokill #pdxavsquad #mg5k
The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you. B.B. King . . #visualscollective #upperleftusa #forest #trimet #portland #portlandoregon #oregon #college #pcc #collegelife #sunrise_sunsets_aroundworld #bestoforegon #pnw #pnwonderland #snow #ice #bus #publictransportation #pccsylvania #oregonisawesome #scenicstates #exploreoregon #mylife #instagood #instagram #instaday
It was a big and busy year for us.
That’s the simple explanation. Though we didn’t have a marquee event like last year’s Orange Line opening, we added a lot of service and made some significant improvements. We also dealt with weather (hot and cold), protests and planned disruptions that required some significant service adjustments and plenty of your patience. And in the end, 2016 left us with plenty to be happy about — let’s take a look at the numbers:
Back in January, chief operating officer Doug Kelsey shared our plans for improving MAX on-time performance. Since then, we’ve completed two major projects along segments of the original, 30-year-old alignment. In May, we spent two weeks replacing track and switches along First Avenue in Downtown Portland. Four months later, we did similar work in the Rose Quarter.
Our newest buses (the 3500 series) hit the streets in March. Once all 77 were delivered we were able to say that new-model buses comprise over half our active fleet.
Over the next few years we plan to add more than 175 new buses, starting in a few weeks when we begin rolling out the 3600 series. This process will bring the average age of our fleet to the industry standard of eight years and — more importantly — ensure your ride is more comfortable and reliable.
The growing communities of Tualatin and Sherwood got their first direct transit connection in June. Line 97-Tualatin-Sherwood was our first new bus line in years, and though it’s just a commuter line now we plan to extend it to Bridgeport Village and downtown Tigard in the future.
And thanks to the increased employer payroll tax that took effect this year, this is just the beginning of more and better service. We’ve got plans for increasing, expanding and introducing bus service throughout the region over the next 10 years.
Justina Carrillo, a mini-run (part-time) bus operator; Jeffery Evans, a MAX operator; and Alex Ohly, a bus operator joined exclusive company this year when they were selected by their peers as TriMet’s Operators of the Year. The three combined represent nearly five decades of safe driving experience and multiple Superior Performance Awards, and we are truly grateful for their service.
— Cassandra (@CassieRamirez) November 12, 2016
Running safe transit — an essential service to many — amidst demonstrations in the city center — a right protected by the Constitution, as long as it’s peaceful — isn’t easy to do. But with cooperation between different groups and the diligence of our operators and field staff, it became possible.
We set up shop in Portland’s living room one afternoon this summer to debut our How We Roll bus, which features 16 rider portraits on its sides. (There’s a wrapped train, too!) While we were there we handed out goodies and took photos for the next time we wrap a bus or train.
For the first time in over a decade, TriMet service is using the Sellwood Bridge, as Line 99 began its new route this month. It was all possible because the old Sellwood Bridge, which had a weight limit that restricted heavy vehicles, was replaced earlier in the year.
Our newest light rail line, along with Tilikum Crossing, celebrated a year of service in September. The time seemed to fly but in retrospect, a lot happened — including 3.5 million rides on the Orange Line and 775,000 bike trips over the bridge.
After a proposed eight-lane freeway was nixed in the mid-1970s, the pioneering decision was made to consider how transportation affects quality of life. This led to the creation of MAX, one of the first modern light-rail systems in the country. On Sept. 5, 1986 service debuted between Gresham and Portland.
Plus one back in January. Orchestrating transit in snow and ice isn’t easy. It requires extraordinary vigilance and quick responses to constantly changing situations from our staff — especially operators and field staff working out in the freezing cold. It also takes a lot of preparedness and patience from our riders, and we appreciate the understanding we were shown amidst the inevitable frustration and exhaustion.
We’re hiring drivers at a serious pace because in order to give riders more service, we need more people. We sweetened the deal, too, and boosted starting pay for part-time operators from $11.21 to $14.25 per hour during training. Ever thought about driving with us?
Our new fare card is almost here — you probably noticed the readers on your bus or at the MAX station. Earlier this year, a small group of employees from TriMet, C-TRAN and Portland Streetcar began testing the system, tapping Hop cards to board buses and trains and managing their accounts online.
The first public beta test begins soon, so be sure to sign up for email updates if you’re interested in participating.
OK — that’s enough for this year. Thanks for riding, and see you in 2017!
The National Weather Service recently confirmed what heavy rains have hinted at: La Niña is here.
Below-average temperatures and above-average rainfall — and perhaps snow and ice — have been observed in the Pacific Northwest this fall, and both could continue through the winter, according to NWS predictions.
What do you think when you hear this? Are you the type to buy a season pass to Mt. Hood Meadows, assured that the snowpack will stretch well into spring? Perhaps blankets and board games (and Netflix!) is more your thing. For us, preparation for the inevitability of snow and ice events has already begun.
We value safety, so determining whether to alter service in a winter weather event is simple: If a situation is potentially unsafe for riders, operators or equipment, we take action.
In practice, this means being ultra-aware of conditions across the system. To make this easier, we set up an Emergency Operations Center that’s staffed 24/7 during winter weather events, and allows us to streamline and speed up the process of gathering information, making decisions and disseminating information. (Activating an EOC during an emergency is standard practice across all types of agencies.)
We rely on and share information from the field and from regional partners like PBOT, ODOT and local media outlets. We track storms as they approach and coordinate with other agencies to plow and sand streets — we even have a few sanding trucks of our own to run on high elevation bus routes.
Preparing buses for snow and ice often begins before service starts for the day. Specialized crews (affectionately known as “Snowbirds”) assess bus routes, specifically at high elevations, to see if they’re safe for normal bus operations. They might call for a sanding truck, put the line on snow route or cancel a run entirely.
Like other cars and trucks on the road, buses will often be chained if they’re running on snowy or icy streets. Just under half our buses have drop down “insta-chains,” which operators can deploy at the push of a button. (Otherwise, crews will chain the fleet at the garage or in the field, which takes just 10 or 15 minutes per bus, respectively.)
For riders, it’s important to keep in mind that chained buses travel slower — no faster than 25 mph — so they won’t stay on schedule. And in winter conditions your bus won’t pull up to the curb, lest it slide or become stuck. If that happens, we have rescue teams on standby to get it moving again.
MAX typically does well in snow, and we take measures to prevent ice buildup. Throughout the system, switches on the track are equipped with covers (some have heaters, too) and portions of the overhead wire have ice caps to keep ice at bay.
The trains have pantograph heaters that are activated in snow and ice, and these also help prevent ice from accumulating. (The pantograph is the arm that connects the train to overhead power.) If necessary, we’ll run some trains overnight to keep ice from building up on the overhead wire. And if you’re at the station when one of these trains pulls up — for whatever reason, at whatever time — we’ll let you board!
If ice does begin to accumulate on the overhead wire, we have six MAX vehicles equipped with heated ice cutters on a second pantograph that can shave approximately 1/32 inch of ice off the wire with each pass.
We’ve already mentioned that your bus will likely be late and perhaps on a different route (learn yours!) during snow and ice. If it gets too far off its normal schedule, we’ll turn off TransitTracker so estimated arrival times (which aren’t accurate when buses are traveling slower) become approximate distances — much more useful for planning your trip.
But don’t assume that snow means your bus is on snow route. We often need to alter service in the face of unpredictable weather, so instead check with us for updates on your lines: You’ll find service alerts and snow route updates at trimet.org/alerts, on Twitter and through our email list.
Aside from checking your bus or train’s status before starting your trip, make sure your phone is charged and that you have water and warm clothing — don’t forget gloves and a hat. Leave plenty of time to walk to your stop or station and be extra careful on slopes. We (and our regional partners) do our best to de-ice roads, bridges, garages, platforms and parking lots, but you’ll likely find some slippery spots along the way. And if your bus stop is on a hill, head to the top or bottom to board — the bus can’t safely stop on a slope.
Finally, don’t approach the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver opens the door. There’s always a chance it could slide toward the curb once the brakes have locked the wheels.
If we’re faced with severe weather, we might need to reduce service to certain bus lines running on plowed streets. The idea is that by reassigning buses where they are most useful and less likely to get stuck, we can serve more riders.
As we mentioned at the top, our goal is to keep everyone safe. So even as things slow down, know that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to coordinate safe travel in difficult circumstances. Winter weather requires extra effort from all of us, and we appreciate your trust, patience and preparedness when the time comes.
Which reminds us: Have you learned your snow route?