TriMet announces scaled-back service cuts (updated)

Note: A few minor updates have been made to this article since it was first published..

Based on rider feedback, TriMet has announced revised budget and service cut proposals for FY13. Unlike the prior plan, which contained $17M in cuts, this plan only contains $12M in cuts, with the caveat that $5M more may be necessary if negotiations/arbitration with the union do not go TriMet’s way.

The executive summary is as follows, posted largely without commentary. We may (and likely will) discuss the proposals in greater detail in a separate post, and readers are encouraged to comment. Official announcement here. Oregonian coverage here.

N/NW Portland

Line 17 would no longer serve NW Portland; it may be combined with the NE part of Line 9 (more on that later). Much of its route would be replaced by Line 16, which would no longer serve NW Naito Parkway. Line 16 will branch at the St. Johns bridge, with one branch going to St. Johns and the other to Sauvie Island. Line 77 would be rereouted to avoid redundancy with the Streetcar, with NW 25th and NW 29th losing service. A new route would serve the Marine Drive between St. Johns and Jubitz.
N/NE Portland

Line 9’s downtown alignment will be kept, however it will (possibly) be combined with the southeast half of the 17. The 70 and 73 will be combined; the southern half of line 9 (Powell) will end downtown. As with the prior proposal, Line 6 will be kept on NE MLK through Delta Park, rather than using Lombard and Denver. As before, Line 8 will be truncated at 9th and Dekum.

Beaverton service changes are mostly the same as before: Line 67 will be truncated at SW Merlo, rather than running along Jenkins, Cedar Hills, Hall, Center, and Lombard to Beaverton TC. Lines 47 and 48 will be combined with line 89; none of these will serve Willow Creek (a transfer to the 52 will be required).
Other bus changes

Fewer cuts to low-service routes would be made. Trip reductions would be made to 15, 18, 36, 37, 43, 50, 55, 59, 89, and 92. (Why 89 appears here when it is being eliminated as indicated above, I’ve no clue).


This proposal does not identify any cuts to MAX service.


The new proposal, like the prior one, would eliminate fare zones. However, the new proposal would permit round trips to be made on a single ticket, if the trip can be made in the allotted time. The previously-announced fare increases would continue to take effect.


Subsidy to the Portland Streetcar will be reduced, as before. Prior changes to LIFT service are also in this proposal. TriMet also claims $1.2M in “internal efficiencies” as part of the new budget.

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18 responses to “TriMet announces scaled-back service cuts (updated)”

  1. Shortening the 12 is still a possibility; though it’s not happening (yet).

    Were they to do that, I’d prefer they hook the Sherwood/Tigard sections and the Gresham/Parkrose sections to some other route, rather than ending at the TC.

  2. So what’s going to be the 77 service in NW? Is it going to operate there on weekends? And how late evenings.

  3. If they shorten the 12, then I bet many of the riders from King City and beyond will just drive. The 12 gets a lot of choice riders in that area and this would just result in the destruction of ridership. If the schedule is truly the issue, it would be better to split the 12 downtown. Or just have every other trip do the entire route.

  4. Two existing issues with the 12:

    * It already shortlines on both ends, with only half the runs getting past Parkrose, and only half the runs getting past King City.

    * The Barbur section may get revisited as part of the SW Corridor project. I kinda doubt a LRT line to Sherwood is going to happen (more on that later), though one to Tigard makes some sense.

    My preference for the latter half of the 12 would be to combine it with the 45. The new 45 starts downtown, goes to Washington Square more or less along its current alignment, then to Tigard TC (via Greenburg), then down 99W to King City and Sherwood. Another bus would take over the current stretch of the 45 along Walnut, 121st, and Scholls Ferry. That would still provide a 1-seat ride downtown, just over a different corridor.

  5. Unfortunately, it is not the easy east of Parkrose. I am not seeing a good candidate to connect the out NE portion of the 12 to. There are several buses that originate in Gresham, where the 12 terminates, but they do not have similar frequencies. The 12 between Parkrose and Fairview is very busy at times, so I would hate to see a further service reduction. Several businesses along Sandy start at 6am (manufacturing jobs), and the first runs in the morning can’t get employees to work on time even with the current schedule.

  6. Howabout this, Chris? (This only roughly considers route frequency, so some tweaking may be needed):

    * Join western half of 71 (Parkrose to CTC via 52nd) to eastern leg of 12.
    * Join eastern half of 71 (Parkrose to Lents via 122nd) to southern half of 19, rerouting the 19 onto Woodstock instead of Flavel.
    * Line 19 ends downtown. Northern leg of the 19, rather than turning north at Adventist to Gateway, turns south down 102nd to 112th to Willamette to Flavel, ends at 82nd.

    One other possible change in the area:

    * Rather than sending 20 out to Gresham, end it at Adventist. Split the 15 at Adventist–one branch runs out to Gresham on Stark, replacing the 20; the other runs north on 102nd and serves Parkrose, replacing the 22.

    This creates quite a few more useful routes, rather than having everything end at Gateway. Less-frequent routes like the 23 and 25 would still end at Gateway.

  7. Note that TriMet is setting the cuts/fare increases to cover a $12 million shortfall. So if the arbitrator agrees with the ATU and we get back to a $17 million gap or if there’s any other factor increasing the shortfall, guess who’ll be blamed for the requisite cutbacks.

    Streetcar will be subsidized at $100,000 more than in the last iteration. Is PSI considering any increases in its $1.00 single ride/$2.40 going on $2.50 all day/$100 annual pass fare structure?

  8. I’m not aware of any discussion of Streetcar revising it’s fare recommendation based on the TriMet changes (to the extent that parts of the existing recommendation link to the 1-2 zone TriMet fare, they would change as TriMet’s fare changes). Note that the recommendation is NOT for a $100 annual pass, but for a pass price that will increase gradually over several years to a significantly higher level.

    I think the general approach of Streetcar is to open service with a simple understandable fare system, then observe the first year ridership before considering any additional changes.

  9. Scotty,

    I like the idea of splitting up the 71 and 19. I don’t really understand the logic behind the U-shaped bus routes. Linear and L-shaped routes seem to be much more useful.

  10. I like the idea of separating the 72 into two different lines.
    The northern Alberta / Killingsworth section would be combined with the eastern leg of the 12.
    The southern 82nd Ave section would end at Parkrose TC to provide even better headways on 82nd without the awkward turnaround at Cully.

  11. You’ll probably get my full 2 cents tomorrow but I wanted to address Engineer. Your proposal is setting off my transit geek settings, but it kind of confuses me. Can I possibly get more detail, especially around the 19? Thanks!

  12. Sure, Cameron.

    To avoid confusion, restructured lines are arbitrarily given letters.

    * Line 12 ends at Parkrose.

    * Line A starts at Clackamas Town Center, and uses the current 71 route to Parkrose, then follows the current 12 route to Gresham.

    * Line B starts at Parkrose, and uses the current route of the eastern leg of the 71 down to 122nd, down to Foster, and west to Lents. It then continues west on Woodstock, S on 82nd, then west on Duke, then follows the current routing of the 19 into downtown. Line B ends in downtown.

    * Line C starts in downtown, following the existing route of the northern leg of the 19–Burnside, Sandy, and then Glisan. Rather than turning north at 102nd and ending at Gateway, it turns SOUTH at 102nd, passes Adventist Medical Center, and keeps going south on 102nd/112nd until it reaches Willamette National Cemetery. Then west on Flavel to 82nd or possibly even 72nd, to interchange with Line A.

    The suggestions with the 15/20/22 are a separate proposal.

    Again, these are rough ideas–whether they would work schedule-wise I have done insufficient research to know. The impetus was concerns about eastern 12 riders not having good downtown access; while line A still doesn’t go downtown, it provides many more places to transfer to inbound frequent service lines beyond Parkrose TC. And as Chris notes, L shaped lines are generally more useful than U shaped ones, and this gets rid of two U shaped lines.

  13. Trimet truncating the eastern 12 at Parkrose already affects our access to downtown. A transfer to the redline or the western half of the 12 is going to be required either way, so I wouldn’t worry about that issue. The red line is typically quicker from Parkrose to downtown during rush hour as it is. The biggest problem I see is that the eastern 12 will no longer get people to 82nd to transfer. In my experience, more people empty out at 82nd to transfer than at Parkrose. Daniel’s idea above to split the 72 would resolve that problem, but doesn’t do anything to fix the funky U-shaped routes in east Portland.

  14. Good thing buses can be rerouted so easily. Otherwise I wouldn’t know the pleasure of losing a route that I moved to a specific location because it ran by there. But hey, it proves the libertarians right, so that’s nice or something.

  15. If you think removing a bus line is hard, try running one up a street that was formerly bus free! Its like the end of the world for some.
    Now with Streetcar businesses pay to have a line built past their front door; what does that tell you. MAX is a mixed bag; I remember meetings in a church along SW 18th where every month we heard about how the noise and vibration would destroy the congregation. Turns out MAX is almost too quiet; hence the bells on Interstate Avenue.

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