Title says it all. TriMet is now starting its planning and public outreach activities in preparation of the opening of Portland-Milwaukie MAX next year, and is looking for public input, particularly on the question of how bus service should be reorganized around PMLR. A set of guidelines for the process can be found here. The SE quadrant will also be the focus of broader Service Enhancement Planning (SEP) activities in 2015. (This calendar year, the focus will be in the SW quadrant, in harmony with the SW Corridor).
But back to the SE. The things noted in the guidelines look appropriate to me; major issues being considered include:
- Minimizing duplicative bus service following the general Portland-Milwaukie alignment
- Limiting the number of bus lines that end in downtown Milwaukie. Instead, some north-south lines could connect with east-west lines to create longer routes.
- Moving three bus lines onto the new light rail bridge, allowing these lines to avoid traffic congestion on and around the Ross Island Bridge
Some thoughts after the jump.
McLoughlin north of Milwaukie is an expressway with few fronting businesses (some, but few), it seems there is little reason to keep bus service on this street. Parallel local bus service on 17th/Milwaukie and on 39th both are highly important. There is probably no need to continue express service between Milwaukie and Portland once PMLR open (discontinuing such service is standard practice when new MAX lines open–there are express busses presently to Tigard, Tualatin, Oregon City, etc; but none to Gresham or Hillsboro).
I do like the idea of not having so many lines end at transit center, but be through-routed. Gateway, Beaverton, and Milwaukie all manage to rather completely warp surrounding bus service, like miniature black holes with an event horizon of several miles. And once the new Sellwood Bridge opens, restoring service across it (especially a crosstown bus to Burlingame and points west, not just an alternate way downtown) should be a priority. Direct service between SE and Lake Oswego would be a useful thing as well.
But don’t tell me! Tell TriMet.