Portland SW Corridor light-rail gathers steam

Between 2015 and 2017, the Portland metro’s population grew 3.3 percent to 2.5 million.

May 14, 2019
  • Between 2015 and 2017, the Portland metro’s population grew 3.3 percent to 2.5 million. During the same time, hours of congestion increased 13.4 percent while daily hours of delay increased 20.0 percent. This disproportionate increase in traffic points to the system being at max capacity and that future growth is likely to lead to major gridlock on Portland’s roads.
  • TriMet estimates that by 2035, there will be 75,000 new residents along the SW Corridor, resulting in a 17 percent increase in congestion on I-5 between Portland and Tigard.
  • To help ease the pressure on the region’s roads, TriMet is proposing Portland’s 6th MAX line which will link downtown Portland to the SW suburbs. The 12-mile, 13-station line will run from the Portland Transit Center near PSU to Bridgeport Village in Tualatin and include roadway, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements. TriMet has estimated that the line will cost between $2.6 billion and $2.8 billion, with the federal government contributing at least half to the total cost.
  • Travel time on the new line between downtown Portland and Bridgeport Village is estimated to take 30 minutes and is expected to carry 43,000 riders on an average weekday by 2035.
  • The major stops along the way include Marquam Hill, Barbur Transit Center, West Portland Town Center, Portland Community College Sylvania Campus, Tigard Triangle but will not extend to downtown Tualatin.
  • Portland’s ZGF Architects and Mayer/Reed will be collaborating on the project with ZGF leading the streetscape and architecture, while Mayer/Reed will be the urban design manager and landscape architecture lead.
  • The project is currently in the design phase awaiting Federal Funding approval. The final design is expected in March 2020 with a regional measure vote expected to occur during the November 2020 election. If the measure passes and funding is secured, then construction is expected to start in late 2022 with service starting in September 2027.

    Source: Portland Business Journal, Portland Tribune, TriMet, ODOT

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