Service restoration will begin in March 2014
The TriMet Board of Directors today unanimously approved restoration of $3.1 million worth of service on 10 of the 12 Frequent Service bus lines. Frequent Service restoration has been a top priority for TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane. He said the service improvements will take effect on Sunday, March 2, 2014.
Currently, two of the 12 Frequent Service lines, Lines 4 and 72, meet the 15 minute weekday midday standards. In March, riders will see the other 10 lines with weekday midday frequency restored to our Frequent Service standards. The $3.1 million will also restore Frequent Service on Line 4-Division/Fessenden on weekday evenings and all day on Saturdays.
The full Frequent Service bus network carries 58 percent of bus riders and had run every 15 minutes or better throughout most hours of the day, every day until the Great Recession. Frequent Service bus service was cut 14 percent to close budget shortfalls, reducing frequency on these and other lines. Restoring Frequent Service provides better access to jobs, education and community services, and supports regional land use goals and creates strong transit corridors.
McFarlane said that while the agency does not have $7.8 million to restore the full Frequent Service network, he is dedicating $3.1 million worth of service improvements that would best increase ridership and meet equity and livability goals.
“My focus has been to restore Frequent Service, and I’m so pleased we found savings in our current budget to allow us to reinvest in this network,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane. “This will mean real benefits to the majority of our riders, especially those who are transit dependent, who will see shorter travel times and better connections.”
Frequent Service improvements
The 10 Frequent Service bus lines that will see improved weekday midday hours:
- 6-Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
- 8-Jackson Park/NE 15th
- 12-Barbur/Sandy Blvd
- 15-Belmont/NW 23rd
- 54-Beaverton/Hillsdale Hwy/56-Scholls Ferry Rd
- 57-TV Hwy/Forest Grove
- 75-Cesar Chavez/Lombard
- 4-Fessenden/Division (service improvements during weekday evenings and on Saturdays)
TriMet reached out to nearly 2,300 riders online and onboard these bus lines to get feedback on the proposal to improve these lines. Of the feedback, some 80 percent responding positively.
The $3.1 million in service restoration is funded by $1 million in non-union health care cost savings and $1 million in additional revenue from a new advertising contract. TriMet fares will fund the balance of $1.1 million.
The $3.1 million in service restoration is on top of $2.1 million in improvements made in September 2013 to 20 bus lines and the addition of a new bus line between Sherwood and Tigard to better serve Washington County.