Gov. Brown, U.S. Sen. Merkley joins hundreds for First Ride on MAX Orange Line

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See time-lapse video of what it’s like to ride from downtown to the end of the line in 1 minute

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane complete the first ride on the future MAX Orange Line.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane complete the first ride on the future MAX Orange Line.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and other elected officials and project partners today took the First Ride on the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project – the future MAX Orange Line. It was the first time MAX trains operated at regular speeds with passengers along the entire 7.3-mile route between downtown Portland and north Clackamas County. About 500 people participated in the event that marked a major milestone for the project, which opens in 119 days.

“Investments in transit are essential if we are going to preserve the mobility of goods and people who live and work in this region,” said Governor Brown.

U.S. Sen. Merkley added “This seven-mile stretch of rail, including the extraordinary Tilikum Crossing Bridge, will contribute to making our region more economically vibrant. “It was great to ride the new Orange Line today and to celebrate this terrific addition to our transportation infrastructure‎.”

TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane thanked all of the partner agencies and key stakeholders that supported the project. “The Orange Line will deliver more and better transit service, along with expanded bike and pedestrian pathways plus $40 million in roadway improvements between Milwaukie and downtown Portland. All of this while coming in on time and under budget, which is a great accomplishment.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane lead dignitaries off the first train to arrive at the SE Park Ave MAX Station.

The guests boarded new Type 5 MAX trains at the Lincoln St/SW 3rd Ave Station in Downtown Portland and traveled across Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, through SE Portland to the end of the line at the SE Park Ave Station. TriMet is buying 18 Type 5 trains from Siemens based in Sacramento. The First Ride event was sponsored by Siemens.

Catch the Orange

Over the next few months TriMet has planned numerous events leading up to the Grand Opening. Visit CatchtheOrange.com for a complete list of events leading up to the Sept. 12 Grand Opening.

Catch the time-lapse video!

Ten stations in 1 minute. See the time-lapse video of the MAX Orange Line from downtown Portland at Lincoln St/SW 3rd Ave Station, across Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People through SE Portland to downtown Milwaukie and north Clackamas County.

About the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project

The 7.3-mile project is the region’s sixth MAX construction project and will improve transit in this corridor that extends from the terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines at Portland State University in Downtown Portland to South Waterfront, SE Portland, Milwaukie and North Clackamas County. About the project:

• 7.3 miles
• 10 stations
• The first of its kind multi-modal bridge in the U.S. will carry light rail and streetcar trains, buses, bicyclists and pedestrians, but no private vehicles.
• Opens Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
• Expands the MAX system to 60 miles and 97 stations

Project partners

The Federal Transit Administration, State of Oregon, Clackamas County, Metro, City of Milwaukie, Multnomah County, City of Oregon City, Oregon Department of Transportation, City of Portland, Portland Development Commission and TriMet.