TriMet launching multi-year, multi-million dollar elevator improvement program

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Rider Support team, elevator-specific alerts and detailed directions at trimet.org/elevators help riders navigate closures.

TriMet is launching a major elevator improvement program to upgrade or replace 19 elevators throughout our system during a multi-year, $22 million project. The project includes heavily-used outdoor elevators along the MAX Blue, Green and Red lines in northeast Portland. The work will ensure the elevators remain safe and more reliable far into the future.

The project will require shutting down an elevator for 12 to 14 weeks. Since the elevator at some stations is the only way to get between the platform and street level other than the stairs, those riders reliant on the elevator will have to adjust their trips and use another station during the work. We apologize to those riders as we know the challenges that may create. We have posted detailed directions on how to navigate around elevator closures and outages at trimet.org/elevators.

TriMet’s Rider Support team also is here to help riders plan ahead for elevator closures. The team is available seven days a week between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at 503-238-RIDE (7433), on Twitter at @trimethelp or online at trimet.org/contact. We also encourage riders who use our elevators to sign up for elevator-specific alerts by using this link.

Project begins with NE 60th Ave MAX Station

Starting May 17, the elevator project begins with the refurbishment of the elevator at the NE 60th Ave MAX Station. Just like your aging car or lawn mower, these machines eventually reach an end of life, so crews will do a major overhaul, replacing all the components of the elevator cabs including electronics, mechanical and HVAC equipment, and the panels and doors.

As there is only one elevator between the platform and street level at the NE 60th Ave Station and no ramp, this will require some riders to adjust their trips. We have directions around the closure posted at trimet.org/elevators.

30+ Years of ups and downs

The elevator at the NE 60th Ave MAX Station has been in service since the MAX Blue Line began service in 1986. It’s heavily used as it is the only way to reach the MAX platform other than the stairs. More than 1,500 riders board MAX trains at the station each weekday.  Because the elevator is outdoors, it is exposed to the weather elements. In winter, this outdoor elevator is subject to rain, snow, ice and condensation. In summer, the changing climate has led to intense sun beating down on the doors, making surface temperatures soar causing the metal to expand. Though we’ve worked to maintain these elevators, repeated use causes wear and tear on them, and parts need more frequent replacement.

More improvements ahead

NE 60th Ave MAX station is the first of three MAX stations to that will undergo upgrades this year with 3 to 5 elevators upgraded each year in the coming years. The elevators at NE 82nd Ave station and Hollywood/NE 42nd Avenue Transit Center are next in line for renovations this year. They also having been in service since the MAX Blue Line opened. To minimize the impact on our riders, only one elevator will be renovated at a time.

Making Transit Better

TriMet is committed to making transit better. We are working to improve the overall rider experience while growing our network of buses and trains. That means increasing service frequency for less waiting at stops and less crowding on board, and adding service for more connections to jobs, school and other community services. Meanwhile, ongoing upgrades to vehicles, stations and tracks are helping to improve reliability and make the ride more comfortable.