UPDATE: TriMet to replace elevators at the deepest transit station in North America


Improvements now set to begin Monday, Aug. 5; one set of elevators to remain open at all times

TriMet’s elevator improvements program will make a stop at Washington Park, as we replace the elevators that take people between the deepest transit station in North America and popular Washington Park destinations. Crews will begin the major renovation work at the Washington Park MAX Station on Monday, Aug 5. The project, originally planned to begin in July, was delayed due to an unexpected mechanical issue with one of the elevators that must initially remain open to maintain access at the station. It will take about 8 months to complete all the improvements.

Access remains between platform and park during upgrades

Washington Park MAX Station

The Washington Park Station has two sets of elevators, two on the World Forestry Center side and two on the Oregon Zoo side. Crews will work only on one set of elevators at a time so riders can continue to use the station during the upgrades.

During busy times, such as the Zoo concert nights, people traveling to Washington Park using the MAX Blue or Red lines may want to plan a few extra minutes as everyone will need to use the open set of elevators to get between the platform and plaza levels.

The Washington Park Station has been serving riders since it opened in 1998. This is the deepest transit station in North America, at 260 feet underground. With the elevators the only way to get between the platform and ground level, they’ve taken a lot of wear over the years.

Elevator cabs, crucial components replaced

Crews will be replacing the cabs of the elevators and other crucial components that keep the elevators running and reliable.  They’ll first make improvements to the elevators on the World Forestry side of the station, then work on the Oregon Zoo-side elevators beginning in November.

TriMet’s Elevator Improvement Program is a $22 million, multi-year project that began in 2018 and will upgrade or replace 19 elevators throughout the system. Improvements are also underway on the elevators between the platform and plaza levels at the Sunset Transit Center. Those who cannot use the stairs between the two levels should plan a few extra minutes to use the path at the east side of the station to get between the eastbound and westbound platforms.

The elevator improvements are part of TriMet’s Making Transit Better initiative and come just a few years after we renovated the platform level of the Washington Park MAX Station.

Check before you go

Always check trimet.org/alerts before you head out or sign up for alerts at trimet.org/email. If the open set of elevators at Washington Park must close unexpectedly, TriMet will post a service alert on the MAX Blue and Red lines, and provide shuttle buses to get people to and from Washington Park. TriMet’s Line 63-Washington Park/Arlington Hts buses run once an hour over about 12 hours on weekdays and about 8 hours on weekends, and may be used if all elevators at the Washington Park close to get between the park and Downtown Portland.