PSU’s Center for Public Interest Design contest imagined new uses for TriMet’s oldest light rail vehicles
Imagine Holladay Park in Northeast Portland’s Lloyd neighborhood transformed into a MAX village. Four TriMet MAX trains stretch along a raised sidewalk next to the park. One of the vehicles features a community kitchen. Another houses a warming shelter. The remaining two vehicles contain a health clinic and a learning center. This was the winning design concept in a unique competition hosted by Portland State University’s Center for Public Interest Design.
The MAX Reuse Design Challenge invited designers to re-envision the use of TriMet’s oldest MAX light rail vehicles, which we will begin retiring in the coming years. Contestants had the freedom to approach their designs from any angle, but they were encouraged to find new uses for the trains that could help address an issue or issues facing society today.
“Bringing the four functions (community kitchen, warming shelter, health clinic, learning center) together generates an inclusive and forward-looking atmosphere that empowers people to grow and learn new skills while addressing pressing needs of health and shelter.”Excerpt from MAX Village submission
The People’s Choice award went to The Afro-Village Movement, with moving trains that provide shelter spaces, lockers, a mini-kitchen with fresh produce shelves, dining area, showers, laundry facilities, and more.
“(T)he three Afro-Village Trains aim to fulfill the demand of more equitable, just and accessible basic services, while providing safe and healing spaces for Portland’s vulnerable community.”Excerpt from The Afro-Village Movement submission
The competition was designed to get people thinking about new ways to address issues facing our community. The concepts may not necessarily be applied to trains when they are retired.
View all the entries at www.centerforpublicinterestdesign.org/max-reuse-design-challenge.
Retiring TriMet’s oldest MAX trains
The 26 Type 1s were the original trains on the MAX system and have been in service for nearly 34 years. They have stairs at every door and must be paired with other trains to provide ADA accessible MAX service. TriMet will begin to retire these vehicles in 2022 as we begin bringing in the next generation of light rail vehicles and transitioning to an all low-floor, accessible fleet.
Designers in the contest had the option to base their designs on the Type 1 trains or our Type 2 vehicles. The Type 2s were the first low-floor light rail vehicles put into use by a transit agency in North America. They’ve been in service since 1997. The Type 2s are being renovated over the next five years, so their retirement date is undetermined.