Retired TriMet paratransit bus helps non-profit’s students rebuild lives


TriMet community partner, Constructing Hope, will use the bus in pre-apprenticeship job training program for people transitioning through the criminal justice system

The people who participate in the job training and placement program at Portland’s Constructing Hope workforce development, training and job placement center don’t have a lot of personal possessions. They live on a low income. Many spent time in prison. What they lack in material belongings, they fulfill, for now, with hope and ambition. They found Constructing Hope because they wanted to rebuild their lives.

TriMet General Manager Sam Desue, Jr. hands keys to Pat Daniels, Executive Director of Constructing Hope

“Constructing Hope is a pre-apprenticeship training program. We target formerly incarcerated, or as we call them, ‘newly returning citizens,’” explained Pat Daniels, who serves as executive director of the nonprofit. “The mission is to create self-sufficiency through education and training in the construction industry.”

“What the students accomplish by completing this program is truly inspiring,” said TriMet General Manager Sam Desue, Jr. “TriMet is humbled by the opportunity to support an initiative that produces positive results for individuals, their families and our community as a whole.”

Most of the students at Constructing Hope are familiar with TriMet. Some may even use transit to get to and from the training center in Northeast Portland. Soon, they’ll use a retired TriMet vehicle to access activities that play an important role in their workforce training.

Constructing Hope’s Pat Daniels signs paperwork to accept donation of retired TriMet vehicle

“This bus is going to be life-changing for us,” said Daniels, who planned to use the bus for field trips that help students understand the scope of working in the trades. “We see students who come in wanting to be an electrician and leave as a plumber. Or they come in wanting to be a plumber, and they become a carpenter.”

Constructing Hope is one of a growing number of TriMet community partners to benefit from a donated vehicle. They’ll use what was formerly a LIFT paratransit bus to take students on outings. At more than 10 years old and with nearly 233,000 miles, the ADA-accessible bus has reached the end of its functional life for TriMet services, but it can serve the students at Constructing Hope for years to come.

Retired LIFT paratransit bus is 10+ years old, has nearly 233,000 miles

“This is a collaboration that’s going to make it better for the community as a whole,” said TriMet Board of Directors member, Keith Edwards, who also serves on the board for Constructing Hope. “It’s changing lives by helping people get viable jobs and opportunities and be proud about their accomplishments.”

Commitment to equity

TriMet believes access to public transportation is access to opportunity, and we are committed to transit equity. As a public transportation agency, we serve a broad and diverse community. Our values are rooted in ensuring all riders have fair and equal access to transit services, without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or income level. Learn more about TriMet’s equity programs as well as our milestones and progress at