(VIDEO) TriMet’s ‘Clean Team’ puts sparkle on stations and transit centers


Facilities across the transit system are going through thorough deep cleaning and daily improvements as part of refresh

You may notice more activity at TriMet’s stations and transit centers: painting, power washing, litter pick up and more. It’s all part of a focused effort to refresh our most heavily used rail stations and transit hubs, along with our track areas and equipment. More than a simple clean up, TriMet is also replacing damaged signs, glass, older bus shelters and trash receptacles.

Repairing and renewing TriMet facilities

Enter the “Clean Team,” a TriMet group dedicated to sprucing up the system. They are working with an initial emphasis on some of our oldest stations, which are also among our most heavily used. These include several stations along Interstate 84 and in Downtown Portland, which are now more than 37 years old. 

At the Gateway Transit Center, crews have replaced bus shelters and begun deep-cleaning efforts, including repainting the MAX shelters on the platforms. Elsewhere, the Clean Team is working to revitalize public art, eliminate graffiti and improve landscaping.

Making it better on board and off

TriMet’s commitment to maintaining a safe and clean transit system shines through in our daily efforts to target vehicles, stations and transit centers. In a strategic move to enhance cleanliness, end-of-line cleaners are stationed at seven key transit Centers and MAX stations where operators take their breaks. Working seven days a week, they take care of spills and trash to make sure vehicles remain welcoming while in active service.

Those cleaners focusing on trains and buses are joined by other cleaners, whose daily efforts emphasize the platforms at rail stations. But with a service area stretched across 533 square miles, and with about 1.3 million trips made each week, there’s a lot to do! TriMet’s Clean Team helps by going deeper and reaching more areas than we can with daily cleaning.

This includes:

  • Repainting structures, such as poles and shelters
  • Deep cleaning shelter roofs and station platforms
  • Cleaning or covering over graffiti 
  • Repairing damaged equipment, such as tactile pavers, pylons and signs 
  • Improving landscaping, including making sure tree roots don’t damage walkways
  • Removing tripping hazards
  • Picking up litter from the track area and nearby

The work comes as TriMet has increased security, and we’re rolling out better service as part of Forward Together, the service plan developed with the community. The COVID-19 pandemic posed the greatest public health crisis in over a century and pushed limited resources toward health and sanitation initiatives for nearly two years. Now, as more people return to the system, we want to make sure we’re looking our best and giving our riders the customer experience they want and deserve.

Keeping TriMet safe and clean

Rider safety and comfort are always TriMet’s top focus, no matter the circumstance. This year has seen more efforts aimed at making riding easier, faster and friendlier. TriMet has doubled the number of Customer Safety Supervisors on the system and deployed a diverse and growing security presence, with more than 300 people across various teams.

We also know cleanliness matters. Nothing is better than when everyone takes pride and ownership in the space they share with others. Here are some things you can do to help us keep buses, trains, stations, stops and other locations looking and feeling good. Your help is greatly appreciated!

  • Set a good example by not leaving your trash behind. Not only is litter a nuisance and bad for the environment, it can also attract pests.
  • Don’t feed the pigeons! As friendly as they seem, pigeons can spread diseases, mites and cause damage to the areas we all use. Feeding them only encourages their behavior, diminishing the hard work of TriMet’s cleaners. 
  • Report unwanted behavior, which can be anything from smoking to vandalism to other forms of disruptive conduct. Because we want to know of bad behavior as soon as you see it, we recently made it easier to report security concerns 24 hours a day. For non-urgent matters, text or call 503-238-7433 (RIDE) or submit a report at trimet.org by clicking the security button. If it is urgent, tell the operator or other TriMet employee, or contact 911.