The Eastside Service Enhancement Plan is a long-term vision that will guide the expansion of bus service in East Portland, Gresham, Troutdale, Fairview, and Wood Village.
We talked with riders and community members about improving bus service and based on what we’ve learned about the challenges people face today and how these areas will grow in the future, this vision recommends 3 new north-south bus lines, increasing frequency, expanding hours of service, and route changes on existing bus lines, and a new community/job connector to help people get where they need to go.
This vision recommends improving or adding north-south service in areas where there are gaps in service or where some people must walk farther than a quarter-mile to reach their nearest bus stop. This vision calls for more north-south service on SE/NE 122nd, SE/NE 148th, SE/NE 162nd, SE/NE 223rd and NE 242nd, NE Kane, SW 257th, and S Troutdale.
This vision recommends increasing frequency, expanding hours of service, and route changes on existing bus lines to improve the quality of life on the Eastside, especially for those that rely on transit as their primary source of transportation. This vision calls for more and better service NE Airport Way, NE Sandy, NE Halsey, NE Glisan, and SE Stark.
This vision recommends community/jobs connector service in places where the businesses and/or homes are so scattered or are located on so much land that there aren’t enough people within walking distance of bus stops to cost-effectively provide traditional fixed route bus service. In some instances there aren’t enough roadway connections to allow people to walk to and from bus stops safely. The area in the East Columbia Corridor, generally between NE 223rd and the Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park, is a candidate for community/jobs connector service on the Eastside.
Implementing this vision will depend on available resources and an ongoing annual review of opportunities and priorities with an emphasis on equity, demand, productivity, connections, and growth. In September 2015, TriMet’s Board of Directors approved an increase in the payroll and self-employment tax rate with revenues dedicated to new and improved service. This new revenue will fund a portion of this vision, phased in as the revenue grows over 10 years.
In addition to the proposed bus service improvements in this vision, the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project will make traveling between Gresham and Downtown Portland, and between neighborhoods in the Southeast and Eastside, faster, easier and safer, with more reliable transit service — all to support better access to jobs and educational opportunities. The route and stations for the new transit service are expected to be confirmed by the end of 2016. An extensive bus service planning effort will identify further enhancements to support and connect to the new transit service, which could open in five years. (For more information, visit oregonmetro.gov/powelldivision.)