TriMet board votes unanimously to allow Boring to withdraw from its service

TriMet released its 40-year grip on the rural Boring area during the TriMet board's final meeting of the year Wednesday, Dec. 14.

With one member absent, the board voted 6-0 to allow the Boring area to withdraw from the services TriMet provides to hundreds of thousands of urban dwellers.

Other rural areas have been allowed to withdraw in earlier years - communities such as Canby, Molalla, Wilsonville and Sandy. Damascus chose not to be a part of TriMet in 1988.

When the board voted Wednesday to remove the Boring area from its district, there was no one else as amazed as Chief Petitioner Steve Bates of Boring.

'I am shocked and elated about this outcome,' he said as the past 15 months of work quickly came to an end. 'I honestly thought we would not get enough votes to permit our withdrawal request.'

Bates said he thought what made the difference was a last-minute change of position of the Clackamas County Commission.

Last month, the commission expressed a neutral position when Commissioner Paul Savas spoke to the board. But in a letter dated Tuesday, Dec. 13, and received at the beginning of Wednesday's board meeting, Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Lehan said the commission supports the withdrawal if TriMet, the county and Boring work together to identify options for those who use TriMet Lift service.

Board members recognized that Boring is a rural area and is not likely to change to urban anytime soon. Newly-seated board member Craig Prosser called the Lift service issue 'troubling,' but admitted regular bus service to the Boring area is 'terrible.' Since the service can't be improved, he said, Boring should be allowed to withdraw.

TriMet and Clackamas County staff members as well as Bates are planning to find options for Boring's approximately 20 people who are disabled in some way and who have expressed an interest in maintaining some form of transportation.

The withdrawal does not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2013, which gives everyone a full year to arrange for other options.

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