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TriMet will restore 15-minute service on all of its Frequent Service lines by March 2014.

The agency's Board of Directors voted unanimously to restore the service at its Wednesday, Oct. 23 meeting. The frequency of service had been reduced on the lines in recent years as TriMet cut spending because of the Great Recession.

The 12 Frequent Service lines carry 58 percent of TriMet's bus passengers. Full service has already been restored on two of the lines. The board voted to spend $3.1 million to increase frequency on the remaining 10 lines in the last quarter it the current fiscal year.

The delay is caused by TriMet's need to hire and train new operators for the additional buses that will be be added to the lines.

“My focus has been to restore Frequent Service, and I’m so pleased we found savings in our current budget to allow us to reinvest in this network,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane. “This will mean real benefits to the majority of our riders, especially those who are transit dependent, who will see shorter travel times and better connections.”

Currently, lines 4 and 72 meet the 15 minute weekday midday standards. The 10 additional lines are: 6-Martin Luther King Jr Blvd; 8-Jackson Park/NE 15th; 9-Powell/Broadway; 12-Barbur/Sandy Blvd; 14-Hawthorne; 15-Belmont/NW 23rd; 33-McLoughlin; 54-Beaverton/Hillsdale Hwy/56-Scholls Ferry Rd.; 57-TV Hwy/Forest Grove; 75-Cesar Chavez/Lombard.

In addition, the vote will restore Frequent Service on Line 4-Division/Fessenden on weekday evenings and all day on Saturdays.

The $3.1 million in service restoration will be funded by $1 million in non-union health care cost savings and $1 million in additional revenue from a new advertising contract. TriMet fares will fund the balance of $1.1 million.

The $3.1 million in service restoration is in addition to $2.1 million in improvements made in September 2013 to 20 bus lines and the addition of a new bus line between Sherwood and Tigard to better serve Washington County.

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