TriMet fare, service changes take effect Saturday
Critics plan protest on Thursday
TriMet is changing fares and service on Saturday. Major changes include the creation of a single fare zone instead of separate ones, the elimination of the Free Rail Zone, and increases in most fares.
The Board of Directors of the regional transit agency approved the changes to help close a $12 million gap in its new budget. According to TriMet, they saved $9 million and made traveling simpler.
The changes are being protested by advocates for low-income riders. Bus Riders Unite has announced a New Orleans-stye funeral march in downtown Portland on Aug. 30 to mourn the loss of affordable fares and bus service. It will begin at 2:00 p.m. at Pioneer Square. The group is affiliated with OPAL Environmental Justice.
The new fares include a $2.50 two-hour adult pass and a $26 seven-day adult pass. A $5 all-day adult pass with unlimited rides represents no increase in cost.
TriMet is also expanding its Downtown Pass program to include MAX train. beginning Sept. 1. The bus pass was created in 2010 for people who live in downtown Portland and are elderly or have a disability. The $10 two-year photo ID pass will now be valid on both buses and MAX.
In addition to the Downtown Pass expansion, TriMet is also setting aside $1 million to mitigate the fare increases on low-income riders. TriMet will partner with social service agencies and non-profits to administer this program. No specifics have yet been announced.
Numerous services changes have also been announced to bus lines throughout the region. All of the details are available on the agencies website, www.trimet.org