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Boring supports its bus riders

Complaints and help from a legislator restores TriMet's promised service

Taking quick action in response to the revelation that TriMet faces a budget shortfall of $12-$17 million, the TriMet board will consider sweeping changes in late March.

It was initially proposed that low-ridership lines should be eliminated at least by early September, including Boring's Line 84, but Boring CPO Chairman Steve Bates objected on the basis of the board-approved ordinance keeping service until Dec. 31.

Bates also objected to ending LIFT service prior to Dec. 31 because it might take that long to find replacement transportation for the area's disabled passengers.

Bates was aided in his quest to maintain all TriMet service to Boring for the entire year by a letter from Rep. Bill Kennemer to Aaron Deas, TriMet's government affairs manager.

Even though Deas said LIFT service would continue to Dec. 31, he added one exception.

'The only caveat I might add,' Deas stated in his reply to Kennemer, 'is that because of our budget cuts TriMet's LIFT service policy as a whole is under review.

'If we change the overall service level, then this will impact all LIFT service. An example would be if we reduced the boundaries of service. Of course this would affect all LIFT riders, not just those in the Boring area.'

Severe changes Dec. 31

When Boring withdraws from TriMet Dec. 31, changes to Line 84 will be swift and severe.

Line 84 would operate only to 282nd Avenue and Orient Drive. Buses would operate weekdays only during morning and evening rush hours. Line 84 would travel from the Gresham Transit Center along Eighth Street, Hood Avenue, Powell Boulevard, Powell Valley Road to 282nd and stop at Orient Drive.

The line would then return from 282nd and Orient Drive on Orient Drive, 257th/Kane Road, Powell Valley Road, Powell Boulevard, Hood Avenue, and Eighth Street to the Gresham Transit Center.

Other cost reductions

For its regular bus service system-wide, among other cost-saving and revenue-generating measures, TriMet is proposing to reconfigure certain bus routes and eliminate some low-ridership bus trips. These changes would take effect Sept. 2.

Among the 15 routes to be changed, Line 30 to Estacada would be reconfigured and would have one fewer trip around 6:30 p.m. from Fourth and Main in Estacada. Trip times to be adjusted in rush hours.

The other 14 routes, in Northeast and Northwest Portland and Beaverton, would be redesigned so they do not compete with each other for the same riders and the distance between routes - and thus the maximum walking distance - is more consistent. TriMet officials say the changes would not only be cost-effective, but also would result in a simpler system easier to understand.

TriMet officials are admitting the proposed changes would result in a reduction in service, resulting in some riders making an additional transfer or walking farther to catch a bus.

The TriMet board expects to reach final decisions on cost-cutting and revenue-increasing measures in late March.

For information or to send comments to the board, visit trimet.org/choices/bus-reductions.