TriMet to cut bus lines in Sherwood, Tualatin
Riders will also see a fee increase to make up for budget gap
Changes to TriMet's bus routes in Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood might not be as large as first proposed.
TriMet announced in February that it planned sweeping changes to its bus lines across the Portland area, including changes to eight bus lines in Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood to make up for a $12 million to $17 million budget gap.
But a revised list of cuts means much fewer changes to the area's public transportation network. Local transit users will see segments of busline 12 from Sherwood to Tigard being cut along with a few low-ridership stops on two Tualatin bus lines.
Bus Line 12, the far-reaching line that stretches from Sherwood to Gresham, could see its Sherwood service cut, running only between Tigard and Parkrose transit centers. Line 94 would connect riders to the Tigard Transit Center.
Bus line 36, which runs from Tualatin Park and Ride to downtown Portland would see some trips cut, including the 5:52 a.m., 6:20 a.m. and 6 p.m. departures from the Tualatin stop. A trip in the afternoon would be added from Portland to Tualatin.
Bus line 37, which runs from Tualatin to Lake Oswego, would have its 5:37 p.m. trip from Tualatin Park and Ride eliminated, as well as the 5:54 p.m. run from the Lake Oswego transit center.
The transit agency had planned additional service cuts to local bus lines 36, 38, 44, 45, 92 and 94 earlier this year, but those cuts were not included in the agency's final proposed budget.
'Our revised proposal reflects the priorities we clearly heard from the public, which was to preserve service as the highest priority,' said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.
The decision comes after more than five weeks of public meetings, where TriMet officials heard from 5,100 people. TriMet also sifted through about 16,000 written comments on the plan sent to the agency.
'With nearly 16,000 comments received from the community, it truly helped shape our proposal and focus on our shared priority that preserving service was the top priority,' McFarlane said.
The bus changes take effect Sept. 2.
Fares rise in September
TriMet still plans to do away with fare zones, everyone will pay the same $2.50 a ticket no matter how far they travel. Those changes take effect Sept. 1.
A one-day ticket with unlimited rides would cost $5. Youth fares would increase 15 cents to $1.65 for a two-hour ticket. A one-day youth ticket would drop from $5 to $3.30. Honored citizen fares would not change.
Plans also include doing away with the Rail Free Zone (formerly known as Fareless Square).
In total, the cuts are expected to save TriMet about $12 million.
TriMet needs to cut a big chunk from its $400 million operating budget to make up for weak payroll tax proceeds, reduced federal funding and the costs of a labor arbitration deal TriMet is in with its labor union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757.
State law requires TriMet to have a balanced budget in place by June, before the ATU negotiations are resolved.
Depending on how arbitration goes, TriMet could face an additional $5 million cut next year.
The agency will take comments on the proposals and make a final decision on its plan by June.
The TriMet board will hold a first reading and public hearing on the proposal Wednesday. A second reading and vote is planned May 23.