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City seems safe from TriMet route cuts

Bus lines 35 and 154 drive through proposed budget cuts

West Linn residents seem to be safe from TriMet bus cuts and reductions. Both the Route 35 and Route 154 lines are not listed in TriMet's most recently proposal to address a looming deficit.

TriMet is currently facing up to a $17 million budget shortfall. After several months of surveys and open house forums, TriMet drafted and released a proposal to prepare for this shortfall.

Due to lower-than-expected revenue from payroll taxes, anticipated cuts in federal funding and unsustainable health care costs for union employees, TriMet is facing a $17 million shortfall in the next budget year, according to TriMet.

Thousands of people weighed in on ideas to trim costs while keeping services.

'Many of you told us you could live with a fare increase if it prevented more service cuts,' wrote Neil McFarlane, TriMet general manager, in the TriMet 'Challenges and Choices' budget guide.

Proposed changes to TriMet's budget include $12 in revenue-generating measures and $5.7 million in cuts.

For to raise funds, TriMet wants to increase fairs and eliminate zones for $6 million; make single tickets one-way and create a new roundtrip day pass for $3 million; eliminate the fare-free zone for $2.7 million; and sell ads on its websites and TransitTracker by phone for $300,000.

Proposed budget cuts include a $2 million reduction by reconfiguring but routes and cutting segments with overlapping service as well as cutting low-ridership areas; $1.5 million in savings by reducing MAX frequency; a $900,000 reduction by running the MAX Red Line between the airport and S.W. 11th Avenue only; and cutting programs and staff for $500,000; matching the LIFT paratransit service boundary regular services to save $400,000; and cutting $400,000 in contributions to Portland Streetcar.

The proposed changes will save TriMet an estimated $17.7 million.

'Although we designed it to minimize the overall impact on riders, our proposal calls for some big changes, including a fare increase, a transition to one-way/roundtrip tickets and the elimination of zones,' according to the budget guide.

To read TriMet's initial proposal to change fares and service and to provide feedback, visit http://trimet.org/mailforms/budgetproposal.




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