TriMet’s MAX Red Line extension to Hillsboro moving forward

Posted on in News

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USA: TriMet, a public agency that operates mass transit in Portland, has announced plans to extend the MAX Red Line to Hillsboro, and add a second track to sections of the Red Line near Portland International Airport and Gateway Transit Center.

TriMet Board of Directors voted to adopt two resolutions on April 24 allowing for the project to move forward. One of the resolutions approved the Locally Preferred Alternative, and the second resolution authorizes TriMet to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Port of Portland. The agreement commits TriMet to continue funding further design of the project, and to work with the FTA on the total cost estimates and benefits of the project. This is the next step towards securing funding from the FTA that could pay for half of the $200 million project, with TriMet paying the other half.

TriMet’s MAX Red Line runs between Beaverton Transit Center and Portland International Airport. The plan is to extend the line ten stations to the west, to run between the Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport Station and Portland’s airport. The MAX Blue Line currently is the only light rail service west of Beaverton Transit Center and trains are often crowded during peak travel times. With continuing growth in both housing and jobs in Washington County, the request for more MAX service along the corridor between Hillsboro and Beaverton Transit Center is increasing and the extension would double service in that area most hours of the day.

The expanded service requires improving track and switches, upgrading the signal system and building an operator break facility at the Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport Station. The agency also plans to add up to eight new light rail vehicles to accommodate the extended service.

Construction is expected to begin in 2021-2022 with opening about two years later.

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