TriMet to scale back services after dip in ridership

Coronavirus

The changes go into effect Sunday, April 5

A MAX train in Portland (Portland Tribune file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In a little more than a week, TriMet will move to an adjusted schedule after ridership took a dramatic dip due to the coronavirus outbreak and Governor Kate Brown’s subsequent “Stay Home” order.

The transit agency said in February, average weekly trips totaled just under two million (1,901,445), but by the week of March 15, there were only 1,003,336 rides taken between buses and trains. That 47.2% drop in ridership is expected to continue to decline after Brown’s order stressed that people should only travel unless absolutely necessary.

TriMet said it will continue to provide bus and train services throughout the pandemic, but starting on Sunday, April 5 new schedules will be rolled out across all of its transit platforms.

Bus Lines

More than half of TriMet’s bus schedules will be effected by the new changes, however, wait times between buses will not be longer than two hours. Bus lines with weekend service will be temporarily switched to their Sunday schedule for the entire week.

“The adjustments were roughly built off TriMet’s current Saturday service schedules, with modifications for lines that currently don’t have Saturday service or that don’t have early or late enough service on Saturdays to accommodate typical work schedules.”

Two of TriMet’s 24-hour bus lines will no longer run overnight: Line 20 to Burnside/Stark and Line 57 to TV Hwy/Forest Grove. The 272 Line: PDX Night Bus, also an overnight bus, will be suspended entirely.

All told, 58 of Trimet’s 85 bus lines will see adjustments.

MAX Lines

All of the metro area’s MAX lines will continue to run through their complete routes and trains will arrive at their typical 15 minute interval for much of the work week. TriMet will suspend the additional trains that previously accommodated the morning and evening commute.

On the weekends, MAX train schedules will default to the standard Sunday schedule.

Streetcar, WES Rail, and LIFT

The Streetcar service will now run on its weekend schedule full time.

The WES Commuter Rail will run every 45 minutes, reduced from the half-hour interval, and run as single trains instead of the two-car service. Service will still be provided during the morning and afternoon commuting hours.

LIFT services will be provided on-demand, as usual.

TriMet said, when adjusting the transit schedule, officials tried to maintain as many as the agency’s vital services as possible, including access to hospitals and “major employment centers,” as well as prioritizing stops in low-income areas where people typically depend on public transit.

For a complete catalogue of changes to TriMet’s services, view the online guide.

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