PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — TriMet’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024 sits at a total of $1.92 billion, which goes toward new electric buses, increased access for low-income riders, restoring service hours and more.

For the upcoming fiscal year that runs from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024, TriMet has four designated areas of focus: transit service, transit equity, inclusion and community affairs, capital investments, and electrification.

According to TriMet, service hours were reduced in 2021 when fewer Portlanders were taking public transit due to the pandemic, and again in 2022 because of the operator shortage. But starting in FY 2024, the transit service will roll out its revised Forward Together service concept that aims to increase bus service by more than 30% within the next few years.

TriMet’s proposed budget also prioritizes making rides affordable for less economically-advantaged riders.

The transit service says that almost 50,000 residents have signed up for the reduced-fare program since it opened in 2018. TriMet wants the next fiscal year to support even more residents with low income, through the Access Transit Fare program that offers subsidized fares to local non-profits and community-based organizations.

“Capital investments” are another focus of Trimet’s latest budget proposal. This investment includes continuing construction on A Better Red line, which will extend the MAX Red Line and therefore serve more Hillsboro riders and those riding to the Portland International Airport.

FY 2024 will further TriMet’s bus electrification program as well. The transit service now has 10 electric buses in its fleet but will accept 24 new battery-powered buses by the end of June 2024 — getting TriMet closer to its goal of having a full fleet of zero-emissions buses by 2040.

Learn more about its plans for the proposed budget here.

TriMet riders can weigh in on the proposal through an online customer service form or at one of the upcoming board meetings, with the next one scheduled for Wednesday, March 22.

“The proposed budget balances priorities with our ongoing, agency-wide efforts to restore our workforce, increase ridership and maintain a transit system that is safe, welcoming and accessible to all,” TriMet said.