Making Transit Better logo

Making Transit Better

We know our riders want better service — and more of it. Here’s what we’re doing to grow our network of buses and trains, and make the ride smoother, safer and more convenient.

Regional projects

Between 2013 an 2015, TriMet and Metro asked for feedback from riders, residents, neighborhood groups, governments, schools and businesses, to create a long-term vision for transit service at the local level.

The Line 4-Division is one of TriMet’s most popular bus lines, with more than 10,000 daily rides between Downtown Portland and Gresham. But during rush hour, buses are often standing room only and sometimes have to pass up riders waiting at the stop. The Division Transit Project will improve service along Division with faster, easier and safer, rapid and reliable bus service.

Light rail is being considered to improve transit in the corridor that runs north-south from Downtown Portland to Sherwood and east-west from Lake Oswego to Beaverton.



In 2017–2018, we’re proposing changes to eight bus lines and the addition of a new route. These changes are meant to improve reliability, connect riders with jobs, streamline service and ease crowding.

In 2016, we kicked off a 10-year expansion of transit throughout the Portland area, with a focus on better bus service. We’re making service improvements including adding more buses (they’ll come more frequently) and increasing the hours of operation (they’ll come earlier and later in the day).

TriMet’s 645 buses are the backbone of the Portland area’s transit system. Each year, they carry 62% of our rides and travel nearly 24 million miles (enough to circle the globe 963 times!). Along with new buses, we’re growing bus service every year year in an effort to meet the growing demand from riders.

After delaying new bus purchases for a few years during the recession, we began actively replacing the oldest buses in our fleet in 2012. We now have 326 new buses on the road, which helps make the ride more comfortable and more reliable.

We’re making much-needed improvements to MAX tracks, switches and equipment to improve reliability and on-time performance. View details on specific projects here.

On average in 2015, about one in every five trips was delayed. We know how frustrating this can be for our riders. That’s why we’re addressing many of the areas that affect our system’s on-time performance, including maintenance, training and partnerships.

MAX Orange Line Shelter Additions

Beginning September 2016, fourteen additional shelters will be installed at the ten MAX Orange Line stations. These shelters are among a handful of add-back items that the FTA gave TriMet approval to install after the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project came in on time, but under budget in the range of $48 million. The deferred shelters will be installed sequentially from SE Park Ave Station to Lincoln Station. The project will take approximately one year to complete.

As it nears 20 years old, we're giving the Washington Park MAX Station a fresh look with colorful graphic wall coverings, better lighting and new wall designs in the elevator lobbies.

Starting in 2017, you’ll be able to “tap on” using a fare card, smartphone or credit/debit card when you board the bus or train. Load value onto your account by phone, on the web or at grocery/convenience stores.

We’ve created our first-ever Bike Plan — a roadmap that will help guide future investments in biking infrastructure and amenities. This includes improving bike access to transit stops, expanding parking options, and accommodating bikes onboard buses and trains.

We’re working with cities and counties to improve sidewalks, crossings and other amenities. Together, we’re making transit more accessible.

The Powell Garage will be reconfigured to improve bus and employee circulation and safety at its access points, replace and modernize the aging buildings, and accommodate 50 percent more buses, including larger, articulated buses for the Division Transit Project.

The TriMet Tickets app for Android and iPhone lets you pay your fare instantly — anywhere, anytime. We were the first U.S. transit agency to offer mobile ticketing system-wide.

In 2015, we restored 15-minute service — which had been cut over the last few years due to the recession — on our 12 Frequent Service bus lines and MAX. This means less waiting, shorter travel times and better connections.

Better Ticket Machine Reliability

In 2013, we replaced more than half of our 213 ticket machines and upgraded the software, card readers and bill acceptors. Overall reliability has improved dramatically — it’s now consistently around 98%.

Arrival Screens at MAX Stations

We’re adding more digital information displays at MAX stations throughout the system, to provide more riders with timely service information. The new screens will be installed gradually throughout 2016 and 2017.


Safety & Security

TriMet crews are making upgrades to stations and pedestrian crossings along the MAX Blue Line. The renovations include upgrades to shelters, windscreens, security cameras and lighting.

All transit centers, stations, elevators, trains and buses are equipped with cameras, to deter crime and help prosecute people who commit crimes on the system.

Transit Police Response Teams use plainclothes and undercover officers along with traditional uniformed officers to help deter criminal or inappropriate behavior.