Connecting people to jobs

The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project is essential to the long-term economic vitality of our region, helping to connect people to their jobs and higher education. It also is providing many short-term benefits for the regional economy.


Direct jobs

Direct jobs are occupations that work directly on the light rail project, such as planners, designers, engineers and construction workers.


To date, more than 559 private-sector firms are working, or have completed work, on the project, including 132 disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) firms, and the list of companies continues to grow.


Direct jobs created:

  • 5,051 on-site construction jobs since construction began in April 2011.
  • 1,800 professional and technical jobs since March of 2009, when the project entered Preliminary Engineering. Professional and technical jobs include employees that have worked a minimum of 160 hours.



Direct jobs created

As of May 11, 2015, as reported by PMLR contractors.

Indirect and induced jobs

Indirect jobs include positions at suppliers of materials for the project, such as steel, concrete, wood, and more. Induced jobs are jobs created by the spending of project salaries for items such as groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.


The indirect and induced jobs are estimated based on a direct multiplier of 8.63 jobs per million dollars of eligible construction spending. Through April 2015, the project has expended approximately $794.2 million on construction.

How job creation was estimated for the project Final Environmental Impact Statement (43 KB PDF)



Indirect and induced jobs created

Estimated based on construction spending through April 30, 2015.

Project contractor firms, Portland region

Chart showing PMLR Contractors in the Portland region


Worker profiles

The project workforce is skilled, diverse and dedicated to creating a safe, efficient and accessible light rail extension.

Growing businesses

Project construction and new development along the project route will provide employment opportunities, encourage walking and cycling, and enhance livability.

Saving riders money

Transit riders also benefit economically by choosing light rail. According to the American Public Transit Association (APTA), a Portland resident who chooses public transit saves $10,313 a year, based on a per gallon gas price of $3.43.

Estimates predict the MAX line constructed by the project will carry 17,000 riders at the end of its first year of service. That's $175.4 million in rider savings for that year. And at the end of 30 years of service, the MAX line is expected to carry 22,765 riders annually, which equals $234.8 million in annual rider savings


Economic Benefits of the Project

Monthly construction hours

Monthly construction hours