TriMet 50 years logo
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Building a foundation

From the ashes of a dozen failed transportation companies emerged TriMet on December 1, 1969. This was a time of building foundations: The Transit Mall in Downtown Portland launched (1977), as was Fareless Square (1976). We first started thinking about light rail as an alternative to freeway expansions (1976). Within a few short years, the idea was approved locally (1978).

1970s TriMet bus
Original TriMet bus

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Big ideas

Making big ideas a reality was the name of the game in the 1980s. Our first MAX line — connecting Downtown Portland to Gresham — opened (1986). We reconfigured our bus service, moving away from radial lines and introducing crosstown service (1982). By the end of the decade, TriMet had been named America’s Best Transit Agency (1989).

1980s TriMet bus
New “stripes” livery

1980s TriMet MAX
MAX “Type 1”

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Innovation and growth

In the 1990s we took advantage of new technologies to help us serve our community. We introduced the low-floor light rail train to America (1997) and purchased our first low-floor buses (1997), making our system more accessible than ever. Westside MAX to Hillsboro opened (1998), we introduced our first four Frequent Service bus lines (1998) and the Transit Mall was extended north (1994). Bikes were welcomed on board our buses for the first time (1992) and we launched our public art program (1992). The TriMet website went live (1995), and we rolled out GPS-based arrival times (1999).

1990s TriMet bus
New “stripes” livery

1990s TriMet MAX
MAX “Type 2”

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Expansion and improvement

The 2000s were a flurry of activity! Three MAX lines opened — Red (2001), Yellow (2004) and Green (2009), WES began service (2009) and 12 more bus lines were upgraded to Frequent Service (2002). Technology helped make getting around easier: our Trip Planner was introduced (2001) and was quickly followed by TransitTracker (2002). We were the first transit system to be incorporated into Google Maps (2005). We also began to rethink and reevaluate how we did things. The Transit Mall was rebuilt (2009) and Fareless Square ended (2009).

2000s TriMet bus
New “swoosh” livery

2000s TriMet MAX
MAX “Type 3”

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Into the future!

MAX Orange line and Tilikum Crossing opened (2015) and we launched our first electric bus (2019) — powered exclusively by wind power — as part of our commitment to a 100% alternative fuel fleet by 2040. Mobile ticketing gave riders a more convenient way to purchase fares (2013), as did the launch of Hop Fastpass (2017). You could even use your Android (2018) or Apple phone (2019) to pay for transit. Our reduced fare for low-income riders (2018) made transit more accessible to those who rely on it the most, and the return of all-night service (2018) means transit is an option, no matter when you need to travel.

2010s TriMet bus
“Swoosh” livery

2010s TriMet MAX
MAX “Type 4/5”

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Our first 50 years were just the start. We’re committed to providing the Portland region with safe, accessible and affordable options for connecting people, places and opportunity — and doing so while helping pave the road to a cleaner and greener region for the generations to come. To our future, and to yours.

Let’s move!

2020s TriMet bus
New livery

2020s TriMet electric bus
Electric bus

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