TriMet Milestones


The Portland City Council passed a resolution to create TriMet under authority granted by the Oregon State Legislature. Operations of Rose City Transit were turned over to TriMet. Thirty-four companies had served the Portland area in the nearly 100 years previous.


Portland community leader and light rail advocate, Dr. Lawrence Griffith, led the effort to bring back historic trolleys to Portland.


TriMet began operating Fareless Square in 1975, two years before the opening of the Downtown Transit Mall, as an integral part of our overall strategy to increase transit use and to help preserve our region’s livability.


December 17 saw the opening of the Downtown Transit Mall which some believed triggered tens of millions of dollars in new downtown construction and solidified it as a retailing center.


TriMet’s efforts to bring light rail to Portland included a Landmarks Commission approval of light rail operation with mandated mitigation of light rail impact through operation of vintage trolleys through downtown historic districts.


MAX Light Rail commenced operation to Gresham, renewing rail passenger service in Portland.

A two-million-dollar grant was announced from the Urban Mass Transit Administration that enabled purchase of vintage trolleys.


Vintage Trolley Inc. was formed to assure operation of the Vintage Trolley system.

A Local Improvement District was formed to finance the local share of federal grant.


Replicas of the Council Crest cars arrived in Portland in spring and summer. Vintage Trolley service between Lloyd Center and downtown Portland began November 29.


The Downtown Transit Mall was extended to Union Station.


Westside light rail service began operating between Portland and Hillsboro.


Airport MAX Red Line rail service began running between downtown Portland and the Portland International Airport.


Interstate MAX Yellow Line opened May 1, four months ahead of schedule, millions under budget and with enhanced bus service. TriMet’s fourth MAX extension, the 5.8-mile, $350 million Yellow Line extended from Rose Quarter Transit Center to the Expo Center, increasing the MAX system to 44 miles with 64 stations.

TransitTracker, TriMet’s real-time arrival information system, became available over the telephone and via cell phones.


The opening of the 1.2-mile RiverPlace extension lengthened the Portland Streetcar line to six miles total, with 40 platform stops.


Construction activity began on I-205/Portland Mall MAX Light Rail project and on Washington County Commuter Rail, the first suburb-to-suburb commuter rail line in the country. A new Streetcar extension opened to provide service to the South Waterfront area (Gibbs).


More than ten years in the making, TriMet’s 14.7-mile WES Commuter Rail line opened on February 2. WES (Westside Express Service) is one of the few suburb-to-suburb commuter rail lines in the nation. WES provides service between the cities of Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville, connects to MAX Light Rail in Beaverton and adds a welcome alternative to I-5/Highway 217 for commuters in Washington and Clackamas counties.

On September 2, the 8.2 mile MAX Green Line opened, adding a convenient and affordable way to get around for people living and working in Clackamas County and East Multnomah County. The Green Line travels alongside I-205 to Gateway and continues west to downtown Portland, where it serves the Transit Mall between Union Station and Portland State University.