LIFT Rider’s Guide

Welcome to the LIFT Program

The TriMet LIFT Program is a shared-ride, public transportation service for people with disabilities that prevent them from using TriMet’s regular bus or MAX Light Rail service for some or all of their trips. LIFT service operates during the same hours and covers the same geographic area as regular TriMet service.

Who can use LIFT?

  • TriMet LIFT service is available only to people who have a physical and/or mental disability that prevents them from independently using TriMet buses or MAX for some or all of their trips.
  • You must apply and be certified as eligible before scheduling your first LIFT trip.
  • Many LIFT customers find that regular TriMet bus and MAX service is their preferred choice for some trips. Choosing bus and/or MAX for some trips does not affect LIFT eligibility.

When and where does LIFT operate?

  • The LIFT service area boundary corresponds with fixed route service on weekdays, evenings and weekends.
  • The LIFT service area covers all locations that are within three-fourths of a mile of TriMet’s bus and MAX Light Rail and also within the TriMet district. All locations inside the service area boundary are served.
  • LIFT does not serve locations outside the TriMet District, the legal boundary for TriMet.

How does LIFT provide service?

LIFT vehicle
  • LIFT uses a fleet of small buses, mini-vans and taxicabs to provide service.
  • LIFT rides are scheduled by advance reservation.
  • Several passengers share the vehicle, and vehicles may stop and travel in other directions during any passenger’s trip to accommodate other riders.
  • Travel time will vary, depending on trip distance and stops made to accommodate other riders during the trip.


Getting more information and assistance

LIFT by phone

  • 503-962-8000 is the main LIFT number, open during all hours that service is in operation, from 5 a.m.–1:45 a.m. daily.
    • Reservations are taken from 7 a.m.–6 p.m. daily.
    • Reservations for next-day trips must be made no later than 5 p.m. the day before.
  • 1-800-621-5438 toll-free within Oregon
  • 503-962-8200 LIFT Administration is open from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays for:
    • Information about LIFT eligibility
    • Changes to customer information (address, phone, etc.)
    • Information about the Committee on Accessible Transportation
  • TTY 7-1-1

Accessible formats available

For large-print or other alternative formats of this Rider’s Guide, call LIFT Administration at 503-962-8200.

Assistance to non-English speaking customers

Individuals who need an interpreter should call the main LIFT number, 503-962-8000. When the call is answered, the caller should say the language that they speak and then remain on the line. A LIFT customer service representative, working through an interpreter, will help you.

TriMet information and trip planning for regular bus, MAX and WES service

  • 503-238-RIDE (503-238-7433) from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. weekdays.
  • TTY 7-1-1

Help using regular buses, MAX and WES available through RideWise

The RideWise program, born out of a partnership between TriMet and Ride Connection, helps older adults and people with disabilities travel safely and independently using TriMet’s regular buses, MAX and WES. RideWise offers information on transportation choices, personal trip planning and assistance learning to ride regular buses, MAX and WES. For information and to schedule free travel training, call 503-226-0700. TTY users please call 7-1-1.


What to expect from LIFT service

  • LIFT service is another form of TriMet’s public transportation; it is not intended to serve all transportation needs of people with disabilities.
  • Other customers share the ride. Vehicles may travel in several directions during your trip and make stops to serve others.
  • Advance reservations are required. You may choose to have your trip scheduled based on either the time you wish to be picked up, or the time you wish to arrive at your destination (referred to as "appointment time").
  • Your scheduled pick-up time may be up to 60 minutes earlier or later than you requested in order to accommodate other trips being served.
  • You need to be ready to leave at your scheduled pick-up time. If necessary, the LIFT operator will wait a maximum of five minutes past your scheduled time.
  • If the LIFT vehicle hasn’t arrived within 30 minutes of your scheduled pick-up time, call LIFT at 503-962-8000.
  • Travel time will vary based on trip distance, traffic conditions and others being served.
  • LIFT operators do their best to make pick-ups on time and to get customers to their destinations on time. The system standard for on-time performance is 90 percent or above.
  • LIFT operators must be able to park their vehicles in a safe location that does not block or impede traffic, allows the operator to maintain sight of vehicle at all times and has an accessible path of travel.
  • Service may be delayed by factors outside LIFT’s control including heavy traffic, weather, and/or road conditions. Customers may wish to allow for possible delays when scheduling trips.
  • Eligible customers may bring a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) with them on their trip. A PCA rides free of charge.
  • Customers may bring one companion in addition to a PCA (additional companions may be scheduled if space is available). Companions pay the regular LIFT fare.

How LIFT operators assist customers

LIFT operators can help you with:

LIFT rider with a service animal
  • getting from your door or designated stop location to the LIFT vehicle
  • getting in and out of the vehicle (if you are unable to use the bus steps, you may stand on the bus lift platform to get on and off)
  • depositing your fare, if requested
  • fastening seat belts and securing wheelchairs and scooters
  • getting from the LIFT vehicle to the entry door or the designated stop location at your destination

If requested, LIFT operators will assist customers with manual mobility devices by:

  • pushing and guiding you to/from the vehicle, on/off the lift platform of the vehicle, and inside the vehicle
  • moving you and your device up or down a single step or a curb when it is possible to do so safely

For safety reasons, LIFT operators are not permitted to operate the controls of any powered mobility device, handle a service animal or enter a private residence.

Items customers may bring on the LIFT vehicle


Service animals are permitted on LIFT vehicles as provided under TriMet guidelines (under owner’s control, on a leash or in a container). Other animals are permitted on vehicles only in a secure container.


Personal oxygen tanks may be transported on LIFT vehicles. You may bring a respirator, portable oxygen or other life-support equipment as long as it does not violate hazardous material transportation laws. The equipment must be small enough to fit into the vehicle and be secured. Customers must ensure that there is an adequate oxygen supply (¾ or full) before boarding. Drivers are not authorized to operate life support equipment at any time.


Due to space limitations, each eligible LIFT customer, PCA and/or companion may each take two pieces of luggage plus a carry-on bag. Operators are not able to handle any luggage, so be sure to make any necessary arrangements for bags


Due to space limitations, each eligible LIFT customer may bring up to four grocery-sized bags.

Grocery store carts

are not permitted on vehicles, but you may bring groceries on board in a personal two- or four-wheeled, collapsible cart. If you are bringing a cart with you, let the reservationist know when you request your ride. Although operators will not assist you with the collapsible cart, they can assist you with up to four individual grocery-sized bags if necessary.

Other items

Operators are not able to assist with other items. An eligible LIFT customer may bring other items on board the vehicle only if:

  • The customer, PCA or companion is able to carry the item to and from the vehicle,
  • and the item is small enough to be held in the lap, or placed under the seat or elsewhere that is clear of the aisles, seats and securement areas in LIFT vehicles.


LIFT customer responsibilities

Customers count and you make a difference! All LIFT customers are responsible for doing their part in helping TriMet provide safe, reliable and efficient service. Here are some ways that customers and others who arrange for service can help:

Have valid fare, proof of payment

Show proof of payment when you board: exact change (operators cannot give change), ticket, punch card or pass.

Cancel unneeded rides in advance

Cancel as soon as possible, and not later than one hour before the scheduled pick-up time to avoid a “no-show.” If you have scheduled a return trip that you no longer need, be sure to cancel that as well. Canceling in advance saves resources and avoids you being counted as a no-show.

Be ready to leave at the scheduled time

It is most helpful if you are ready to leave when the vehicle arrives and you meet the operator at the door or at the stop location. The operator will wait for no more than five minutes.

If the vehicle arrives before your scheduled pick-up time, you may leave if you are ready. Being ready to go helps LIFT stay on time. If you are not ready, the operator will wait until the pick-up time and then up to five additional minutes if necessary. Not being available to board within the allotted time will be counted as a “no-show.”

Use required securement and seat belts

Operators will secure mobility devices and fasten lap belts for customers in mobility devices. All ambulatory customers must use seat belts.

Maintain mobility devices and accessible pathways

  • Make sure your wheelchair or scooter is in good working order.
  • Provide an accessible pathway with no steps to the entrance of your residence, and confirm the accessibility of your destinations.

Size and weight limits for mobility devices

Consistent with Department of Transportation regulations, TriMet will carry a mobility device with three or more wheels and its user so long as the lift can safely accommodate the size and weight of the mobility device and its user and there is space for the mobility device on the vehicle.

Rules for riding

LIFT Rules for Riding: Keep non-service animals in carrier; No smoking; Keep food and drink in closed containers.

All LIFT riders are required to follow these rules:

  • Valid and correct fare is required for each trip.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all TriMet vehicles and facilities.
  • Keep food and drink in closed containers.
  • Keep animals in a pet carrier (except service animals).
  • No disruptive or threatening behavior is allowed.
  • Don’t be so loud that you disturb others or distract the operator from safe operation of the vehicle.
  • Use radios and CD/MP3 players with headphones only.
  • Follow all TriMet policies regarding LIFT service.

Keep information up-to-date

Please call LIFT Administration at 503-962-8200 if there is a change in your:

  • address or telephone number
  • emergency contact’s name or telephone number
  • disability or health condition as related to your need for LIFT service
  • need for a Personal Care Attendant
  • mobility device and/or your use of a device

TriMet LIFT reserves the right to evaluate any new form of mobility device customers may obtain prior to providing service. (Please see size and weight limits for mobility devices.)

Share your questions, concerns or comments

We will do our best to answer any questions or resolve your concerns. Call 503-962-8000 option #2 to reach LIFT Customer Service weekdays from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. For questions or concerns about rides in process or scheduled for today, call 503-962-8000 option #3 any time from 5 a.m.–1:45 a.m. TTY users call 7-1-1.

Refusal or suspension of service

TriMet’s LIFT Program is committed to providing safe and reliable service to all customers, while putting TriMet’s resources to best use. The LIFT Program does not discriminate on any basis in providing its services to eligible customers. Under ADA regulations, however, TriMet may refuse or suspend LIFT service to individuals who engage in violent, seriously disruptive or illegal conduct.

Below is a summary of the conduct that may result in a service refusal or suspension.

Refusal of service

LIFT operators may refuse service to an individual on a specific occasion at the point of service if the individual’s conduct poses an immediate actual or potential risk to safety of the customer, the operator or others.

Immediate suspension of service

Immediate suspension of service may occur when a customer’s conduct

  • inflicts serious harm on the customer, LIFT employee or others,
  • results in serious damage to TriMet property,
  • creates an immediate actual risk to safety or
  • constitutes an illegal activity

Suspension of service

Service suspensions for a pattern of behavior generally are imposed for a specified length of time, and only after the customer has been previously warned. The suspension will begin on a specific date, after the customer has been informed in writing of the pending suspension and the basis for it, and has had an opportunity to present the information relevant to the pending suspension.

Conduct that may lead to suspension include but is not limited to the following:

  • No-Show

    A demonstrated pattern of no-shows (late cancellations of unneeded rides, not present or ready to board when LIFT vehicle arrives) is seriously disruptive to LIFT service.

    Within a 30-day period, three or more no-shows, OR no-shows which are 10 percent of completed trips (whichever is greater), will be grounds for service suspension. Only no-shows and late cancellations which are within the customer’s control will be counted toward the policy.

    Cancellations made less than sixty-one (61) minutes in advance of the pick-up time, a cancellation at the door, or not being present or ready to leave within five minutes after the vehicle operator comes to the door are all considered no-show. If a customer is a no-show on a ride starting from their home, they must call LIFT to cancel any other scheduled rides no longer needed that day to avoid receiving additional no-shows.

  • Disruption of LIFT Service

    A demonstrated pattern of behavior that disrupts LIFT service will result in a suspension of service. Disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to: failure to remain seated while a paratransit vehicle is in motion, failure to wear a seat belt, refusing to board or deboard the vehicle in a timely manner.

  • Non Payment of Fare

    Failure to present the required fare when boarding a LIFT vehicle is in violation of TriMet’s fare ordinance. A demonstrated pattern of fare non payment is considered grounds for service suspension.

Rights to request review and appeal of suspensions

Upon receiving notice of suspension, a customer has the opportunity to contest the suspension. The steps for initiating a review or appeal are described in the document “LIFT Paratransit Suspension Policy,” and a copy will be included with the suspension letter. The document is also available by calling LIFT Administration at 503-962-8200.


Reserving LIFT rides

  • You can reserve a ride up to seven days in advance of your trip.
  • Rides for the next day must be reserved no later than 5 p.m. the day before.

Have the following information ready before you call (in this order)

  • Day and date of the ride
  • Your last name, then first name
  • Pick-up address and phone number
  • Destination address and phone number, including building name and any specific drop-off and pick-up information (for medical appointments, include the name of the doctor and suite number)
  • Your preferred pick-up time
  • Your appointment time, if needed
  • Agency that is paying for the ride, if any
  • Any additional information about your trip such as:
    • if you will use a wheelchair, scooter, other mobility aid, or need to board using the bus lift
    • if a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) or other companion(s) will travel with you

Setting your trip times

A rider using the vehicle lift

LIFT can plan your trip around either a pick-up time or an appointment time, but not both.

  • Always use a pick-up time to schedule your ride unless you must arrive at the destination not later than a certain time, such as for work or a doctor’s appointment.
  • Let the call taker know how much flexibility you have regarding your times.

When reserving rides to/from a specific appointment, be sure to:

  • Allow for time you may need to get from the LIFT vehicle to your destination inside the building.
  • Set your return trip time so that you have sufficient time to finish your appointment and be ready to depart.
  • Find out about building opening and closing times at your destination and plan your trip so you won’t have to wait outside.

Other important tips

  • For the fastest service when scheduling your trip, call between 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Before ending the call, listen carefully to all dates, times and addresses as they are read back to you. Make sure the information is correct, and please ask if you’re not sure about something.
  • By reserving trips two or more days in advance, you will have the best chance of scheduling a ride at your preferred time.
  • The demand for weekday LIFT service peaks from 7–9 a.m. and 2–5 p.m. You will generally have the best selection of pick-up times if you request a trip outside these “peak” hours.
  • LIFT vehicles stop only at designated locations at major shopping malls, hospitals, colleges, parks and other high traffic areas. When reserving a ride to such a destination, please ask where the LIFT vehicle will be stopping so you can make any additional arrangements if necessary.

Changing or canceling your reservation

If you need to change your reservation, please call LIFT as soon as possible. Changes to a reservation need to be made before 5 p.m. the day before the ride.

If you need to cancel your reservation, please call LIFT as soon as possible. By canceling well in advance, you help LIFT provide quality service to other customers.

LIFT riders

Subscription reservations

You may request a "subscription" reservation for a recurring trip that meets the following criteria:

  • trip is taken at least once each week on the same day
  • trip is between the same locations, and at the same time
  • trip has been taken consistently over the previous 30-day period
  • trip is expected to continue for at least six months

Many subscription trips are provided to sites that close on holidays and trips will be canceled automatically on the following: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. If your ride is needed on one of these holidays, please call LIFT reservations to reschedule.

Subscription reservations must be taken at least 75 percent of the time (cancellations and/or no-shows may not exceed 25 percent). Subscription reservations with excessive cancellations and/or no-shows will not be continued.


Under the ADA, transit providers are allowed to require that users of paratransit services be periodically recertified. While a person’s disability may be permanent, other factors which impact the determination of eligibility may change over time.

LIFT customers are required to apply for recertification every three years and will be notified by mail of the requirement to recertify. You will be asked to complete a new application and may be required to complete an in-person evaluation. The evaluation may also include an assessment of the customer’s functional abilities.

Visitor eligibility

LIFT customers have the option to apply for visitor eligibility when visiting other locations where paratransit service is provided. You should first contact the local transit agency at your destination to determine what information is required for registration and where it should be sent. Upon your request, LIFT staff will then forward your eligibility status to the transit agency you will be visiting. As a visitor to another transit system, you are eligible to use the service for 21 days in a rolling 365-day period.

Visitors to the Portland metropolitan area who are unable to use the accessible bus, MAX light rail, or WES commuter rail service because of their disabilities may apply for visitor eligibility with LIFT. The visitor should request that their current paratransit provider mail, fax, or email verification of their eligibility to our office at the address listed below.

If a visitor does not have paratransit service in their home area, they may submit a written statement of disability and their contact information to our office. Once we receive the information we will contact the individual for any further information to complete the registration.

For more information on visitor eligibility, please contact the LIFT Administrative Office at:

TriMet Transit Mobility Center
515 NW Davis Street
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: 503-962-8200, ext. 4
Fax: 503-962-8229


LIFT fares

Sample LIFT Fares: 20-Trip Punch Card, ticket

Paying your fare

Passengers must pay a fare or show proof of payment when boarding. Valid fares include:

  • Cash fare in exact change (operators cannot give change)
  • One LIFT ticket
  • LIFT 14-Day Pass
  • LIFT 20-Trip Punch Card (punched once for each ride)
  • LIFT 1-Month Pass (passenger must sign back of pass)

Where to buy LIFT tickets, punch cards and passes

  • Through the mail: Call 503-962-2422 for more information. TTY users call 7-1-1.
  • At most Fred Meyer, Safeway and Albertsons stores, or at the TriMet Ticket Office at Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave., Portland

Regular TriMet fares accepted on LIFT

TriMet adult fixed-route fares are accepted on LIFT with the exceptions noted below:

  • TriMet Honored Citizen tickets and transfers are accepted on LIFT with an additional cash payment.
  • TriMet’s Honored Citizen and Youth passes are not accepted as valid fares on LIFT (these passes are discounted from LIFT fares).
  • TriMet mobile fares are not accepted as valid fares on LIFT.

LIFT fares accepted on bus, MAX and WES

  • LIFT tickets and passes are accepted as fare. LIFT punch cards are not accepted.
  • When using LIFT passes and tickets, show a valid Medicare card along with government-issued photo ID, TriMet Honored Citizen card, or government-issued photo ID that proves you are 65 years or older.

LIFT rides provided by a taxi

  • LIFT provides some rides using taxicabs.
  • Taxi drivers cannot accept your fare payment. If you are paying your fare with a LIFT ticket or cash, please mail your fare to LIFT, 2800 NW Nela St., Portland, OR 97210. If you are paying with your monthly pass, please send in your used, signed LIFT pass after the month ends.
  • Children are required to ride in a car seat. A car seat for each child must be provided by the customer.

Agency-sponsored rides

Customers taking trips that are paid for by an agency do not pay when boarding. Agency-sponsored rides are confirmed with customers when the ride is reserved, and the LIFT operator will have this information.

Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) and companions

The ADA defines a personal care attendant (PCA) as someone designated or employed specifically to help the eligible individual meet his or her personal daily living needs. PCAs riding with an eligible LIFT customer do not pay a fare. Passengers may bring along one companion in addition to a PCA. PCAs and companions must be picked up and dropped off at the same location as the customer. Additional companions may be scheduled if space is available. Companions pay the regular LIFT fare.

Children age seven or older pay the regular LIFT fare. Children age six or under ride free with an accompanying adult.


For more information

Phone: 503-962-8000, option 2
TTY: 7-1-1
Fax: 503-962-8229
Hours: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays