MAX on the Portland Transit Mall

Making Transit More Sustainable

Part of what makes transit great is that it’s an environmentally responsible way to get around. Bus lines and train routes bring a host of sustainable benefits to the Portland area, and we’re always coming up with ways to do more.

Dec 13, 2019

We’re Taking Action to Reduce Our Emissions

  • MAX will be 100% wind energy powered by February 2020
  • All our buses will run on cleaner renewable diesel by April 2020
  • No more diesel bus purchases after 2025
  • All our service cars will be electric by 2030
  • We are urging Metro to support free transit for everyone 17 and under
  • More…

Read more on the blog

Transit’s big here.

Here in the Portland area, we drive our cars less than other metro areas our size, and we have shorter commute times and lower congestion costs to show for it. Choosing transit over driving eliminates over 200,000 daily car trips and reduces carbon emissions by over 60 percent compared to driving alone.

45% of downtown rush-hour commuters take transit

MAX carries nearly 1 in 3 Sunset/Banfield rush hour commuters

People drive 22% fewer miles a day here compared to the rest of the nation

Making Your Ride More Sustainable

Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure

Bioswales filter and slow stormwater runoff, and the innovative eco-track project at the SW Lincoln/3rd Ave MAX Station provides a vegetated trackway that reduces runoff and flooding.

Solar Power

Solar Power

The solar panel array near Portland State University — the largest in Downtown Portland — generates 64,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and saves tons of CO2 every year. We’ve also installed solar panels on Orange Line shelters.

Electric Buses

Electric Buses

We’re testing out five all-electric buses that will be powered by 100 percent wind energy — a first in the US transit industry. They begin service in 2019 and if things go well, we plan to purchase another 80 in the coming years.

NASCAR-Inspired Cooling

NASCAR-Inspired Cooling

The innovative electronic cooling system found on our newer buses reduces engine drag, maximizes horsepower and improves fuel economy by up to 10%. It also won us a Clean Air Excellence Award from the EPA.

MAX Regenerative Braking

MAX Regenerative Braking

The energy created as Orange Line trains brake — which would otherwise be lost as heat — is stored in supercapacitors and put back into the MAX system to keep voltage stable, reducing power outages that can cause service disruptions.

Looking Ahead

We’re always thinking about more ways to reduce our footprint.

SW Corridor Plan

Habitat corridors, environmental restoration and renewable energy districts are all proposed as part of the new light rail line between Portland and Tigard. Learn more

Electric Buses

We’ve got five coming into service in 2019, and many more on the way. The new bus line will also be the first in the US to be completely powered by wind energy. Learn more

Renewable Diesel

We’re testing a new kind of fuel that’s better for both the Earth and our buses. Learn more

Converting to a Greener Bus Fleet

By 2040, we’re committed to having a 100 percent alternative-fuel fleet. Learn more