Ridership on Commuter Rail to Portland Suburbs Falling Quickly

Ridership is declining on TriMet's Westside Extension Service, reflecting declines on other parts of the system. This commuter rail line, however, has its own unique set of issues.
May 24, 2018, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jason McHuff

Andrew Theen reports on significant declines in ridership on TrimMet's Westside Extension Service (WES) commuter rail line.

"Nine years ago, the transit agency officially got into the heavy-rail business with the 14.7-mile suburban route between Wilsonville and Beaverton," according to Theen. "And ever since, ridership has consistently failed to live up to TriMet's original projections."

March boardings were down 13.2 percent compared to the same month the year before, according to data recently released by TriMet. "The tepid ridership comes despite record-low unemployment levels in the Portland area and amid ever-growing grumbling about stifling congestion on Interstates 5 and 205, Oregon 217 and U.S. 26," adds Theen. Ridership is dropping on TriMet's bus and light rail routes. The plan to recover some of the last ridership along the WES route—marketing to new developments built along the corridor.

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Published on Thursday, May 24, 2018 in The Oregonian
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