MAX Red Line Extension Wins Federal Funding in Portland

The "A Better Red" project won the federal funding it needed from the federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment Grants program.

September 29, 2021, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A TriMet MAX Red Line light rail train heading for the Portland International Airport comes to a stop at Pioneer Place in downtown Portland.

A TriMet MAX Red Line light rail train headed for the Portland International Airport. | Tada Images / Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced late last week a Capital Investment Grants (CIG) award for the MAX Red Line Extension and Reliability Improvements Project in the Portland metropolitan area, according to an FTA press release.

The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) is working on the "A Better Red" project—a 7.8-mile extension that will connect Beaverton, the Portland International Airport, and the Gateway Transit Center. "The Better Red project extends MAX Red Line west to serve 10 more stations and improves schedule reliability for the entire MAX system," according to the TriMet website for the project.

The grant funding will cover $99.9 million of the project's expected $215 million cost. With the funding in place, construction is scheduled to start near the Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport Station and in the Gateway area in fall of this year, and at the Portland International Airport in early 2022. The new Red Line service in Beaverton and Hillsboro is scheduled to open in fall 2024.

"The project includes track, switch and signalization work that will allow the MAX Red Line to serve 10 additional stations that currently are served only by the Blue Line, and adds an operator break facility at the Red Line's new terminus in Hillsboro," according to the press release.

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