Success Uncertain For Suburban Rail Line

<p>Commuters and transit officials alike are eagerly awaiting the 2008 opening of a suburb-to-suburb rail line near Portland, Oregon. With few other examples of similar lines in the U.S., officials can only hope the line will be a success.</p>
April 11, 2007, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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"As one of the nation's first suburb-to-suburb commuter rails, its success relies on residents in Portland's westside suburbs transforming from gas-guzzling drivers to transit-savvy riders."

"The 14.7-mile rail line has the elements of success, said state Rep. Jerry Krummel, R-Wilsonville, one of the rail's earliest supporters. It links popular job centers in an area stymied by jammed highways that will only worsen as Washington County's population -- at 500,000 -- is expected to increase to 900,000 by 2030."

"'People will take commuter rail when it's just as convenient' as using their cars, Krummel said. 'They might realize it takes just as long to get to work, but they can be reading or looking out the window instead of wanting to pull out their hair.'"

"With a $117.4 million price tag, the stakes are high. If commuter rail doesn't work in Portland's suburbs, Krummel said, it's not going to work elsewhere."

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Published on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 in The Oregonian
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