New Light Rail Line Ushers Age of Rail Growth in Portland

A new line of Portland's MAX light rail system has opened, prefacing the coming decades of rail growth in the region.
September 13, 2009, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"First contemplated in the 1970s, when construction of I-205 included land for a bus or rail corridor, the $575.7 million Green Line will send tens of thousands of people a day whooshing to and from downtown Portland. It will bring MAX service to Portland State University and could entice thousands in Clackamas County onto mass transit.

Equally significant, the line opening Saturday adds more rail service on the downtown Portland transit mall, doubling the capacity in the region's core. Future lines can tie into the north-south transit mall or the older east-west Yamhill-Morrison corridor.

Together the new line and the added downtown service expand light-rail system mileage by 18 percent, but the impact could be even greater. Beyond serving Clackamas County riders, the added destinations mean riders across the region find a more comprehensive system to serve their needs and a thicker downtown trunk makes way for new branches in all directions."

Another 7.3 mile branch is already planned for completion in the next ten years, and a number of other proposed lines are moving closer to securing funds.

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Published on Friday, September 11, 2009 in The Oregonian
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