Congressman Blumenauer, Senators Wyden and Merkley Announce Federal Funding for Division Bus Rapid Transit Project

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) announced more than $87 million in funding for the Division Street Transit Project. The project will provide high-capacity bus service for faster, more reliable trips between Downtown Portland, Southeast and East Portland and Gresham.

“This important project improves mobility for the region while making critical safety and multimodal investments along Division Street” said Congressman Blumenauer. “I am especially pleased that provides improved transit service to a part of our community that has been traditionally underserved. For too long, residents have faced unreliable, unsafe and unaffordable transportation options east of 82nd Ave. I’m proud of the work we did to secure this funding and I look forward to seeing the impact it will have on our community.”

“Today’s great news for people living and working in east Portland and Gresham puts them in the fast lane to improved quality of life through better transit,” Senator Wyden said. “The Division Street Transit Project builds a stronger region by creating construction jobs immediately as well as longer-term employment through exceptional mass transit and other significant improvements for Oregonians to walk and ride their bikes.”

“Growing up in East Portland, I’ve seen firsthand the need for sidewalks, bike lanes, and more reliable bus routes,” Senator Merkley said. “This is good for the community, and also exactly the type of infrastructure our nation should be investing in to create jobs and improve access for underserved neighborhoods. This funding supports environmentally sustainable and affordable transportation, and I will continue to use my role on the Senate Appropriations Committee to push for these critical investments.”

“Thanks Senators Wyden and Merkley, Congressman Blumenauer and the Federal Transit Administration for their support to move forward the Division Transit Project,” said Doug Kelsey, TriMet’s General Manager. “This funding reflects an important investment into the east Portland area. The Portland congressional delegation has been a huge proponent of transit and the access to opportunity it affords people in our region. We appreciate their continued partnership as we can now confidently plan the start of construction later this year on the project that will bring a new type of faster and more reliable bus service to the area.”

The 15-mile Division Transit Project is expected to reduce travel times up to 20 percent, with buses running every 15 minutes and even more often during rush hour. The project will cost approximately $175 million, with contributions from state, regional, local and federal funding sources. Congressman Blumenauer helped create the Small Starts Program, which this project is funded under, and Senator Merkley strongly advocated for this project in his position on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

For more information about the project, click here.