Merkley, Wyden Announce $28.7 Million in Federal Funding for TriMet’s Red Line Extension, Bus Rapid Transit Projects

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) is receiving $28.7 million in combined federal funding for its MAX Red Line extension and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects.

The MAX Red Line extension project aims to add an additional 7.8 miles of service connecting the Beaverton Transit Center to Downtown Hillsboro, and the BRT project will create a 15-mile line between Portland’s Central Business District and Gresham.

“Convenient, reliable public transportation is crucial to the health and prosperity of our communities, by keeping Oregonians connected to loved ones, grocery stores, pharmacies, doctors, work, school, and fun,” said Merkley. “I’m pleased that this funding is headed to TriMet to support the continued work to connect Oregonians in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Gresham with more transit options, and I will continue to do all that I can to bring federal transportation infrastructure dollars to our state as we recover from the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis, and beyond.”

“An essential piece of building back better after this pandemic is continued federal investments like these in public transit systems that Oregonians need to get easily from Point A to Point B,” Wyden said. “These resources helping TriMet riders in Multnomah and Washington counties also combat climate change by supporting mass transit options, and I’ll keep working to secure similar infrastructure investments statewide.”

 “TriMet thanks the Oregon congressional delegation and the Federal Transit Administration for this important assistance in two capital projects to make our transit system more efficient and reliable,” said TriMet interim General Manager Sam Desue, Jr. “In an era of global climate change we need to make transit more accessible for everyone and a better option than driving. Division Transit Project will connect more people in Gresham, east Multnomah County and downtown Portland to jobs, education and services. Funding for the MAX Red Line not only gives more of residents in Washington County a one-seat-ride to and from Portland International Airport, but it will increase the reliability of our entire light rail system’s reliability. TriMet is part of the solution as we all work together take on this climate imperative.”

The funding is being distributed as part of the American Rescue Plan—the coronavirus relief bill that Merkley and Wyden helped pass—and is being allocated by the Federal Transit Administration.