Merkley, Wyden Announce $85 Million for Portland to Milwaukie Light Rail Line

PORTLAND, OR – Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that Trimet has been awarded $85 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help complete the Portland to Milwaukie light rail line.  

“The Portland to Milwaukie line will expand Portland’s world class public transit system even further throughout the metropolitan region,” said Merkley. “As a nation we must reduce our addiction to overseas oil.  The MAX’s success has proven that when people have good transit options, they often prefer to leave their cars at home.  This grant helps give more people that option, which is good for them and good for our country.”

“This grant is further proof that the tri-county area has made the case that light rail can be a popular, low-cost transportation alternative in an era of high gas prices,” Wyden said. “Light rail is an investment in the future that has the very real potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on foreign oil, while also creating domestic manufacturing jobs and attracting economic development.”

Today’s grant is funded through the New Starts program and is part of the federal government’s commitment to provide half of the Portland to Milwaukie Light Rail project budget and bring new transit options to communities in downtown Portland, South Waterfront, Southeast Portland, Milwaukie and North Clackamas County. Service on the region’s sixth light rail line will begin in 2015.