Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $185 Million in Funding for TriMet

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that TriMet will receive nearly $185 million in funding to support its public transportation operations and projects, including coronavirus response efforts.

The funding was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and is being distributed by the Federal Transit Administration.

“Throughout the coronavirus crisis, transit workers have been on the frontlines—helping Oregonians in the Portland area commute to their essential jobs, travel to grocery stores, and pick up prescriptions at their local pharmacy,” said Merkley. “I’m grateful for TriMet’s continued service, and am pleased that this funding will help give these transit workers the resources they need to stay safe. We need to make sure that our public transit agencies have the resources they need to keep essential services running, keep their employees and riders safe, and get to the other side of this crisis.”

“TriMet workers have performed heroically during this pandemic to keep public transit moving for Oregonians who need a reliable option to get around the metro area,” Wyden said. “I’m glad TriMet has earned these federal funds to support this essential work getting transit riders to their places of work, local stores and medical providers. And I’ll continue battling for mass transit in Oregon to get all the help required to get through coronavirus and its economic fallout.”    

“TriMet is grateful to Oregon’s congressional delegation and our nation’s leaders, as well as our local leadership, for their support of transit during this challenging time,” TriMet General Manager Doug Kelsey said. “This aid reflects how transit provides a critical lifeline for communities across the nation, and that is never more evident than in a time of crisis.”

The grant will help TriMet’s Bus, Rail, and Paratransit services respond to and recover from the coronavirus crisis by covering driver salaries, administrative leave to accommodate service reductions and quarantined workers, fuel, sanitation supplies, and personal protective equipment costs.