Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $2 Million for Light Rail Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced nearly $2 million in grants to plan for development along new light rail corridors in the Portland metro area.

Metro regional government received $1.2 million to plan for development along the proposed 12-mile Southwest Corridor Light Rail project, and TriMet received $700,000 to plan for development on the proposed 7.8-mile extension of the MAX Red Line.

“Light rail provides sustainable, accessible public transportation for folks all across the metro area,” Merkley said. “These federal grants provide important support to help local agencies ensure new developments best serve the needs of our diverse communities—maintaining the quality of our neighborhoods as we grow access to public transportation. At a time when our economy is suffering its greatest blow in decades, these grants will help build the economic foundation of the future.”

“Oregonians living and working in the metro area know firsthand how light rail and the development surrounding it have proven key to the region’s economy and quality of life,” Wyden said. “I am gratified that Metro and TriMet have earned these federal investments to help them continue building strong, sustainable communities and solid mass transit throughout the area.”

The Transit-Oriented Development grants, distributed through the U.S. Department of Transportation, provide funding to local agencies to integrate land-use and transportation planning in new transit corridors. Metro will use its grant to plan for transit-oriented development for 13 stations along the 12-mile Southwest Corridor Light Rail project. TriMet will use its funding to plan for development of a 10-station westward extension of the MAX Red Line, as well as along an existing eastern portion of the Red Line corridor.