TriMet looking to close four stations to improve downtown Portland service

Written by Kyra Senese, managing editor
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Portland officials want to move forward with a transportation plan but may need to convince voters.

TriMet is considering closing four of its MAX stations in Downtown Portland and is seeking feedback from passengers about the proposed changes.

The stations being considered for closure include:

  • Kings Hill/SW Salmon St Station
  • Mall/SW 4th Ave Station
  • Mall/SW 5th Ave Station
  • Skidmore Fountain Station

MAX Blue and Red lines serve all the stations, and the agency says removing the stops could enable trains to move more efficiently through the Downtown area. TriMet estimates trips between the Goose Hollow/SW Jefferson St and Old Town/Chinatown stations could be reduced by about two minutes.

“As we looked to speed up trains through Downtown Portland, we considered distance to nearby stations, ridership and the flow of the trains,” the agency said. “We believe these four stations are the right ones to close to reduce travel time while maintaining the transit service people value and count on every day.”

TriMet has identified the four low-ridership stations for possible closure based on their locations being less than a fourth of a mile from other MAX stops.

The Kings Hill Station is about a block or two away from the nearby Providence Park Station and is four blocks from the Goose Hollow/SW Jefferson St Station. Similarly, the Mall/SW 4th Ave Station is about a block from the Pioneer Square South Station and about two-and-a-half blocks from the Yamhill District Station.

TriMet said the Mall/SW 5th Ave Station is also about one block from the Pioneer Square North Station, and it is two blocks from the Morrison/SW 3rd Ave Station. Skidmore Fountain Station is located two blocks from the Old Town/Chinatown Station and is four blocks away from the Oak/SW 1st Ave Station.

TriMet has carried out a Title VI equity review of the proposal to close the four stations, official said. The agency has found no adverse impact of the proposed changes to minority or low-income populations, which the agency said is due to the short distance to nearby stations. Those with mobility issues will still be adequately served as the remaining station locations would be within the half-mile service availability threshold under Title VI.

TriMet’s draft proposal suggests closing the closely spaced, low ridership stations Sept. 1, 2019, which would require the agency to gain approval from its Board of Directors.

Categories: Commuter/Regional, OFF Track Maintenance, Rapid Transit/Light Rail
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