February 5, 2014

TriMet WES rail marks 5th anniversary, sees ridership climb

Courtesy Thomas Le Ngo via flickr

Courtesy Thomas Le Ngo via flickr

Portland, Ore.-based TriMet’s WES Commuter Rail is celebrating its fifth anniversary with more people climbing on board than ever before.  

Since the line opened on Feb. 2, 2009, riders have taken more than 1.9 million trips on WES. Ridership has climbed each year reaching more than 476,000 in 2013.

WES is the state’s first commuter rail line and the nation’s first suburb-to-suburb commuter rail service, according to TriMet. On-time performance is 99%.

Average weekday ridership has increased by nearly double digits each year since WES began running.

In the last six months of 2013, ridership was up nearly 16% over the last half of 2012.

As part of TriMet’s focus on continuous safety improvements, work will be done on the WES system in the coming years to meet updated federal safety requirements.

The safety systems currently in place on WES — an automatic train control system and a centralized traffic control system — already meet many requirements of the new regulations. TriMet and Portland & Western Railroad, which owns the tracks and operates the WES trains, have worked with the FRA to define the needed upgrades to the existing train control system.

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