TriMet’s Yellow Line hits nearly 46M rides at 10 years

Posted on May 7, 2014

Photo courtesy TriMet
Photo courtesy TriMet

Ten years ago, Portland, Ore.-based TriMet opened the MAX Yellow Line on May 1.

During the past decade, nearly 46 million trips have been taken on the line, while the area has grown with new housing developments and businesses.

The Yellow Line brought high capacity transit service to the North/Northeast neighborhoods, along with new sidewalks, traffic lanes, bike lanes, art and a more pedestrian-friendly environment.

Annual ridership has grown 24.2% since 2004. Opening year ridership totaled 3.9 million trips and now tops 4.9 million trips. Weekday ridership has grown 30% since opening year, climbing from an averaging 11,600 trips, to 15,100 trips today. Part of the ridership success of the MAX Yellow Line is that it has 3.7 times more capacity over the former line 5 bus line that served Interstate Avenue.

“The MAX Yellow Line clearly demonstrates that when we invest in transit, the community grows with it,” said TriMet GM Neil McFarlane. “The Yellow Line improved transit service to the community, helped attract investment into the community, brought new customers to long-standing businesses, drew other businesses to Interstate Avenue, and made the area a more vibrant place to live.”

When the Yellow Line opened in 2004, there was a 50% increase in the number of new businesses along the avenue, and that number continues to grow, according to TriMet. About half a dozen housing developments have opened or are under construction within walking distance to the MAX stations.

The MAX Yellow line opened four months ahead of schedule and about $25 million under budget. It expanded the MAX system to 44 miles with 64 stations.

Since the Yellow Line opened, the MAX system has expanded to 52 miles and 87 stations serving all three counties in the region. The MAX Green Line opened in 2009, and the region’s sixth MAX construction project, the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project will open on Sept. 12, 2015 bringing the MAX system to 60 miles and 97 stations.

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