Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Portland’s TriMet tests Green Line light rail

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Portland, Ore., continues preparing for a Sept. 12 opening of its latest light rail transit expansion, the $575.7 million Green Line that extends east of the city to Clackamas County.

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TriMet conducted a test run June 30 with numerous dignitaries along for the ride, including Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a staunch pro-light rail advocate. The trip, stretching from Portland State University to Clackamas Town Center, highlighted upcoming light rail access to Portland’s Union Station, served by Amtrak, and through Portland’s downtown transit mall, until now the province of buses only.

The Green Line service crosses the Willamette River bridge as per TriMet’s three other MAX light rail lines, and shares the route of the Red and Blue lines between the bridge and Gateway/NE 99th Avenue station, before diverging and serving eight new stations, terminating in Clackamas Town Center, roughly paralleling Interstate 205. Five of the stations will include Park & Ride lots offering a total of more than 2,300 spaces. TriMet plans to run trains every 15 minutes, at minimum, beginning Sept. 12.