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In advance of its official public opening in September, the new Portland-Milwaukie light-rail line late last week carried its first passengers.A project of the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), the new line counted Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Sen Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and other elected officials as some of the first passengers along its 7.3-mile route between downtown Portland and north Clackamas County.Other project partners and planners also took part in the line's first run. About 500 people participated in the May 15 event, which was sponsored by Siemens, TriMet officials said in a press release."Investments in transit are essential if we are going to preserve the mobility of goods and people who live and work in this region,” Brown said in a statement.The new $1.49 billion line will use 18 of Siemens' Type 5 trains, and will have 10 stations.Slated to open officially Sept. 12, the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail transit project will expand TriMet's MAX light-rail system to 60 miles and 97 stations.
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