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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Portland panel favors more light rail over BRT


A steering committee representing seven Oregon municipalities, transit officials and the Oregon Department of Transportation voted Monday to advance consideration of a proposed light-rail service over bus rapid transit (BRT) between Portland, Tigard and a shopping center in Tualatin.

The Southwest Corridor Plan's steering committee also voted to stop studying a light-rail tunnel to Portland Community College's Sylvania campus. Instead, Oregon Metro — the regional government for the Portland area — and the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) will continue exploring other options for people to connect to the campus, according to a report by Craig Beebe on

While BRT would be less expensive to build, ridership projections showed that it would reach full rush-hour capacity within 10 years. Also, a staff analysis found that BRT would be less reliable and cost more per rider to operate than light rail in the corridor.

The next step for the project is the preparation of a draft environmental impact statement, which will review several light-rail route alternatives and road, bicycle and pedestrian projects in the corridor. In June, the committee plans to consider a draft list of alternatives and projects to include in the study.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/12/2016