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TriMet proposes fare hike, service cuts to balance FY2011 budget


Yesterday, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) announced plans to increase fares, cut MAX rail and bus service, and take other measures to help reduce the fiscal-year 2011 budget by $27 million. The agency is facing a budget shortfall because of the weak economy, declining ridership and reduced payroll tax revenue.

In September, TriMet proposes to hike fares by 5 cents (the last fare increase occurred in September 2008); cut administrative pay by 5 percent; freeze salaries and hiring; and change MAX off-peak train frequency from every 15 minutes to 17 minutes.

During the past 18 months, the agency implemented a salary and hiring freeze, furloughed executives and cut staff by more than 120 workers to offset a $31 million FY2010 budget gap. TriMet faces a $27 million budget shortfall in FY2011 and plans to use $7.2 million in federal stimulus funds to help cover the gap. However, the agency needs to cut operating costs by $8.7 million, according to TriMet.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/11/2010