County launches shuttle to fill transit service void in Columbia Corridor

TriMet service map with area served by shuttle (very rough approximation) circled in green by BikePortland.

Amid a historic driving shortage and massive service cuts by TriMet, Multnomah County is stepping further into the transit business with the launch this week of a new shuttle aimed at a key job center in northeast Portland.

According to a statement by the County on Tuesday, their free ACCESS shuttle will help people connect to jobs in the industrial area south of the Portland Airport and north of Columbia Boulevard:

This service is meant to provide a much-needed transit connection to jobs in the Alderwood-Cornfoot-Columbia area from nearby neighborhoods. Prior to launching this new service, there was no transit available in this area that has a substantial number of jobs. At a time when transportation costs are at an all-time high, this shuttle will provide people with a free option to reach work and other destinations in this area. 

The shuttle provides hourly service every weekday during the AM and PM peak periods. It serves stops from NE Cully Blvd and Prescott to NE 105th and I-205 near the Parkrose/Sumner Transit Center where riders can make connections to and from the MAX Red Line and TriMet bus lines 12, 71, 72, 73 and 87, as well as C-TRAIN Line 65.

The area this new shuttle serves is home to well over 10,000 jobs and — as we’ve reported in the past — is a mobility desert due to it only being served well by people using cars.

PBOT is slowly but surely improving bike access to the area as evidenced by the recent completion of new protected bike lanes on NE 47th Avenue between Columbia and Cornfoot Rd.

This new ACCESS shuttle is a partnership between the City of Portland, the Port of Portland and Multnomah County. It’s one of three Multnomah County shuttles funded through the Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF).

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Anonymous
Anonymous
2 months ago

Or we could just tax incomes less and tax profit of those employers to force trimet to do their jobs. We can keep approving climate arson as the city council and metro did last week, or we can get people to/from their jobs and schools etc

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

I wonder if they are contracting out this service to ecoShuttle to avoid paying for unionized employees? Not having fares eliminates the fareboxes and all the complications that entails. With a private contractor, can the service not pick up any passenger that the driver deems undesirable?

Jason McHuff
2 months ago

Should note that TriMet had service in the area in the past (Line 86), but it cut due to low ridership

Ryan Mathews
Ryan Mathews
2 months ago

I guess it’s nice they are trying to do something, but I wish they would instead address the poor bike/pedestrian access. Coming from Mt Tabor area, there are only bad options to get to NE Alderwood & NE 82nd.

To use uninterrupted bike lanes/greenways, I believe I’d have to go west all the way to NE 42nd or ride through the broken glass of the 205 trail. A sidewalk & bike lane on the 82nd airport dogleg or Alderwood between Columbia and Cornfoot would make that area dramatically more accessible.