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The Current: Exploring Transit in Portland
January 15 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rose Lane Project: Through the Rose Lane Project, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is exploring how we can get buses and streetcar trains out of traffic, helping more Portlanders get where they need to go more reliably and quickly.
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly initiated this effort with PBOT. With her leadership, PBOT anticipates presenting a project proposal to City Council for adoption in February 2020.
Art Pearce | City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Policy, Planning and Projects Group Manager
Art Pearce is an experienced urban innovator with an extensive background in broad public-private collaborations utilizing transportation investment and mobility innovations to shape the future of cities. Art has worked for the Portland Bureau of Transportation since 1998, serving on the bureau’s executive leadership team as Policy, Planning and Projects Group Manager since 2014. He currently oversees the Transportation Planning, Capital Delivery and Active Transportation and Safety Programs Divisions, which employ about 90 staff including a management team of 15.
The Policy, Planning and Projects Group creates the long-term policy and investment plan and oversees capital project delivery for Portland’s transportation system. Under Art’s leadership, accessibility, safety, and sustainability guide the planning, funding, design, and construction of PBOT’s $150-200M annual Capital Improvement Plan. Art’s team also leads the integration of new and shared mobility options into our daily travel, including bikeshare, e-scooters, and future shared automated vehicles. His team leads PBOT’s Vision Zero Initiative and education and encouragement programs that help Portlanders benefit from an increasingly multimodal city. Initiatives include the Smart Trips “new movers” program, Portland’s “transportation wallet”, safe routes to school, senior strolls, and Sunday Parkways open streets events.
Fareless Trimet: Two TriMet board members said that the transit agency is beginning to study the possibility of eliminating transit fares at a Wednesday board meeting. Though no concrete plans were discussed, the comments mark a turning point for TriMet leadership, whose public position until now has been staunchly in opposition to a fareless system.
The possibility of a fareless TriMet is part of a new campaign launched this summer by OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, a local transportation activist organization. OPAL’s research and advocacy has influenced other TriMet policies in the past, including the agency’s adoption of a low-income fare option in 2018. OPAL held a rally before TriMet’s board meeting Wednesday calling for a moratorium on fare hikes, and many OPAL members urged TriMet to consider a fareless system during the meeting’s public comment period—which proceeded the board’s discussion.
*TRIMET REP TBD