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TriMet bus riders are now spending less time waiting and seeing less congestion on 10 bus lines in the agency’s service district, including the No. 57 bus that runs from Tualatin Valley Highway into Forest Grove.

On March 3, officials implemented the service change — which means TriMet’s busiest bus lines now serve stops every 15 minutes or less during most hours, Monday through Friday.

The added bus service is estimated to cost $3.1 million, on top of $2.1 million TriMet invested in September 2013 on 20 bus lines and the addition of a new bus line between Sherwood and Tigard to better serve Washington County.

“We are not done,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane. “We continue to look for funding resources to create better connections throughout the region.”

A few other bus lines, including the No. 46 bus in north Hillsboro, saw service adjustments — additional trips or slight changes in trip times — as the agency’s spring service schedule commenced March 2.

Prior to the Great Recession, buses on the frequent-service lines ran every 15 minutes or better throughout most hours of the day. Due to budget shortfalls, service was scaled back, reducing frequency.

The $3.1 million in added service is being funded by $1 million in non-union health care cost savings and $1 million in additional revenue from a new advertising contract, according to TriMet officials.

TriMet fares will fund the balance.

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