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If you rely on the bus to get you to work or appointments, be ready to make some changes concerning the bus you catch

COURTESY OF TRIMET - Here is a part of the citywide map of bus line changes proposed by TriMet, here showing only the portion of the map in the BEE service area, to allow us to achieve maximum detail. On September 28, a TriMet press release arrived after the October BEE was printed and mailed, announcing, "We're thinking about making some big changes and improvements to connect more people to more places. It could mean changes to more than 80% of our bus service." They indicated that they wanted input from the community, and that these plans could be considerably modified by community input.

We examined the proposed changes most likely to affect bus riders in Inner Southeast. Here's what we found: Bus 9, on S.E. Powell Boulevard, would not change. But Bus 10, which serves Harold Street from Woodstock eastward as well as the Reed neighborhood, would see a change: "Line 10's route would change to cover S.E. Duke, Flavel, and Willamette National Cemetery, previously served by Line 19. Outer Harold Street and Foster Boulevard would be served by new bus lines 91 and 95."

"Previously served by Line 19?" Yes, there are to be major changes to Line 19; we'll get to those in a minute. To continue in numerical order: Line 17 on Holgate Boulevard will see a change: "Service along Holgate [will be] upgraded to 20 minutes. Service on Line 17 would be eliminated at the north end of the route on N.E. Broadway, N.E. 24th and 27th Avenues, due to low ridership."

Line 19 has provided much of the downtown bus service in Inner Southeast, and since the Orange MAX line opened it has been the only bus line going downtown serving Westmoreland and areas further east, such as Brentwood-Darlington (and Westmoreland's Union Manor) — albeit with pretty slow service in commuter hours, because of the requirement that it must use the congested Ross Island Bridge instead of the new transit bridge.

Here are the proposed changes to the Line 19 service area (including introducing a new line — Line 4), which offer some improvements and also some setbacks to bus commuters, depending on where they are and where they are going: "The Line 19 route would be moved away from S.E. Woodstock Boulevard to cover S.E. Tacoma and Johnson Creek, with the cancelation of Lines 34 and 99." Yes, Line 99, the Sellwood rapid downtown bus service in commuter times would be discontinued, with Line 19 providing a new alternative, on a new route.

But a bus line from Northeast would change to bring new service to some parts of the former Line 19 Inner Southeast service area: "Line 4 (Fessenden)'s route would be extended south, taking over the S.E. Woodstock Boulevard end of Line 19's service. Line 4 would be upgraded to Frequent Service, and [would be] streamlined to connect to Lents and MAX."

Line 70, the only other bus line currently serving north Westmoreland — which once ran north to the Rose Quarter, but a few years ago was routed away from downtown altogether and ended up on N.E. Fremont — would again change: "Line 70's route would change in Southeast to make service more reliable by avoiding the freight train crossing [on Milwaukie, just north of Powell], via S.E. 11th/12th and Hawthorne, Ladd, Division, 26th, Gladstone, 28th and Bybee. In Sellwood, all Line 70 buses would use 13th in Sellwood rather than 17th."

To spell it out, Line 70 would no longer go through north Westmoreland at all -- leaving bus service in that part of the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood solely to the new Line 4 running on Milwaukie Avenue north from Bybee (replacing Line 19) — but it would be providing more frequent service to downtown, and would be doing so over the new transit bridge.

The sentence above — "In Sellwood, all Line 70 buses would use 13th rather than 17th" — is a reference to the current situation in which Line 70 alternates its route through Sellwood between 13th and 17th Avenues — thus doubling the length of time between the arrival of buses on both streets, but providing service to both of the major north-south streets in Sellwood. So Line 70 service would change to be limited just to 13th in Sellwood — the alternation on 17th would be discontinued, and no other bus would run on a large portion of S.E. 17th between the Clackamas County line and Brooklyn (including TriMet headquarters on 17th).

Finally, concerning Line 75, called "Cesar Chavez [former 39th]/Lombard": "No change." If you would like to study these proposals yourself, or check on bus lines we have not summarized here, all these proposed changes are online at — www.trimet.org/forward

As for those TriMet Open Houses, to which TriMet asked in its press release that you come to learn more detail about all these plans, ask questions, and make comments — well, those all took place in October! The last such meetingwas an online ZOOM meeting on Thursday, October 27, between 5:30 and 7 p.m.


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