Thursday, October 8, 2009


TriMet planning test run of extended bus line

By Nick Christensen, The Hillsboro Argus

October 02, 2009, 4:30AM

Transit riders in Forest Grove could soon see increased service — and no, it won’t be in the form of the long-sought light rail line.

TriMet has committed to a test run of an extension of the 57 Tualatin Valley Highway bus line through Forest Grove, once the economy improves and funds are available for the project.

Forest Grove officials have long sought to extend the 57 bus through town, possibly as far as Forest Grove High School in the northwest part of the city. The 57 line runs as far west as B Street before turning east for its return trip to Hillsboro and Beaverton.

Rick Van Beveren, a TriMet board member who represents Washington County at the regional transit agency, said he’s advocated for the test.

“The pilot project gives us the chance to evaluate the local aspirations,” Van Beveren said.

The extended run will need to attract at least 15 passengers per hour to be considered viable. That may not be hard, given the popularity of the 57 bus.

“Line 57 is one of the most successful lines in the system,” Van Beveren said. TriMet said the line averaged 7,930 riders on the average weekday in the summer of 2008.

It may be awhile before the pilot is run, however. TriMet recently cut service on many routes, eliminated some others and decreased the service frequency on its four light rail lines.

“We don’t have the resources to do a pilot until economic conditions allow us to restore service and experiment with a few things we’ve wanted to do,” Van Beveren said.

He said another pilot project under consideration would increase service in north Hillsboro, along the Evergreen Parkway employment corridor.

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