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Lake Oswego to Portland Transit Project

Planning and conservation    Transportation and land use projects    Lake Oswego to Portland transit

Learn about efforts to develop a transit project that meets future travel demand between Lake Oswego and Portland, supports local and regional land use plans, and garners public acceptance and community support.

Project status: suspended

At the request of the City of Lake Oswego, the project to further study a full-length streetcar connection between the two cities has been suspended. No further action will be taken on the Locally Preferred Alternative recommendation at this time.

The project partners remain committed to ensure future planning efforts and projects do not preclude the future development of a transit investment that would make best use of public facilities, including the Willamette Shore Line right of way, to meet travel demand between Lake Oswego and Portland. Further discussion will continue to explore the feasibility, project development needs and financial resources for a streetcar project to the minimum operable segment from South Waterfront to the Sellwood Bridge as a partial, interim solution to the travel needs of the corridor.

The process thus far has led to a discovery and narrowing of alternatives to best meet the current and future transportation needs of the corridor. Depending on the scope and timeframe for  resumption, the project will either be able to move directly to the next stage of project development (a final environmental impact statement) or do an analysis that looks to the changes – to the project or in the corridor – and the potential impacts of the full length streetcar in relation to those changes (leading to the publication of a supplemental draft environmental impact statement). In either case, the efforts and decisions made up to this point will not be lost or ignored.

Highway 43/Macadam Avenue

Traffic congestion and reliability on Highway 43/Macadam Avenue remains a concern for regional mobility because of its affect on freight movement, commuters and parallel facilities. As demonstrated in the no-build analysis in the DEIS, traffic demand will continue to increase over the long term. In the short term, if and as the regional unemployment rate continues to decrease, the individual traveler’s personal experience may worsen and increase demand for action.

Until further action is taken on the Locally Preferred Alternative recommendation, the “no-build alternative” actions and investments will continue as outlined in the DEIS, including:

  • incremental increase in transit service throughout the region consistent with existing revenue sources
  • highway, road, bicycle and pedestrian projects contained on the 2035 RTP financially constrained system list.

Willamette Shore Line right of way

Project partners are committed to retention of the public resource of the Willamette Shore Line right of way for future transit use. The members of the Willamette Shore Line Consortium members continue to take seriously their fiscal responsibility to the public and the importance of the right of way in the public trust.
Learn more about the Willamette Shore Line

Lake Oswego to Portland Trail

Project partners continue to pursue and negotiate funding for further design and financing strategies for the Lake Oswego to Portland Trail. Download information on the trail refinement below...Go

Locally Preferred Alternative recommendation

On Feb. 28, 2011, the Lake Oswego to Portland Transit Project Steering Committee made its recommendation for the streetcar as its preferred alternative to proceed for further study.
Download the recommendation (6M PDF)

The committee, made up of elected and appointed officials from each of the project jurisdictions, based its recommendation on recommendations from the community advisory committee who also supports the streetcar alternative, the project management group who advocates streetcar as best meeting the project purpose and need, and the nearly 500 public comments received by the project between Dec. 3, 2010 and Jan. 31, 2011.

Public comments strongly support investment in the corridor and more comments favored streetcar than enhanced bus or no-build, but a number of people still oppose streetcar, primarily due to its significant capital cost in times when there are many funding needs.

The steering committee Locally Preferred Alternative recommendation was forwarded to project partner jurisdictions for review and action in spring 2011. Portland Streetcar Inc and the cities of Lake Oswego and Portland voted to approve the steering committee recommendation. The cities' approvals raised issues for further analysis, which the mayors asked be resolved before the counties, TriMet, regional advisory committees and the Metro Council take action.
Download the letter from Mayors Hoffman and Adams (PDF)
Download the response from Metro Council President Hughes (PDF)

In response to the issues raised by the cities, additional analysis was conducted and a report issue to project partners in January 2012.
Download the refinement phase final report (2.5M PDF)

Actions taken

Public comment report

report coverPublic comment was accepted during the 60-day comment period, Dec. 3, 2010, to Jan. 31, 2011, during which residents offered nearly 500 comments on the impacts and benefits of the alternatives.. Find out what residents said about the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. More

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

On Dec. 3, 2010, the Federal Transit Administration, Metro and TriMet issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, studying the potential benefits and impacts of three alternatives in the corridor. The environmental analysis examines the full range of direct, indirect and cumulative effects of the alternatives... More

Project partners

The project is a joint effort by Metro, TriMet, the cities of Lake Oswego and Portland, Clackamas and Multnomah counties, Portland Streetcar Inc. and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Public participation and decision-making process

Learn more about public participation in the Lake Oswego to Portland transit project and the committees involved in the decision-making process. More

Files and related materials

To view PDF files, download free Adobe Reader. To translate PDF files into text to assist visually-impaired users, visit

To view MOV files, download free QuickTime.

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Corridor development

Related Internet links

Regional transportation

Lake Oswego to Portland Transit Project fall 2010 newsletter

Download the fall 2010 project newsletter, your quick reference to the Lake Oswego to Portland Transit Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Download PDF (6.0M)

Past newsletters and fact sheets give an overview of alternatives and design options, the Locally Preferred Alternative process and more. Go

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Health impact assessment

Oregon Public Health Institute has published a health impact assessment on the Lake Oswego to Portland Transit Project. The assessment is an additional resource to inform your comments on the DEIS. Visit the OPHI site for the full report and summary documents. Go

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Regional transportation

Metro and its project partners currently own what is known as the Willamette Shore Line right of way, a former freight rail route between Lake Oswego and Portland along the Willamette River currently used for excursion trolleys. One option for streetcar in this corridor is to operate on all or part of this existing rail right of way.

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