The Southwest Corridor Plan includes:
- A new 11-mile MAX line from downtown Portland to Tigard and Bridgeport Village in Tualatin, which includes new connections to help people access transit, a shared transitway to speed bus service, and upgrades to roadways and stormwater infrastructure
- A strategy to promote equitable development in the corridor when light rail is constructed
- A shared investment strategy for transportation improvements that connect the corridor’s communities well beyond the proposed light rail line.
This plan has been created as a partnership of seven cities, Washington County and the Metro Council, along with TriMet and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Frequently asked questions
When will the MAX line open?
If all project funding can be acquired by the end of 2022, the line could open in 2027.
Who makes decisions?
During the first phase of the planning process, which started in 2011 and concluded in August 2018, recommendations were made by the Southwest Corridor Steering Committee, appointed by Metro. The steering committee included elected officials and mayors from Washington County, Beaverton, Durham, King City, Portland, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and the Metro Council, as well as leaders from TriMet and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The steering committee held frequent public meetings where they defined the Southwest Corridor Plan and selected which transit options to continue studying. City, county and regional agency staff provided professional recommendations and information to the steering committee at their meetings. These materials are available and meetings were open to the public while the steering committee was convened. See past meeting materials
A new steering committee was convened by TriMet in 2019 to guide future decisions.
How has the public been involved? Can I still influence the process?
Beginning in 2011, the public was invited to comment at steering committee meetings and Metro, TriMet and partner agencies held many events and attended neighborhood meetings throughout the corridor to gather input about key decisions. Several online comment opportunities, including the comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement in June-July 2018, yielded comments from thousands of people and a Community Advisory Committee advised the steering committee on the selection of the preferred light rail route. The project library contains several engagement reports that summarize engagement activities over the years.
TriMet is now leading the planning effort for the proposed MAX line. Visit their website for current opportunities to get involved.
What else is in the plan?
The Southwest Corridor Shared Investment Strategy is the foundation of the Southwest Corridor Plan, approved by leaders in 2013. The strategy includes five interrelated recommendations to support community goals in southwest Portland and southeast Washington County.
- Invest in transit
- Invest in roadways and active transportation
- Invest in parks, trails and nature
- Consider new regulations and policies, and develop incentives to promote private investment consistent with community vision
- Develop a collaborative funding strategy for the Southwest Corridor Plan
Some projects from the strategy are already underway, funded and built by local communities or regional and state agencies. Others require further study or funding for implementation. Some will be built as part of the proposed light rail project. The plan also included the recommendation to study transit from Portland to Tualatin via Tigard.
How will we pay for these investments?
The Shared Investment Strategy is not a promise to build, nor a timeline of construction; it is a shared vision among local communities about what they hope to achieve together by focusing investments over time.
The strategy’s projects can only be built with a combination of federal, state, regional, county, city and private funds. To date, partnerships have used funds like these to complete many projects, including:
- the Tualatin River Greenway
- 99W and 72nd/Dartmouth street, sidewalk and bike lane improvements in Tigard
- SW Spring Garden Street, SW 19th Avenue and SW 22nd Avenue sidewalks and bike lanes
- crossing improvements on SW Barbur Boulevard at Alice Street
- the new TriMet Line 97 serving Tualatin and the Sherwood Town Center
- sidewalk and bike improvements on SW Fischer Road
- creation of an equitable housing and development strategy
For the MAX line and related pedestrian and bicycle station access investments, the Portland region will need to pay for half of the capital cost, and apply for matching funds from the Federal Transit Administration.
A regional transportation funding measure that could help fund the proposed MAX line, along with other regional transportation projects, may be on ballots in November 2020.
What other transit options were considered?
See Appendix I of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for an explanation of past transit modes and routes considered.
How can this project protect housing affordability and create equitable economic opportunities?
The Southwest Corridor Plan has great potential to provide more people with access to employment, education and other opportunities along the light rail line and throughout the corridor.
By studying equitable development, including housing, we can ensure that all community members share in this benefit.
With a grant from Metro, the cities of Portland and Tigard developed a Southwest Corridor Equitable Housing Strategy in 2018. The strategy sets tangible housing targets and policy recommendations, created in partnership with community representatives, which are incorporated into the larger Southwest Corridor Equitable Development Strategy. Implementation of the strategy will:
- Prevent displacement of vulnerable households
- Increase housing choices for all people over the next 10 years.
In addition, Metro has received a $895,000 grant from the federal government to develop a corridor-wide strategy for equitable transit oriented development around the MAX line. This effort centers on identifying the housing, employment and educational needs for the wide variety of people who do or will live in the Southwest Corridor.
What are the roots of the Southwest Corridor Plan?
Metro's 2009 High Capacity Transit System Plan identified the Southwest Corridor as a priority for additional transportation investment.
The Southwest Corridor Plan steering committee began its planning work by identifying the goals that communities in this area share for living, working and getting around.
The Southwest Corridor Plan was built around the local visions of each distinct community, including the Tigard High Capacity Transit Land Use Plan, Portland Barbur Concept Plan, Linking Tualatin, Sherwood Town Center Plan, TriMet's Southwest Service Enhancement Plan and Metro’s High Capacity Transit System Plan.
The vision for the Southwest Corridor Plan is to support, strengthen and connect livable and prosperous places from Southwest Portland to Sherwood. Four goals were established in the plan’s charter:
- Accountability and partnership: Manage resources responsibly, foster collaborative investments, implement strategies effectively and fairly, and reflect community support.
- Prosperity: People can live, work, play and learn in thriving and economically vibrant communities where everyday needs are easily met.
- Health: An environment that supports the health of the community and ecosystems.
- Access and mobility: People have a safe, efficient and reliable network that enhances economic vitality and quality of life.