The Southwest Corridor – stretching from downtown Portland to Tigard and Tualatin – is home to more than 10 percent of the metro area population and more than 250,000 jobs. In recent years, the Southwest Corridor experienced increased traffic congestion, growing demand for transit service and unsafe conditions for people walking and biking.
That’s why seven cities, Washington County, Metro, TriMet and the Oregon Department of Transportation came together to work on solutions to get people where they’re going quickly, reliably and safely as the Southwest Corridor grows.
In addition to the sidewalk, bike, road and nature improvements identified in 2013, planning began for a potential new MAX light rail line to serve these communities. Your input is crucial.
“The Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project is critical for people to connect with jobs, schools and key destinations while addressing increased congestion on our roads and freeways.”
– Tigard Mayor John Cook
Why light rail in the Southwest Corridor?
The Interstate 5 and Barbur Boulevard corridor between Portland and Tualatin is one of the fastest-growing and most congested in the state. Between 2015 and 2035, the Southwest Corridor’s population and employment will grow by 25 percent. That’s like adding another Tigard to the area over 20 years. As a result, congestion in the corridor is expected to double. Yet it remains the last major travel corridor in TriMet’s system without light rail service.
MAX was selected after more than two years of study by a steering committee of local and regional leaders including elected officials and mayors from Beaverton, Durham, King City, Portland, Sherwood, Tigard and Tualatin.
Route choices ahead
An environmental impact statement will study the light rail route options shown on this map. There are four locations where choices remain about where the light rail would run. These are shown in this video.
Choice 1: On Barbur or Naito Boulevard?
Choice 2: On Barbur Boulevard or adjacent to I-5?
Choice 3: How to reach downtown Tigard?
Choice 4: Along the railroad or adjacent to I-5?
The project also includes connections to Marquam Hill, Portland Community College, and supportive roadway, walk and bike improvements.
There are also two primary ways the light rail could serve downtown Tigard and Tualatin:
- A single route to Bridgeport Village through downtown Tigard.
- A route that branches into two—some trains go to downtown Tigard before returning north, and others go directly to Bridgeport Village without serving downtown Tigard.
Planning a new light rail line
There are several decisions to make about a potential light rail route—and your input will be important.
- Where will light rail go in Portland, Tigard and Tualatin?
- How will riders get to OHSU and other Marquam Hill destinations?
- How will riders connect to the Portland Community College Sylvania Campus?
- How should transit connect to the businesses and residents in Tualatin?
- Where could stations and park and ride facilities be located? How many parking spaces are needed?
- What changes are needed to make stations easy and safe to access?
Understanding potential changes
Light rail is typically paid for by a mixture of federal and local dollars. The project will include an environmental statement to qualify for federal funds and help the community understand what changes light rail could bring.
If you get involved, your feedback could influence upcoming decisions.
During 2017, we are studying:
- traffic congestion
- roadway changes including widening, closures, new signals, turn lanes, medians, etc.
- changes to property and driveway access
- property purchases
- safety and security
- noise and vibration
- disruption caused by construction
You can comment when the environmental statement is released later this year or early 2018.
If the study determines that your property could be impacted by the light rail project, you will be contacted before designs are final. For example, changes to existing driveways may be needed. We will discuss these and other possible changes with those who may be affected.
Recently, a group was formed to represent neighbors, businesses and people like you in the environmental study. The group includes members from Tigard, Tualatin and Portland. This Community Advisory Committee meets monthly at Multnomah Arts Center. Learn more, see meeting dates and more
The Southwest Corridor Plan Steering Committee, whose members are leaders from Southwest Corridor cities, Washington County, ODOT, TriMet and Metro, will review the environmental impact statement after receiving public comments.
The steering committee will recommend a preferred route based on information received. This is expected in early 2018.
Local jurisdictions and agencies will then consider approval of the light rail plan. Next, the region needs to secure its 50 percent share of the construction costs and apply for federal matching funds. With funding secured, construction can begin in 2021 for opening in 2025.
Whether you live, work or travel in the Southwest Corridor, we want to make sure you have all the information you need. Sign up for project updates
Tell us what you think: When you imagine a new MAX line nearby, what’s most important to you?
Send thoughts to [email protected] or engage with us on Twitter: @SWCorridor.
Learn more about the Southwest Corridor Plan