High capacity transit is public transportation that moves a lot of people quickly and often – think MAX light rail or bus-only lanes. This type of transit carries more people, runs more frequently, makes fewer stops, and travels at higher speeds. It also includes features on streets and at stations that make it more reliable, convenient and comfortable to use.
High capacity transit is a key element of the 2040 Growth Concept, a long-range plan adopted by the Metro Council in 1995. As a part of the 2023 Regional Transportation Plan, the High Capacity Transit Strategy will identify priority areas for investments that would provide the most benefit to the most people. These investments will focus on equity and affordable housing in high capacity transit areas and help to complete a vision for an integrated regional transportation system.
Learn more about the vision adopted on November 30, 2023 for high capacity transit in the greater Portland region.
Healthy communities and a strong economy
High capacity transit connects people with commercial hubs and supports development in dense areas with a mix of housing and jobs. It also moves people efficiently and comfortably over long distances.
In greater Portland, people with low incomes, people of color, people with disabilities, older adults and single-parents are more likely to rely on transit. When high capacity transit is linked to a broader transit and transportation network it can provide a more affordable alternative to using a car. This helps make the transportation system more equitable for people who rely on transit every day.
Reducing cars on the road also means less air pollution, more physical activity, less time in traffic, fewer crashes and more reliability for moving both people and goods. In these ways and others, high capacity transit supports healthy, equitable communities and a strong economy.