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Audit: TriMet Sliding Into Debt, Liability Growing $1.5M A Week

OPB | Oct. 1, 2012 7:11 a.m. | Portland

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TriMet is sliding into debt, according to an independent audit by Moss Adams. It found that the agency’s unfunded pension liability amounts to $900 million dollars and is growing by about $1.5 million a week.

A TriMet bus in SW Portland.

A TriMet bus in SW Portland.

Rebecca Galloway / OPB

TriMet spokeswoman, Mary Fetsch, says the agency can meet its current financial obligations, including health care and pensions. She says TriMet has unfunded liabilities because of the cost of benefits.

She explained, “We just settled our union contract and we’re beginning to make progress on bringing those costs down. It’s a long term issue and it will take several contracts in order to be able to do that.”

On the positive side, the audit found that TriMet’s income increased by about three percent during 2011.

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