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2018 Bond Measure For SW Portland Light Rail Postponed


TriMet technicians test the lightrail on the Tilikum Crossing on January 21, 2015. 

TriMet technicians test the lightrail on the Tilikum Crossing on January 21, 2015. 

Alan Sylvestre/OPB

The idea of building a new light-rail line between downtown Portland and the Tigard/Tualatin area has been pushed back.

The Portland area transit agency TriMet had hoped to float a bond measure in November 2018 to pay for the new line. But locals worried it would increase housing prices and maybe push out some smaller businesses.

Metro councilor Bob Stacey says TriMet simply ran out of time. “This is a large region that’s growing very rapidly,” he said. 

“Everyone’s experiencing the impact of increased traffic. TriMet’s processes yielded a lot of ideas and no immediate consensus about a path forward. And a realization that we’re going to have to take the time that’s needed, to do what the people want to do.”

TriMet will now work with Metro, which is better suited to handle housing issues.

TriMet had proposed raising $1.7 billion for the project. The money would have come from increased vehicle registration fees and property taxes.

The cost to the average homeowner was expected to be about $150 a year.

The light-rail bond measure is being pushed back to about 2020.

A Metro bond measure for affordable housing could still come next year.

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