A new kind of TriMet bus will be hitting a busy Multnomah County street. While no wider than a standard bus, the new FX buses are 22-feet longer.
“A regular bus can carry about 60 people sitting and standing,” Tia York, TriMet spokesperson, said. “We feel like these articulated buses can carry up to about 100 people sitting and standing.”
FX stands for Frequent Express. The new buses will run every 12 minutes along TriMet’s current line 2 route between Gresham and Downtown Portland.
“This is TriMet’s first high-capacity, fast bus service that will be debuting this fall,” York said.
The buses are the final piece to the Division Transit Project, which began in early 2020 after transit officials identified a high-traffic need along Division Street.
In addition to higher capacity buses, construction along the route created bus lanes at key locations, and traffic signals were altered to keep buses prioritized and on schedule during traffic.
“We estimate that speeds along Division Street between Gresham and Downtown Portland will be 20% faster,” York said.
Starting in September, 31 of the FX buses will be in operation. Until then, passengers will likely see drivers training on the large buses along the route.
“The overhead sign will say ‘training bus,’ and so for now we just want them to watch... and let these green busses go on by,” York said.
TriMet may consider FX buses along other routes in the future. If the Division Transit Project proves to be successful, York said TriMet and its partners are likely to look for further adoption.
The Division Transit Project cost around $145 million for all of the street and transit upgrades.