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Metro Officials Consider Transportation Needs Along Southwest Corridor

Elected officials from about a dozen Portland-area jurisdictions have agreed to push ahead on plans that are likely to lead to a new light rail - or rapid bus - line between Portland and Tualatin.

They recommended local spending in the next few years to improve streets, parks, and other amenities called for by leaders in places like Beaverton, Tigard, and Tualatin.

At the same time, studies will continue into a possible MAX, or bus line.

Steering committee co-chair and Metro councilor Bob Stacey says the idea goes beyond just building a new transit line from Portland to Tualatin.

“We’re talking about community building, not about going and getting a lot of federal money and building a big project that may or may not connect to the needs of a community. It’s a much better way of proceeding with a strategy for improving transportation - improving transportation that also improves communities,” Stacey said.

Stacey says the recommendations next head to city and county leaders, as well as Metro and TriMet, for approval.

According to Stacey, local improvements could start in the next year or two.

But he says a new light rail or a rapid bus line has to go through a federal environmental impact study. So, it’s at least seven years from construction.

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