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TriMet To Close 3 Downtown Portland Stops Next Year

By Meerah Powell (OPB)
July 24, 2019 8:22 p.m.

The TriMet Board of Directors Wednesday chose to close three of its downtown Portland MAX train station stops in order to speed up commute times.

The board will close the Kings Hill/Southwest Salmon station for a one-year review, then will decide whether to close it permanently.

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Ozzie Gonzalez was the only board member to vote “no” on that change.

“Part of the tension in this decision today is essentially: How much are we helping make an effective regional system versus how much are we ensuring preserving an effective local, centralized system,” Gonzalez said.

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The board will use the yearlong closure to evaluate its effects on things like queues at neighboring stops.

TriMet’s general manager, Doug Kelsey, said the year will be a time to think about what to do with the station in the event of a permanent closure.

“In the closure of the Kings Hill station, on a longer-term basis, what do we want to do with that? I think we need to engage the community,” Kelsey said. “Could it turn into a garden? Could it turn into a Nike bike location? What could that platform be used for that would be a benefit for the community?”

The board also unanimously decided to permanently close the Mall/Southwest Fourth and Mall/Southwest Fifth stations.

All three of those closures will begin March 1, 2020. TriMet has estimated that those three closures will cut travel time by about 11%.

Last month, the TriMet board also decided to evaluate ridership at the Skidmore Fountain station for the next three years before deciding whether to close that stop.

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