TriMet receives federal CIG grant for Division Transit Project

Jan. 24, 2020
The $87.4-million grant will help construct a 15-mile bus rapid transit line that connects Portland’s Central Business District to Gresham.

TriMet’s Division Transit Project, a bus rapid transit (BRT) project that also incorporates pedestrian and bicycle enhancements, secured $87.4 million through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program.  

"This $87.4 million federal investment will provide residents along the Division Street Corridor better access to jobs, educational opportunities and other services," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

This is the third transit project in the Pacific Northwest to secure CIG grants this week following Spokane Transit Authority and Sound Transit. TriMet’s CIG grant will cover half of the Division Transit Project’s $174.85 million cost.

The 15-mile BRT line will provide faster, more reliable transit service between downtown Portland, Southeast and East Portland and Gresham. TriMet estimates travel times will improve by as much as 20 percent.

The project will include 42 stations, longer buses with room for 60 percent more riders, multiple door boarding for briefer stops, expanded bus stations with amenities such as weather protection and transit signal priority.

WSP USA was awarded a contract in 2017 to design the project and Connectpoint’s LED signage will be installed as part of a five-year digital signage contract.

The alignment serves several major destinations including Portland Community College’s Southeast Campus and Worker Retraining Center, the Oregon Health & Sciences University and Portland State University, with a connection to Mt. Hood Community College. Service is estimated to start in the second half of 2022.

"FTA is proud to join our partners in Oregon to improve public transportation in Portland," said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. "The Division Transit Project will provide fast and efficient service, improving mobility and access to convenient transit service, particularly for the many students who live along the corridor."

TriMet General Manager Doug Kelsey thanked the administration and Oregon's congressional delegation for supporting transit investments that connect residents to opportunities. 

"With the federal funding now secured, TriMet can begin construction with our partners, the cities of Portland and Gresham, on this new type of service to move people faster and more efficiently," said Kelsey.  

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.