Regional public transportation agency Tri-Met is holding a series of “open houses” to gather citizen input on service levels and possible fare increases. The agency is considering eliminating 3 lines it currently operates serving Lake Oswego. This represents almost half the service line reductions in the current proposal.
Current Lake Oswego lines facing the ax include the South Shore, Lake Grove and Boones Ferry Road lines. This represents a pretty dramatic reduction of public transit availability in our area which could negatively impact businesses who rely on customer and employee mobility, particularly in the Boones Ferry Road corridor.
Tri-Met has struggled to attract and retain drivers and other employees, a problem with which many Lake Oswego businesses can empathize. The agency has not indicated whether the Lake Oswego service cancellations are related to employee shortages or low ridership rates for the current lines. Some Lake Oswego residents might be faced with the higher cost of an Uber or Lyft ride to their destination, asking a friend for a ride, or having to drive their personal vehicle to a spot where public transit can be accessed.
The agency is also considering a fare increase to take effect January 1, 2024. The increases would range from 15 cents to 60 cents depending on the type of ticket a rider purchases. For example, Honored Citizen and Youth fares would increase 15 cents for a 2.5 hour ticket and 30 cents for a day pass while general adult fares would increase 30 and 60 cents for those tickets respectively.
Lake Oswego Chamber members and area residents are encouraged to express their concerns or support for Tri-Met’s plans. The easiest way to do so is through Tri-Met’s on-line survey which you can access by clicking here. The public meeting schedule is available on the Tri-Met website.