MAX Light Rail

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Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) is a light rail system in the Portland metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is operated by TriMet and currently has four lines: Blue, Green, Red and Yellow, with Orange planned.

Prior to the opening of the latest route, the Green Line, which has not yet completed one year of service, the number of boardings averaged between about 105,000 and 112,000 per day, depending on the time of year, but was 107,600 per day (weekdays) for the twelve months ending June 2009[2] and had been as high as 118,200 per day in a given month.[3] Since its inception about $3 billion has been invested in light rail in Portland (as of 2004).[4]


Early system history

In the mid-1970s, TriMet (or Tri-Met, as it was known until 2002) began a study for light rail using funds intended for the cancelled Mount Hood Freeway. The light rail project was known as the Banfield Light Rail Project, named for the freeway (I-84) that part of the alignment followed. The TriMet board approved the project in September 1978.[5] Gresham officials and businesses initially rejected the plans until a slight routing change was agreed to.[citation needed]

Construction of the 15-mile (24 km) route started in 1982,[6] and the system opened on September 5, 1986.[7] Of the project's total cost of $214 million, 83 percent was funded by the federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration (now known as the Federal Transit Administration).[8] Less than two months before the opening, TriMet adopted the name Metropolitan Area Express, or MAX, for the new system.[9]

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