Forward Together - Jan 2023 Update

TriMet is proposing changes to #39 and #35 that would significantly alter (improve) the transit landscape in Collins View and adjacent neighborhoods. See 'Using Public Transit to/from Collins View' for a description of the way it has worked from 2006 till now, Jan 2023 [LINK].

Comment on Nextdoor if you like, but you need to engage Trimet in some way. See their website and use the FEEDBACK form (checkbox for Line 39), send email or call the number given on the feedback form. Many Open Houses and Virtual sessions are also listed on the page. [LINK]

LET THEM HEAR FROM YOU Before Feb 10, 2023!

Open House details

TRIMET is kicking off a series of in-person and virtual open houses about the first Forward Together service changes that they plan to roll out in 2023-24, as well as a possible fare increase in January 2024. The events start on Tuesday, January 17, and run through Saturday, February 4, 2023.

TriMet staff will gather feedback on the proposed fare increase and share information and answer questions about the proposed service changes. Your feedback will be shared with our Board of Directors before they vote on the service changes in April and the fare increase in May.

Read about 2023–24 Transit Service Changes [LINK]

Potential Fare Increases

See Details on Fare Increase Proposal [LINK]

Attend Virtual Open Houses

January 18, 8-9 am
January 21, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
January 28, 9-10 am
January 28, 1:30-3 pm
February 4, 9-10 am

There are also in-person open houses. See Transit Service Changes web page for dates and locations. [LINK]

Give Your Knowledgable Feedback Online

#39 - New route, fewer buses, less hours

TriMet did a 180° on the Line #39 plan, and on Dec 31 sent postcards out with the following text and map.

#39 - New route, fewer buses, less hours

We're proposing to reduce service to only run buses during peak travel time to Ida B Wells High School students. And, we'd extend Line 39 to serve the Arnold Creek neighborhood and Barbur Transit Center via Boones Ferry, Stephenson, 35th, and Huber, instead of serving Palatine Hill and Lewis & Clark College.

You can learn more about the proposed changes at an upcoming open house. Visit [LINK] for more details and to provide feedback, or call 503-238-7433 (RIDE) by February 10, 2023

graphic from TriMet's 12/31/22 postcard

This new route would connect the Barbur Transit Center on one end with the Hillsdale main drag on the other end, passing though several neighborhoods, and passing by stores and schools. There is no Post Office on this line, but there are two package shipping and printing service shops.

The schedule may be extremely limited — with a couple of runs in the early morning and a couple in the late afternoon. Scheduling details are not available yet. The would a good question for an open house session.

Connecting Neighborhods

Stores on the Route

Schools on the Route

No Food for You!

From a Collins View only POV: Due to timing of the route, #39 is still not much good for Food Park in Hillsdale, Chez Jose's, — due to very early AM runs, no lunch hour runs, and ending early eve. I.E. if you ride an early AM bus to go out for breakfast, there may be no way home till mid-afternoon. Early supper? You could pick up a Slice in Hillsdale or a Food Park order between 3-6 pm to take home.

All is not lost, one could spend the middle of the day in Hillsdale for a sit down meal, go to the library, do shopping, sip coffee, etc. Or if you are hardy, walk to Hillsdale for lunch, then ride #39 home

WOW! Look at Line #35

The proposed new Line 35 would alternate between using Macadam and Terwilliger to get to Lake Oswego, so there will be a way to get to Oswego from Collins View! (This evidently would be made feasible ($) by eliminating the somewhat redundant Line 36.)

graphic from TriMet's website

The map is obscure. On alternate runs, the bus would say go UP Taylors Ferry to the intersection, turn LEFT onto Terwilliger, and continue on Terwilliger (past the Law School, past Tryon Creek State Natural Area) to get to State Street in Lake Oswego. If I understand this - Line 35 would allow L&C students/staff to reach Oswego in one direction, or downtown in the other direction!

Actually, the existing Line 35 goes as far north as Kenton and then west to Portsmouth, and University Park. To the south, Line 35 also currently goes to Lake Oswego, West Linn and Oregon City!

Line 35 would give L&C students/staff, Collins View area riders quite a reach, including downtown Portland!

Places along Line 35

Alternate runs of Line 35 would use S Riverside Drive (HWY 43) along the river as it does now to get to Oswego. So in the future, if the change is made, beware of the times these runs are scheduled.

The remainder of this article was written in October, 2022.

Forward Together - Introduction: Do you care?

Forward Together is a TriMet "Concept" plan that is out for comments at the end of 2022.. IT IS NOT YET a service plan. The driving force is Equity, and the concept is applied across the entire system, not just Collins View. The TriMet site is good. You should study everything they have, as interested.

Blog post author John Miller explores transit and the Concept as seen from the Collins View area. This blog challenges TriMet to think of a community-based system (map) as a means of increasing ridership and equity across the region.

It's too late to take TriMet's survey. The Deadline was Oct 31, Monday! [LINK to SURVEY, now closed].

Transit around Collins View, from Forward Together concept. Pink shows deleted service! (Map now out of date --jm 1/7/22)

One can see the area around a very busy crossroads (Orange Star) is hollowed out. Why? If this goes "Forward" as is, it will drive a stake in the heart of transit in the Collins View area. Do you care?

(Minor note: the new Line 43 shown turning in that intersection might be a problem. Line 65 current manages it in one direction.)

Survey Feedback for TriMet

Here are responses made by the author to TriMet's on-line survey, now closed.

Q 1 - What do I think of using Equity as the basis for a service plan?

(Actual text of Q1: Do you think that the service changes outlined in the Draft Service Concept over the next few years are the right way to improve TriMet's bus routes?)

I commend the effort, and the interesting concept. However, I believe that a better overall system might be created by strongly interconnecting communities. Secondarily, interconnecting attractions such a industrial areas, retail and service centers, schools (college/HS) without so much regard for perceived affluence.

Q 2 - Are we turning the Equity dial too far??

(Actual text of Q2: The Draft Service Concept would reduce bus service in some low-ridership, higher-income areas in order to expand service in underserved communities.)

Even though I said "About Right", and I understand the need for trade-offs, I wish this could be done without total regard for perceived affluence. "Higher income areas" is a poor metric, as there is a broad MIDDLE that gets tainted if they are near wealthy enclaves, in my opinion. Wealthy may not want to ride - fine, don't service the enclaves, but so many elderly, students and NON DRIVERS live everywhere! If a middle income person happens to live in a low income area, they get better service than the a guy with same income in a "high income" area?? How is that equitable? Am I naive?

For more on this, see the section below on Jarrett Walker's HUMAN TRANSIT blog.

Q 3. How often do you ride TriMet?

Regular rider (I ride several times a week)


#38 is goofy the way it is. So, I'm glad to see an effort to change it. But this does not fit with my theory of how transit might be better served. Can I comment overall somewhere? I'm blind taking this survey. I can't see ahead to the end of the survey.


#43 is goofy the way it is. Glad to see an effort to change it.


Cutting Line #39? The reason given being that the College has their own bus service?? L&C Students ride the 39! Elderly, Non-Drivers, and Ida B Wells students ride the #39! The Pioneer Express isn't available to regular #39 riders! TriMet might look at the evolution of the 39 route. Cutting all midday service may have been necessary during the pandemic, but ridership seems to be growing beyond previous levels even with those cuts in place. What a kick in the guts.

Line 19 !?

Equally important to the Loss of existing service is that the concept plan does not provide connectivity between east and west of the Willamette between Tillicum and Oregon City. One bus, 19, goes over the Sellwood bridge. It comes out from downtown, crosses the river, goes out Johnson Creek Blvd, to terminate at the Fuller Park & Ride near the Green Line Max station. Please explain to me who this is designed for, and — WHY is #19 the ONLY bus going over the Sellwood Bridge??

End of Survey Responses

The rest of this blog post consists of comments and questions for TriMet, a section on L&C College, a section on the importance of Interconnecting Communities, and various supplemental info for your reference.

Questions and Comments for TriMet

This section of the blog was sent to TriMet on Monday, Oct 31, 2022.

How would one get from A to B in the following?

  1. Hillsdale to Sellwood
  2. Hillsdale to Oswego
  3. Sellwood to Oswego

Seriously — Is there no need for people to cross Willamette between Powell Blvd and Oregon City, via Transit? Is the East-West divide that great??

Seriously — No buses on Terwilliger anywhere south of I-5? No bus on Boones Ferry Road? I can currently walk to 38 and 39 in 4 minutes, or #43 in 8 minutes all of which go through the car-overloaded, busy, intersection of Taylor's Ferry. Under the new plan -- I'll be walking for 18 minutes to board #12. FYI, everyone in the Collins View area will be in this same boat, perhaps even farther from shore.

In SW Portland we have Long stretches of seeming forest, with no houses, Like the 2 mile stretch that runs past Tryon Creek State Natural Area. My guess is that roadway is not even considered for a bus. 38 goes through similar natural areas. And yet these are ways that Cars and Trucks go to get to Lake Oswego and Lake Grove. And yet TriMet runs a bus out to Estacada? (BTW, I have taken that bus, then transferred to Sandy Transit. Love it.)

In the Concept Plan - No buses run through one of the busiest intersections in SW Portland (Terwilliger + Taylor's Ferry). Why would that be? Currently buses 38, 39, 43, and 65 go through the intersection, because they literally have to, like cars and trucks do. (With One exception - the Boones Ferry Road shortcut bypasses this intersection. See our blog entry on the [BFR NTMP].

Eastside routes form a GRID system is favored by TriMet & Walker. The Southeast Portland flatlands lends itself to that. (Disturbed by a few Buttes). Southwest on the other hand, is full of barriers and hilly terrain. How do you deal with that? In 'Transit Existing Conditions' on page 32, Figure 23, you say under these conditions routes converge on transit centers. It would be nice if these centers were town centers, (i.e. communities) not Park & Rides. The Barbur Blvd TC is a dead space. No one has ever enjoyed it - no concessions, isolated from local businesses. That's pretty much the same for Transit Centers on the west side. I tried to think of one nice Transit Center in the region, but they all lack vitality. I'm asking too much?

I didn't find anything about Fares in this study, which is all about how to use limited resources to make the system of routes more equitable. How about beefing up your low-fares / free-rides for low-income folks as part of your Equity deal?

A Single Suggestion for TriMet

HOW ABOUT a new 39 that runs over the Terwilliger bridge, that connects Hillsdale & Lake Oswego? It could perhaps have a stop at the Law School and Tryon Creek State Natural Area (school field trips?), all on the way to Oswego. A major Connection of communities!

What is TriMet's response to this suggestion? Hopefully, something better than: Sorry, but we can't do that.

Notes on Lewis & Clark College Pioneer Express

L&C has their own bus service — This is because TriMet and the college could not reach an agreement about level of service. Neighbors see the Pio Express running on our streets, but can't ride it!

The Pioneer Express rolls past a TriMet #39 bus stop. Photo: J Miller

From Pio Express web page: Lewis & Clark College has free shuttle services designed to help students, staff, and faculty travel between campus, downtown, and connect to other public transportation options. Airport shuttle service is offered at the start and end of semesters, and during Thanksgiving and spring break. The shuttle does not operate during the summer session.

See link below for a Schedule and Map for the Pio Express route(s). The Pio Express serves .. (I think) Downtown, Sellwood, Mountain Park / Fred Meyer / PSU / Barbur / Macadam / South Waterfront / Elsewhere?

HOP cards for STUDENTS AND STAFF/FACULTY: Limited loading of Hop cards. I don't fully understand their model. TriMet bus passes are discounted 75%. The discount is paid for by parking fees on campus.

Pio Express creates a transit vacuum. It seems like it would be better for all, if the college and community could support each other.

More research needed here. Perhaps someone from L&C can help?

L&C Links

Shuttle Services [LINK]


Very Old Schedule and Map of the Pio Express & #39 (2011-2012) [LINK]

Questions about EDU sites in general

Connections between Communities!

I've always thought that more people would ride IF the system map was comprehensible, and the system was designed to interconnect well-known places and communities literally.

community connectivity mental map - computed with GraphViz by J Miller.


From those well-known places, new places and attractions are reachable on foot/mobile, or by using a 'local' bus or conveyance (eg tram).

Consider Connections between Communities as the strong organizing principle

There are Geometric & Geographic realities — existing roadways, terrain (minor watersheds) and Rivers. What can we do within those constraints? If we were to model what transit connections might be important - we might find a need for a new (transit) roadway or bridge. Witness the TILLICUM CROSSING! A bridge between Lake Oswego and Milwaukie has been discussed, and squashed, for years. No such new bridge is imagined or shown in the above diagram, which is a mental map of how peeps in Collins View perceive the area.

Interchanges are Paramount

In addition to having routes that interconnect communities, we need to have safe and clean interchanges, with shelter and at least some amenities, such as a coffee shop or bodega. One can think of a transit system primarily as a set of interchanges, where the lines between them are taken for granted, and of secondary importance. Without interchanges, we can't have a system.

Interchanges are places were riders and transfer between lines of the same system, or change modes - to cycling, walking, taxi, etc, OR transfer to different transit agency that connects with an adjacent town or city.

From Pattern 34 in A Pattern Language: Interchanges play a central role in public transportation. Unless the interchanges are working properly, the public transportation system will not be able to sustain itself. [APL]

Finally, from Page 32 of Transit Existing Conditions: ... a line is only as useful as its connections. Nobody can count on their origin and destination always being in places that can be reached with a single ride on just one line, so facilitating transfers that are as fast and easy as possible is a critical element of designing a network that works for many people.

See below for the Transit Existing Conditions PDF.

TriMet References

Further Reading on Line 39

How this Blog Post should be (was) described on Social Media

TriMet Lines 38, 39, and 43 as we know them may cease to exist in the future.

  1. Check out "Forward Together Summary by Area" on TriMet's website: []
  2. Take the TriMet Survey BY OCT 31!
  3. Attend an upcoming open house to talk with the associates and/or give TriMet your written feedback.

The Nextdoor post included the color map snippet above.

On the Transit consultant for this project

Jarrett Walker (of Walker & Associates) is based in Portland, and has an international rep for revising urban transit networks, large & small, in USA and other countries.

Jarrett sez: In Portland, where I live, we’ve been working with the local transit agency TriMet on a bus network design effort that has two overriding motives: ridership and equity. And as we look at how much to invest in equity, we have a big question for the community to think about: How much redistribution of service toward lower-income areas should we do?

Here is a blog entry by Mr Walker... Portland: Turning the Dial Toward Equity (How Far?) [LINK]

Here is a book by Jarrett Walker.

Walker's book HUMAN TRANSIT - How clearer Thinking about Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives. (Avaiable in Library)

Great book, very well written. I admire Walker's work.

Comments submitted on this article

Curated from Nextdoor and email. (At this time, we don't support commenting directly on the blog.)

Comment #1: When I lived in NE, I rarely drove and almost exclusively walked, took the bus, or took the train to work, school, and my daily errands. Once I moved to SW (because it was cheaper than NE!), I started driving. The busing was totally confusing, it is unsafe (no sidewalks ) and hilly for walking, and we don’t have a train. That’s why we all drive. I am not driving because I am wealthy - I’m not. I’m driving because I would get killed waking, there isn’t a train, and to get anywhere on a bus takes three transfers and two hours. The routes are useless.

Comment #2: They are proposing to cut out the #38 altogether, the usual excuse, poor ridership. I pointed out that to have ridership you have to run it so people can reliably use it. When I was working I could get there but then not home on their rush hr wkdays only routing. Been frustrating as long as I can remember.

Comment #3: 40 went, on alternate trips, around L&C or out Taylors Ferry past Jackson and around a loop up 35th to Stephenson then around Lancaster to Arnold and back but when Jackson closed, no.

Comment #4: My initial concern is how will high school students in the area travel to Wells (Wilson) HS. As you know, PPS depends on TriMet for transporting HS students to school and under this proposal, most will have a long, dangerous walk in the dark to the remaining bus lines on Capital or Barbur.

Editor's Note

I bet that some day Metro's Travel Forecasting group could compute a first iteration of such a map, that could then be discussed, and adjusted by planners and riders.

On Route 'Planning', at one time Metro (RTP/TDM) considered doing Social Marketing, to reduce trips by helping people figure out how they would walk/bike/ride one day a week instead of driving. This is because IT IS NOT EASY to plan a transit trip that may involve 'chaining' of trips. Well, maybe it is easier these days with Google Transit or TriMet Trip Planner -- but you have to help people learn how to use them.

Historically, Slavin Road was the market road that connected John's Landing to places west eg Hillsdale. Most of old Slavin Road is now Capitol Highway. Some segments remain, but Slavin between Barbur and Corbett was obliterated by I-5. Thanks I-5!

Here are links to other writings by John Miller on this subject.

Photo/Graphics credit: JM; editor: JM

Some History of the #39, as told by J.Miller

When I came to Portland in 1972, "40 PALATINE HILL" went along PHR to the College. On the other end, #40 went downtown through John's Landing. When the bus came UP Taylors Ferry it made a very dangerous turn against on-coming downhill traffic onto Boones Ferry Road then to Palatine Hill Road, at the triangle where it T's into Boones Ferry. (There is a diversion aka 'Pork Chop' there now to prevent that dangerous turn.)

In 1984, the 40 route became 43 through John's Landing to downtown, but the 43 connected to Washington Square, not the college. A new Line 39 went from L&C to Fred Mayer, where it turned around. (No downtown trip.) In 2005 the community worked with TriMet to extend line 39 over to Hillsdale where there was a lot more happening. Weekend service on #39 was cut in 2009 or 2010 due to the recession, and never restored.

I don't know the history of Line 38.

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