TriMet lived up to its long-time policy of placing its newest, most efficient buses on its busiest routes with the introduction of four new state-of-the-art hybrid buses.
The low emission, electric drivetrain buses, will run on Line 72-Kingsworth 82nd Avenue, the second busiest route in the TriMet system, officials said.
“These new buses will benefit our riders, but also all the residents along this popular line,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane, at a ribbon cutting ceremony held Jan. 30 along the route at the Cascade Campus of Portland Community College.
Latino Network Executive Director Carmon Rubio said the hybrid technology was an investment in health equity because the low-emission buses will have less impact on neighborhoods already impacted by high pollution levels.
“TriMet is truly benefiting the community by putting these cleaner buses in an area that has some of the highest cases of chronic asthma, which disproportionately impacts communities of color,” Rubio said.
Portland Community College Cascade Campus President Dr. Algie Gatewood, who hosted the event, said the improvement to public transportation was providing a path to economy prosperity for his students.
Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith said the buses, which will be quieter as well as less polluting, “serve as a demonstration that our federal partners understand the importance of investing in transportation and our communities.”
Federal grant funds were used to purchase the buses.
The Amalgamated Transit Union issued a news release after the ceremony to criticize the purchase, saying the new buses were a safety concern because of vision obstructions from front extensions designed to look like a train, and wider posts on the corner of the driver’s side window that reduce the view for left hand turns. TriMet said the buses passed all safety inspections.