July 09, 2024

Blumenauer, Wyden, Merkley, Bonamici, Announce $39 Million to Jump-start TriMet’s 82nd Ave Transit Project

PORTLAND, OR — Today, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Senators Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley, and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici announced the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded $39,000,000 to advance TriMet’s 82nd?Avenue Transit Project. The funding comes after Blumenauer brought U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to tour 82nd Avenue last summer. The grant will go toward the purchase of U.S.-built fuel-cell electric buses, as well necessary facility improvements to accommodate new electric vehicles and staff training. This builds on DOT’s award of $25 million to TriMet from its Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program, which supports its goal of moving to a 100% zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040.

“Last year, Secretary Buttigieg saw first-hand the case for investment on 82nd Avenue. Today, the Biden-Harris Administration delivered,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. “The community has united behind a shared vision: transforming a once neglected area into a thriving corridor in a low-carbon, equitable fashion. This funding will make that a reality.”  

“A renewed and improved 82nd Avenue must include major federal investments just like this one that strengthen mass transit options using clean energy for Portlanders living and working on the east side,” Senator Ron Wyden said. “I’m gratified the Biden administration has again delivered big time for infrastructure that helps Oregonians who realize both the importance and necessity of mass transit.”

“Zero-emission buses help move Oregon forward toward a clean energy future with cleaner air and healthier communities,” Senator Jeff Merkley said. “This huge $39 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will build a stronger, healthier Portland by helping TriMet cut down on carbon pollution, take on climate chaos, and protect communities. It will also enhance service, reliability, and connections to job opportunities in the Metro area, including for the many communities of color who call neighborhoods around 82nd Avenue home.”

“Portlanders and people across the region rely on 82nd Avenue for their lives and livelihoods,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Transitioning to low-emission buses will make this corridor a healthier place and improve access to public transportation for the people who live and work there. I’m grateful to the Biden-Harris administration for this significant investment in TriMet’s 82nd Avenue Transit Project, which will strengthen and revitalize a neighborhood that has too often been left behind.”

“This funding will be critical to the efforts of TriMet and our partners as we look to improve transit service, safety and air quality for the historically disadvantaged communities along the Portland metro area’s 82ndAvenue,” said TriMet General Manager Sam Desue Jr.“We appreciate the work of Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Sen. Ron Wyden, Sen. Jeff Merkley, and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici to secure this grant, as well as the support of the Oregon Congressional delegation. I’m more encouraged than ever by the progress we are making together toward a better future, as this funding will expand our zero-emissions bus fleet with what are expected to be TriMet’s first fuel-cell electric buses.”

In addition to helping transition to an electric fleet of buses, TriMet’s 82nd Avenue Transit Project will lay the foundation for a second TriMet FX™—Frequent Express—bus rapid transit line. The project will improve bus service and safety along 82nd Avenue, one of our region’s most dangerous transportation corridors. The corridor is home to some of the most diverse communities in the state, yet for decades has been neglected and underfunded by state and local governments.  

Today’s award builds on a $630,000 grant the Oregon delegation secured last summer for TriMet’s 82ndAvenue Transit Project.