2016 update: Revival of the CRC (and Tolls?) began with Trimet
TriMet refuses to terminate the light rail agreement with C-Tran. TriMet General
Manager, Neil McFarlane said in a letter:
“For its part, TriMet views the agreement as valuable and important to retain
in the event that those milestones are achieved and a viable project emerges from
future bi-state discussions. Given this view, TriMet will take no action to formally
terminate the agreement.”
“ICC is “working quietly” with parties on both sides of the river, building on what
the CRC already completed.
“It’s the elephant in the room – the I-5 Bridge comes up in every conversation about
economic development,” McKibbin said. “The aging I-5 Bridge remains the single largest
unresolved transportation issue facing Clark County.””
TThe functionally obsolete bridges over the Columbia River constrict commerce flow
and related corridor highway deficiencies compromise safety, freight mobility and
economic development. Progress is needed towards addressing these known deficiencies.
Jerry Oliver: First, about light rail. Its benefits and drawbacks are well-known.
It’s expensive and disruptive to build, and it doesn’t always fulfill its promise
of attracting transit-oriented development. And in the case of Clark County, the
politics surrounding rail are so polarized they can make a much larger road and transit
project a nonstarter.
If the main goal is to move people — and that’s what we need to do to break our river
crossing bottleneck — bus rapid transit service might be a better option.
Feb 2016: TriMet trying to get legislation to allow building outside
of its current service area (ie: Light Rail to Vancouver).
An official analysis of Oregon SB 1510, from Oregon’s legislative counsel, confirms
that TriMet could merely resume some trivial service to Clark Co. to be legally allowed
to finance and build C-Tran’s share of the CRC light rail. It also allows Trimet
to accept payments:
2. Does SB 1510-A authorize TriMet to pay for transportation infrastructure in Clark
SB 1510-A authorizes a mass transit district to use funds from an expanded set of
sources on the secondary transit supportive system, which includes surface transportation
infrastructure in any county in which the mass transit district operates. Therefore,
the question of whether TriMet would be allowed to use funds from those sources for
improvements in Clark County turns on whether TriMet operates in Clark County.
It follows from our answer to Question 2 that if the CRC had
been built and SB 1510-A is enacted, TriMet would be authorized to finance surface
infrastructure in Clark County using moneys from an expanded set of sources. (highlight
The money would come from a new income tax on all workers in Trimet’s district. SB
1521 will provide TriMet a massive new revenue stream capable of funding the CRC,
PowellDivision BRT & SW Corridor Light Rail.