TriMet buses in the sun
Michael Andersen
Tell TriMet: Time to expand and electrify transit
May 18, 2018

With transportation accounting for nearly 40% of Oregon climate pollution, a robust public transit system is an essential part of addressing the climate crisis. Ensuring that our transit system is affordable and accessible, with frequent service across the region, is essential for our communities to get where they need to go, without adding cars that increase air and climate pollution.

At the same time, TriMet is the largest user of diesel in Oregon. Transit systems across the country (and world) are rapidly transitioning off diesel and embracing all-electric bus fleets. It is time for TriMet to commit to zero-emission buses, prioritizing routes through low income neighborhoods burdened by air pollution.

If you live in the greater Portland area, your voice is needed to tell TriMet that YOU support frequent, affordable, zero emission transit service, prioritizing the communities that need it most. Please share your priorities for our transit future in TriMet’s online survey. Ours include:

  • Service: More Frequent Service – Helps people can get where they need to go, when they need to get there.
  • Capital Improvements: Electric Buses – Electric buses reduces air and climate pollution, and are cheaper than diesel over time because they cost less to fuel and maintain.
  • Fares: Reduce low income fares – Helps more people be able to afford transit.
  • Fares: Increase school partnerships – Supports YouthPass, reducing barriers for youth getting to and staying in school

TriMet is also holding listening sessions on how to spend its new resources, after the legislature passed a measure to expand transportation options last year. Sign-ups for these Future Transit Improvement Workshops filled up early, but please sign up for the waitlist to show TriMet how many people care about these issues.

  • Wed. May 23, 6-8:30pm in Milwaukie
  • Thurs. May 24, 6-8:30pm in North Portland
  • Wed. June 6, 6-8:30pm in East Portland
  • Thurs. June 7, 6-8:30pm in Hillsboro

If you’re able to testify, please tell TriMet to:

  • Expand transit service, prioritizing underserved communities
  • Provide fare relief by providing a Low Income Fare and YouthPass
  • Rapidly electrify the bus fleet, committing to no new diesel buses by 2020 and prioritizing routes in low income communities burdened by air pollution

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Author Bio

Meredith Connolly

Oregon Director, Climate Solutions

Meredith brings over a decade of climate policy experience to her work accelerating Oregon’s transition to a clean energy economy. She advocates for innovative and equitable policy solutions to reduce pollution and create clean energy jobs across the state. Currently, Meredith leads a team diligently working to electrify everything from cars, trucks, and buses to homes and buildings, and power it all with 100% clean electricity.

Prior to joining Climate Solutions, Meredith was a Climate and Energy Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. At NRDC, she advanced renewable energy policies in the U.S. and internationally. She also implemented programs to protect public health and improve climate resilience to heat waves and air pollution in India’s growing cities. Before NRDC, Meredith practiced law in the private sector.

Meredith is a member of the Oregon and California State Bar Associations. She holds a JD from Boston College Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and French from Santa Clara University. In her free time, Meredith enjoys exploring her incredible home state of Oregon with her family and rooting too loudly for the Portland Thorns and Timbers.