Portland (Westside LRT)

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Westside Corridor

Portland, Oregon

(November 1996)

Description The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (Tri-Met) is constructing the Westside-Hillsboro Light Rail Project which extends the existing MAX system from the terminus in downtown Portland to Hillsboro. The route includes a three-mile twin tube tunnel under the West Hills. The project is 17.7 miles long with 20 stations, 9 park and ride lots, and parking spaces for approximately 3,700 automobiles. The projected revenue operation date is September 1998. The project is expected to carry 27,100 passengers on an average weekday in 2005. The project is estimated to cost $963.52 million.

The project will include 36 low-floor light rail vehicles, the first low-floor light rail vehicles in service in the United States.


Section 3035(b) of ISTEA authorized $515.00 million in Section 5309 New Start funds and directed FTA to enter into a multiyear grant agreement with Tri-Met.

In September 1992, FTA and Tri-Met entered into a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for the segment from downtown Portland to 185th Avenue. The Section 5309 New Start share for this segment was $515.99 million. Final design and construction for the Hillsboro extension commenced under a Letter of No Prejudice issued by FTA in August 1994. Consistent with Section 325 of the fiscal year 1992 Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (P.L. 102-143), a restated FFGA with a Federal commitment of $590.06 million was signed in December 1994. The 1994 FFGA for the Westside-Hillsboro project provided a contingent commitment of New Start funds of $74.06 million to fund one-third of the Hillsboro extension cost.

Under the FY 1997 Appropriations Act, an additional $40 million was authorized for the project, at a 75:25 match ratio. The FFGA was amended to reflect this additional authorization in November 1996 increasing the total commitment to $630.06 million in Section 5309 New Start funds. Through FY 1997, Congress has appropriated $530.28 million for the project.

Construction is underway along the entire alignment with approximately $858 million committed and $597 million spent through September 1996.

Source of Funds

Total Funding ($million)
Section 5309 New Start

FFGA Amount

$630.06 ($530.28 million appropriated through FY 1997)
Section 5307 30.00
Flexible Funds 44.00
Local 259.46
TOTAL $963.52