Portland, Oregon/Westside-Hillsboro Corridor

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Westside-Hillsboro Corridor

Portland, Oregon

(November 1998)


On September 12, 1998, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregonís (Tri-Met) successfully opened the Westside-Hillsboro Light Rail Project, which extended the existing MAX system from the terminus in downtown Portland west to downtown Hillsboro. The route includes a three-mile twin tube tunnel under Portlandís West Hills. The project is 17.7 miles long with 20 stations, nine park and ride lots, and parking spaces for approximately 3,800 automobiles. The project cost $963.52 million and includes 42 low-floor light rail vehicles, the first low-floor light rail vehicles in service in the United States. Since its opening, the Westside line is serving 23,000 passengers on an average weekday.


The project opened on-time and within budget on September 12, 1998. Ridership is exceeding expectations. The last six low-floor light rail vehicles are in production.

In September 1992, FTA and Tri-Met entered into a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for the segment from downtown Portland to 185th Avenue, approximately 11.7 miles. The Section 5309 New Start share for this segment was $515.99 million. Final design and construction for the Hillsboro extension commenced 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 an additional commitment of New Start funds of $74.06 million to fund one-third of the 6-mile Hillsboro extension.

In 1996 Congress authorized a further $40 million for the project. FTA amended the FFGA to reflect this additional authorization in November 1996, increasing the total commitment to $630.06 million in Section 5309 New Start funds. Through FY 1999, Congress has appropriated $619.00 million for the project, leaving a balance of $11.06 million to satisfy the FFGA commitment.

Locally Proposed Financing Plan

(Reported in $YOE)

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
Appropriations to Date
Federal: Section 5309 New Start FFGA Amount $630.06 $619.00 million appropriated through FY 1999
Federal: Section 5307 $30.00

Federal: Flexible Funds $44.00

Local: $259.46

Total: $963.52

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

[Westside-Hillsboro Corridor Map (PDF)]