MAX Yellow Line

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     MAX Yellow Line
A Yellow Line train traveling on Interstate Avenue
Type Light Rail
System MAX Light Rail
Locale Portland, Oregon
Termini Portland State University
Expo Center
Stations 21
Daily ridership 15,100 (as of May 2014)[1]
Website MAX Yellow Line
Opening May 1, 2004
Operator(s) TriMet
Line length 5.8 mi (9.3 km)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 750 V DC, overhead catenary
Route diagram

The MAX Yellow Line is a 5.8-mile (9.3 km) (not including segments downtown shared with other lines) route in the Metropolitan Area Express light rail system in Portland, Oregon. The route, which opened May 1, 2004,[2] runs between Portland State University (PSU), in downtown Portland, and the Portland Expo Center. It is also known as the Interstate MAX because the majority of the line runs along Interstate Avenue in North Portland.

The Yellow Line was originally conceived as part of a north-south light rail project between Vancouver, Washington, and Milwaukie to be built using city funds, but that plan was rejected by voters. TriMet then learned that a majority of the residents of North Portland had voted in favor of the original plan, so they decided to build this new line without using city funds. To do this, they convinced the City of Portland to create an urban renewal district along the proposed line, which made them eligible for matching federal funds with which they could finance the construction of the MAX line. The project was finished four months ahead of schedule at a budget of $350 million, $25 million under budget.[2] The presence of the line has also caused a great deal of redevelopment along its corridor.[3] The line originally followed First Avenue and Morrison and Yamhill streets in downtown, terminating at Galleria/Southwest 10th Avenue station. However, on August 30, 2009, it was rerouted to use new tracks on the rebuilt Portland Transit Mall and now ends at PSU.[4]


There have been plans for extensions at both ends. The Portland–Milwaukie Light Rail project will extend the MAX system from the current PSU terminus, on the Portland Transit Mall couplet, east and across the Willamette River via the under-construction Tilikum Crossing, then southward to Milwaukie via Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way and SE McLoughlin Blvd. Scheduled to open in September 2015, this extension is currently planned to be the Orange Line and therefore independent of the Yellow Line, but there remains a possibility that it may instead be opened as a Yellow Line extension. The Columbia River Crossing project would have extended from the Expo Center terminus north across the Columbia River to Clark College via Interstate 5, Washington/Broadway Street couplet, and East McLoughlin Blvd. Stops would have served Hayden Island and Vancouver, Washington.



  1. ^ Nearly 46 million rides during 10 years of MAX Yellow Line service. May 01, 2014. TriMet. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  2. ^ a b Hamilton, Don (April 30, 2004). "Making tracks to the MAX". Portland Tribune. Archived from the original on March 31, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ US Light Rail Transit Has Sudden Growth Spurt - Light Rail Now • May 2004
  4. ^ "New MAX line opens downtown". Portland Tribune. August 28, 2009. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 

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