South Metro Area Regional Transit
|Headquarters||8455 SW Elligsen Rd.|
|Service type||bus service, dial-a-bus|
|Operator||City of Wilsonville|
South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART) is a small public transit system operated by the city government of Wilsonville, Oregon, United States. The system currently consists of eight routes and is funded by local businesses. It was created when Wilsonville petitioned to withdraw from the TriMet service district in the late 1980s. Offices of the agency are in the former city hall off Wilsonville Road.
After complaints from local business owners who felt they were having to pay too much in payroll tax to support the regional transit agency, TriMet, with little or no bus service being provided in exchange, the city decided to file a formal petition to withdraw from the TriMet district. Such withdrawals were allowed, if meeting certain conditions, under a new law enacted by the Oregon Legislature in 1987. Wilsonville's petition to withdraw from the TriMet district was approved by the transit agency's board on November 30, 1988, and the withdrawal took effect on January 1, 1989. A condition of the TriMet ordinance permitting the withdrawal was that Wilsonville had to provide replacement transit service for at least one year. The change enabled the city to reduce the rate of the payroll tax levied on area businesses, for transit, from 0.6 percent to 0.3 percent. Initially, the city provided the required replacement service by contracting with TriMet, which in turn contracted with Buck Ambulance to give service with vans. However, Wilsonville later prepared to begin managing the service directly and to increase marketing of it, in hopes of improving ridership.
In 1990, the city council approved naming the Wilsonville bus system WART, for Wilsonville Area Rapid Transit. Aware that the name was likely to inspire a few jokes, city officials proposed using a leaping frog in a new logo to be created, in order to show they had a sense of humor. The service was free at all times.
In 1993, following a city-sponsored contest to rename the transit system, the city council approved changing WART to SMART, or South Metro Area Rapid Transit. The first full-size buses were put into service later the same year. Most service until then was dial-a-ride, door-to-door service. Following the acquisition of five used full-size buses, SMART introduced a new fixed route, 201, connecting Wilsonville with TriMet service at the regional agency's Tualatin Park-and-Ride lot and its Barbur Boulevard Transit Center, on November 1, 1993, and this was followed by the launching of a route to Oregon City (route 202), connecting with other TriMet routes there. From 1999 to 2000, a lunchtime bus service was operated between businesses and the commercial center.
Until fall 2005, no fares were charged for any SMART routes. As of 2006[update], only rides within Wilsonville are free. In 2009, TriMet's Westside Express Service (WES) commuter rail line began connecting with SMART buses at Wilsonville Station. SMART opened a new bus transit center next to the rail station, named SMART Central, that January. A minor change to SMART's name was made around the beginning of 2009, when "Rapid" was changed to "Regional", making the full name South Metro Area Regional Transit but leaving the acronym unaffected.
SMART has three routes that serve only Wilsonville, going east-west and north-south. However, it is noteworthy that the three other routes go well beyond the city limits (and the entities who pay for the service). One route (now called 2X) heads north to Tualatin and southern Portland (the Barbur Blvd. TC), connecting with TriMet, and another (route 3) goes southeast to the city of Canby, connecting with Canby Area Transit. The third route, 1X, is most unusual; it makes an almost 30-mile, non-stop run to Salem, with connections to Salem-Keizer Transit (Cherriots). (Service to Oregon City is no longer provided.) Routes 4, 5 and 6 serve only Wilsonville, but route 5 connects with TriMet route 96 at Commerce Circle, at the northern end of the city.
On August 5, 2013, SMART began operating route 8X, an express route connecting the Wilsonville Transit Center with TriMet's Beaverton Transit Center via Interstate 5 and Highway 217. Because the WES commuter rail service connects the same two points, route 8X only has one trip per day in each direction (from Wilsonville at 5:20 a.m. and from Beaverton at 10:05 p.m.), and is intended to provide service at times when WES does not operate.
All of SMART's routes serve the transit center SMART Central, with timed connections between routes. The system has a total of more than 35 vehicles in its fleet, including buses, vans, and a trolley-replica bus.
With transfers, it is possible to use public transit to travel between Portland and Salem. Using SMART is cheaper than taking direct (and faster) Greyhound or Amtrak Cascades service.
- Route 1X Salem
- Route 2X Barbur
- Route 3 Charbonneau/Canby
- Route 4 Wilsonville Rd
- Route 5 95th Ave
- Route 6 Canyon Creek
- Route V Villebois
- Route 8X Beaverton
- Kulla, Josh. Out with the old, in with the new. Wilsonville Spokesman, December 12, 2007.
- Federman, Stan (December 1, 1988). "Tri-Met approves withdrawal of three communities". The Oregonian.
- Brinkley, Pam (January 15, 1990). "Bus system may grow into WART". The Oregonian. p. B2.
- Brinkley, Pam (January 19, 1990). "Wilsonville names bus line WART". The Oregonian.
- "Wilsonville looks Smart, gives new name to transit system" (June 24, 1993). The Oregonian.
- Grund, John M. (October 28, 1993). "Free Wilsonville bus route is Smart move". The Oregonian (MetroWest and MetroSouth editions).
- McMullen, Danielle. Hungry restaurants line up for customers. (April 11, 2001) Wilsonville Spokesman.
- Washington County Commuter Rail Fact Sheet/October 2007. TriMet. Retrieved on April 13, 2008.
- Runquist, Justin (August 8, 2013). "Wilsonville expands bus service to accommodate drove of new workers". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- "Route 8X -Beaverton TC". SMART. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
- "Route 8X Schedule". SMART. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
- "About SMART". SMART. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
Media related to South Metro Area Regional Transit at Wikimedia Commons