By John A. Charles, Jr.

TriMet and Metro are promoting the idea of a new light rail line from Portland State University to the Bridgeport Village shopping mall in Tualatin.

The question is, who would ride it?

We already know from experience that mall shoppers prefer private cars to trains. The Red Line to the airport was opened in 2001 specifically to service the Cascade Station shopping center, which is anchored by IKEA, Target, and Best Buy. Field observations conducted by Cascade Policy Institute in 2010 and again in 2016 showed that more than 98% of all passenger-trips to and from Cascade Station are made in private automobiles. Light rail is simply irrelevant.

The same is true for Gresham Station, another shopping center specifically built around a light rail stop. Regardless of the time-of-day or day-of-week, virtually all trips to and from Gresham Station are made in private vehicles.

The Green MAX line, which terminates at Clackamas Town Center, has also had no effect on travel patterns at the mall.

In order for the Bridgeport Village line to be built, Tigard residents will need to approve the city’s participation in the project by voting for Measure 34-255 in the November election. Local voters should learn from experience and turn down this measure. Light rail through Tigard would be a total waste of money.

4 thoughts on “Light Rail to Bridgeport Village: The Dumbest Train Project Yet

    1. Yes, Tri-Met’s trains do experience increased ridership at times, but they generally don’t even reach the initial ridership projections the agency used to secure federal grants to build them. There is no reason to believe a Tigard line will be different. For much more about 30 years of failed rail in Portland, see

  1. The main purpose of light rail is to provide commuter transportation between downtown and the southwestern suburbs. Please drive I-5, OR 217, and OR99W daily for two weeks or a month and then write about what you experience. Try taking the bus too. It’s horrible and time-sucking. We need an alternative to cars and SUVs and the pollution they generate. Lightrail has nothing to do with bringing shoppers to Bridgeport Village.

    1. Light rail does not reduce congestion, and of course the Tigard line has nothing to do with bringing shoppers to Bridgeport Village because we already know that shoppers don’t use light rail to get to malls. This project is about government planners trying to direct how we live, where we live and work, and how we travel.
      For much more about 30 years of failed rail in Portland see

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