Streetcar Milestone – 50 Million

Dan Bowe
Dan Bower celebrates the milestone with riders

The Portland Streetcar announced in August that than 50 million passengers have ridden the Portland Streetcar since it opened 15 years ago. A critical piece of the city’s infrastructure, Portland Streetcar serves over 15,000 riders daily and has contributed to robust economic development in the neighborhoods it serves.

Portland Streetcar Executive Director Dan Bower celebrated the milestone on August 17th by thanking riders in person and handing out treats on one lucky car.

“Thank you to all those who have ridden and supported Streetcar over the past 15 years,” Bower said. “Serving people of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds, Streetcar has become an integral part of our community’s evolving transportation network. We look forward to serving the next 50 million riders.”

When the streetcar opened in 2001, it served about 4,000 riders per day—a number that has steadily increased as the system has expanded and new homes and businesses have opened around it. Riders most frequently use the streetcar to get to work, and less than 5 percent of riders are tourists.

Over 23 million square feet of real estate has been built along the streetcar alignment, including 17,900 residential units, including 2,911 affordable housing units. An affordable travel option at $2, Portland Streetcar’s fare is among the lowest fares of modern streetcar systems around the country.

In the coming months, Streetcar riders will see more system improvements and enhanced service. In partnership with TriMet and C-TRAN, Portland Streetcar is preparing for the 2017 launch of Hop Fastpass™, an electronic fare system that will make paying for transit fast and easy. Streetcar is also pursuing plans to add additional streetcars to the fleet, making service more frequent during peak periods.

About the Portland Streetcar. As the first modern streetcar system to be built in the United States, the Portland Streetcar serves 15,000 riders each day on the A/B Loops and the North/South (NS) Line. Ridership is expected to grow to 20,000 riders per day by 2025.

By Julie Gustafson
Portland Streetcar Community Relations Manager