After vendors at the Portland Saturday Market spoke out against the closure of four downtown MAX stations, TriMet says it is considering keeping one open on weekends.
"The Skidmore Fountain Station, which is closest to the Portland Saturday Market does have higher weekend ridership when the Market is active," TriMet spokeswoman Roberta Altstadt tells WW. "TriMet is exploring options for opening the Skidmore Fountain Station on weekends when the market is open and closing it during the week when ridership is low."
The agency's proposal for a partial closure was first reported by The Oregonian.
Old Town and Goose Hollow neighborhood association presidents, the Saturday Market's executive director and Lincoln High School students protested the proposed closure of the stations today. TriMet has proposed closing the Kings Hill and SW Salmon Street, Mall and Southwest 4th Avenue, Mall and Southwest 5th Avenue and Skidmore Fountain stations in order to speed up travel times through downtown.
In response to the protest, Altstadt says the specifics of the Skidmore Fountain closure are "still undetermined."
"TriMet appreciates that people value our transit service and the vital role it plays in making a community livable and accessible," she says. "Although no decision has been made yet, we believe closing these stations would not unduly inconvenience current riders and would make the entire system better and more efficient."
The four stations on the chopping block were selected for their close proximity to each other and relatively low ridership rates. Closing the stations is predicted to shave two minutes off Red and Blue Line MAX travel.
TriMet's proposal, which still needs approval from the agency's board of directors, is to close the proposed stations by Sep. 1.