Metro Will Consider Housing Bond in 2018, Transportation Bond in 2020

Trimet has decided not to go forward with a bond that was to include Southwest Corridor rail line.

Blue Line MAX train to Gresham. (Courtesy of TriMet)

After TriMet announced Monday it would not seek a $1.7 billion transportation bond next year, officials at regional planning agency Metro said they would weigh a transportation bond in 2020 as well as a housing bond as soon as next year.

The main project that the TriMet bond would have funded was the Southwest Corridor light rail project. It wasn't clear what other projects would be included. (Several other highway projects being considered for the TriMet bond were funded by the Legislature during the last session.)

Delaying the bond till 2020 allows more time to agree on the secondary projects, and pitch a package that might appeal to voters.

"The realization was, we didn't have time to give people an adequate say," Metro spokesman Jim Middaugh says.

That might leave an opening for funding regional affordable housing through a bond next year.

"The urgency of housing would probably put housing before transportation," says Middaugh.

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