Historically, Lewis & Clark College and the Collins View neighborhood were served by a #40 line that ran downtown through John's Landing, (not related to the current #40). The #39 was introduced in 1984 as a "neighborhood circulator". Over the years, TriMet has said the ridership must increase, and the neighborhood has said TriMet had to do something to attract riders, like increase frequency, run later at night, etc. This chicken/egg situation has led nowhere.

A recollection of #39 From Andrew Aebi, an L&C alum: Line #39 was created in 1984 and at the time offered excellent service 365 days a year, with the last trip of the day leaving Burlingame at approximately 12:50 AM, getting to Lewis & Clark at approximately 1:00 AM and then returning to Burlingame at approximately 1:10 AM at which time it went back to the garage. During the peak hours there were two buses run to offer 15-minute service. The headways and service hours have been steadily chipped away over the years to the point where it is difficult to use.

the current #39 route

Map from TriMet website. Click for Schedule.

The current route connects Lewis & Clark College to Burlingame Fred Meyer in a loop that includes the Northwest School of Law, Riverdale High School, the commercial area at Taylor's Ferry Road & Terwilliger, Capitol Hill School, a few Barbur Blvd businesses, and the Burlingame Transit Center (the blocks around Burlingame Fred Meyer). The residential segments along Boones Ferry Road, Palatine Hill Road, and Spring Garden have few boardings.

Note that Lewis & Clark College is part of the Collins View neighborhood.

the problem

TriMet recently reduced service on Route #39 due to poor performance — too few boardings per hour of service, on the average. So, in order to survive, the TriMet #39 bus route needs to attract more riders. We think this can be done by extending the route to Hillsdale.

Currently, to get from Collins View to Hillsdale, the TriMet Trip Planner says to take a #1 Vermont or #12 Barbur Blvd (from the #39) to Barbur & Hamilton and then catch one of the buses that goes back through Hillsdale on Capitol Hwy (eg #54 or #56).

The same goes for getting to Multnomah Village. You can catch a #44 at Barbur and Hamilton to get to Multnomah Village. This is pretty much what you have to do. You can't transfer directly from #39 to #44.

One can transfer to a #1 to get to Wilson High School, Mittleman, or the Southwest Community Center, but not to Multnomah Village.

As currently scheduled, the dwell time between #39 and #1 is quite irregular, ranging from 6 minutes to 31 minutes. ('Dwell time' is the time spent waiting for a transfer.) For example, the dwell times are 22, 31, 29, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 12, 11, 9, 6, 14, and 8 minutes for the connections going from #39 to #1 between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm — How much time you might expect to spend waiting depends on when you are traveling.

Part of the problem has also been that since the College started providing its own shuttle services to downtown and other locations, #39 ridership has declined.

the ideal route

Initially, we thought the ideal route would connect three adjacent communities (Hillsdale, Multnomah Village, Collins View) and would include all these public attractions:

We realized however, that including Multnomah Village would make the route longer, and the headway (time between buses) would be longer. We later figured that the new route would take us to transfer locations to #44 and #45 so that one could get to Multnomah Village way easier than now, so we decided to drop the Multnomah connection.


The following GOALS for this project were compiled at the 10/19/05 working group meeting. 2-letter codes indicate the goalie:

the potential riders

More about riders here?

What the new line will do

For the Collins View, South Burlingame, and College communities, this new route would: The folks in all these new places would be able to more easily get to our neighborhoods and businesses, and the the College!

Note: Sellwood Bridge was closed to Buses on June 28, 2004. 65 has no service to Milwaukie Transit center. If the bridge re-opens to bus traffic, the 65X will likely revert to its route to Milwaukie instead of looping around Terwilliger and Spring Garden.

Timeline of the re-design effort

I have saved nearly 300 email messages on this subject! (some deleted that I wish I still had!) I'm going through them to compile a timeline of events along the way.
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