Portland, Ore. — TriMet, the transportation and transit authority for Portland, Ore., awarded a contract to WSP USA for the design of a new bus rapid transit (BRT) system. The Division Transit Project is an enhanced 14-mile high-capacity bus system that will provide an improved connection between downtown Portland and the City of Gresham via Division Street.

Modeled from a BRT typology, and integrated into the existing street right of way, the project entails roughly 80 new platforms that are coupled to create 40 bus stations. Each platform will include a passenger shelter, furnishings, signage, and lighting components. New articulated buses will be used to provide level boarding for wheelchairs, space for bikes on board, and three-door loading for reduced dwell times. Improved transit performance will be achieved through in-lane stops, expedited loading and traffic signal prioritization at intersections.

A layover facility at the north end of the Portland Greyhound station will serve as the western terminus for the line. Downtown stops will be located along the transit mall, and will use existing bus stops. The project is intended to serve Portland State University and Oregon Health Sciences University via a route that includes Lincoln Street, the Harbor Structure, and the Tilikum Crossing.

Within the City of Portland, and beyond 60th Avenue, the station typology changes to accommodate a protected bike lane between the station platform and the sidewalk. This will help to ensure the safety of bicyclists along the active corridor. Several major arterial intersections will need to be expanded and rebuilt to allow for bus queue-jump lanes, bus pull outs, and bicycle protection. To complement the city’s efforts to create buffered bike lanes along this stretch of Division, the project is anticipating adding a protective element to the buffer zone to further enhance safety and greater separation between motorized vehicles and bicycles.

As the prime engineering consultant on the project, WSP is responsible for final design of all major project elements, including stations, traffic signals, and civil infrastructure improvements. In addition, WSP will provide design services during construction, which is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2021.