After a year of reduced service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Portland Streetcar is adding back more frequency with a new schedule that begins Sunday, March 7. Peak service hours will return to 15-minute headways on the NS Line, providing two additional streetcars in service to the four running over the past year.
Service on the A and B Loops will remain at 20-minute headways to ensure enough spare vehicles for reliable service throughout the day.
A new art installation by Portland artist Maria Regine continues Portland Streetcar’s Art on Board program, showcasing talented local creators on a rolling canvas through the central city. The vehicle wrap joins a previous installation by Edmund Holmes last October.
Art on Board is a new program to showcase local artists’ work in public as the vehicles serve riders around Portland’s core. Prior to the program’s creation in 2020, the only prior vehicle wrap was a partnership with the Portland Trail Blazers to commemorate the team’s 50th season.
Born in the Philippines and raised in Hawai’i Maria is a multidisciplinary individual. A maker and lover of all things art + design equipped with technical knowledge and skills.
Maria is an advocate for underserved and underprivileged communities. One of Maria’s goals is to help create more equity for these communities. Particularly in the design and tech industries. Maria’s educational background is in marketing & management as well as interface design. Her previous experience include working at tech companies like Apple and Treehouse.
At her time at Apple she has worked on people operations, customer relationship management, and market recruiting. While at Treehouse Maria worked in operations supporting their former apprenticeship program. The program’s mission was to help diversify the tech industry using an apprenticeship framework that eventually placed individuals from underserved communities into high paying technical roles in companies such as Verizon, MailChimp, Vacasa, Toast, Nike, HubSpot, and more.
While working in the tech industry Maria has collaborated on many creative projects. From from print work with non-profit organizations like the Women’s Foundation of Oregon to digital illustrations and designs for Soulection.
"I moved from Hawai’i to Portland to “pursue my art” and at the time I didn’t exactly have a clear picture of what that would actually look at. I knew that I wanted to share my creations and experiences with others in hopes that it would resonate. It was a bit of a struggle and adjustment at first getting my footing. I didn’t know what a difference it would make going from an environment that is nothing short of a melting pot of cultures to a city where I am officially considered a minority. Art helped, and even more so, the community that I found helped me tremendously in so many ways. Without my people, my friends, I don’t know where I’d be now. I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to pursue my art as hard as I have without their support. The portraits and art I illustrated for this project is a huge thank you to some of the people that have inspired me in my course of being here. They’ve shown me the importance of community and that we are stronger and better together."
The Federal Transit Administration announced this week the award of $440,000 to Portland Streetcar as part of the Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program. Portland Streetcar and the Portland Bureau of Transportation submitted a proposal in Fall 2020 to fund measures to keep streetcars safer and provide better communication of public health guidelines to riders.
The proposal comprised three main elements:
Replace cloth seat covers with nonporous, easy-to-sanitize vinyl;
Install new, more variable message boards at streetcar stops to allow for more information to be communicated to riders; and
Hire additional staff trained in current public health guidance to ensure vehicles are properly sanitized and staff are adhering to public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Funding totaling $15.8 million was allocated to 37 projects across the country to support strategies that develop, deploy and demonstrate solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies and enhance rider mobility during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The federal award announcement comes as Oregonians await widespread rollout of COVID-19 vaccination and must remain vigilant in social distancing, wearing face coverings and otherwise working to prevent the spread of illness. Portland Streetcar riders are still required to wear masks on board and are asked to limit travel to only essential trips.
Portland Streetcar's tour app has a new feature, and it's helping riders support local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The "We're Open!" feature provides Streetcar riders with an interactive map of restaurants and service/retail shops located within a three-block radius of Portland Streetcar's three lines (A-Loop, B-Loop and NS Line) that are open for business during these challenging economic times.
The listings may be viewed on a map or in an alphabetical list. Portland Streetcar and all businesses listed are following CDC guidelines, requiring masks and social distancing. The app will be updated as guidelines change. Businesses may place and update listings for no cost by contacting us.
The app is also “location aware,” which means that as a user rides on Streetcar with the app open, their screen will update on its own to show all relevant attractions around them, with a simple touch of the screen providing more detailed information.
Portland Streetcar has wrapped one of its vehicles with art by local Black artist Edmund Holmes in an effort to showcase Black art and contribute to the national conversation about racial justice. The exterior wrap displays original work from Holmes’ “Black Shield: Love Over Hate and Equality” collection.
“As a community partner, we are thrilled to display local art that supports our racial justice mission,” said Portland Streetcar, Inc. Executive Director Dan Bower. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to partner with Edmund to make one of our vehicles a mobile art exhibit.”
Portland Streetcar has previously wrapped only one other vehicle, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team in the fall of 2019. The new vehicle wrap is intended to support Portland’s Black community and illustrate Portland Streetcar’s support for racial justice. A 2019 survey found that 32% of Portland Streetcar riders identify as non-white, compared with 23% of Portlanders as a whole.
Edmund "Mundo" Holmes born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and has now been a Portland, Oregon resident for ten years. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Product Design from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. As a kid, Mundo dreamed about being an illustrator and designer, and explored both avenues for the majority early on. After interning at Nike, Edmund returned to Portland after graduating from CCS to attend Pensole Academy. Shortly after, he moved to Portland permanently to pursue a career in the footwear industry.
Designing footwear for Jordan Brand Training & Lifestyle, Nike Golf, Nike Baseball and currently Nike Training, and staying actively embedded in the art world is what continues to feed Mundo’s creative and cognitive passions. When he’s not creating, he also curates artistic experiences and activations with his group Aesthete Society. Beyond the traditional canvas, his art has translated to footwear, apparel, stickers, buildings, interactive experiences and transportation.
Mundo’s drive was instilled in him early in life by his parents, who taught him and his four brothers the importance of hard work, education, hustle, presentation, and perseverance. These core values ring true with him as north stars for life in his day to day. As art and illustration captured his imagination early in his life, Mundo explored his talents by drawing everything that he saw or loved: Garfield, Ninja Turtles, and Looney Toons characters. He also explored other creative outlets such as dance, graffiti, sculpture and sports.
Mundo's current works command attention for their subject matter, as his pieces speak through the lens of representation, empowerment and life as a Black person. Bold colors, textures, dimensions and blend to create his signature jazz, funk, graffiti inspired style. His hope is that his works evoke fun feelings of self-expression, but with a message to the world about who he is, where he stands and his thoughts on society. Mundo focuses on finding happiness, positivity and new ways to package messages to open eyes, minds, and hearts to balance the often heavy topics his subjects often handle. His aim is to leave his audience inspired, encouraging them to reflect on what they have learned from his work and how they feel after digesting his art. Mundo primarily works in acrylics, digital and ink. He also stretches his imagination by trying new mediums such as clay, collage, pencil, and mixed media.
"Black Shield: Love Over Hate and Equality" are part of a new collection that I have been developing to address the way Black people have to show up to the world: protected. Protected from the hate, unfair treatment, injustices, stereotypes and systems in place, which exist and Black people are forced to overcome. The characters are surrounded by protective layers of fun shapes and vibrant colors.
“The Black Shield: Love Over Hate” is created to protect against all of the negativity and hate towards Black people. The color is bright to represent our energy, which we projected to be seen as equals to others, and treated with respect. The character is holding the heart to express love, positivity and encouragement, while the angry / hate / negative face is falling down because this way of life will not be tolerated.
"Black Shield: Equality" is part of a new collection of characters that I have been developing to address the way Black people have to show up to the world: protected. Protected from the hate, unfair treatment, injustices, stereotypes and systemic issues that exist which Black people are forced to overcome. The characters are surrounded by protective layers of fun shapes and with pallets of black and white. The Black Shield is surrounded by protective layers of fun shapes to absorb all of the negativity and hate towards Black people. Black and white represent all the known and unknown rules that need to be reevaluated. The Black Shield holds money, a gavel, a pencil, a house, and a heart. This symbolizes that equality is desired and deserved by all no matter your race, gender, sexual orientation, economic or social status. The system needs to be rewritten so that laws apply to everyone, and that everyone is treated equally.