There is a common misconception that no one pays to ride Portland Streetcar. Every month Streetcar Fare Enforcement Officers and Customer Service Agents are out on the Streetcar checking fares and recording their findings. Since March 2016, over 17,800 people have been surveyed to determine how people pay their fare on Portland Streetcar. The results, which remain consistent with past surveys, show that nearly 70% of riders board with a TriMet fare, either a pass, ticket, or transfer. An additional 19% have a Streetcar Only pass in their wallet, on their phone, or through their employer/school. That leaves 11% of riders who need to purchase some sort of fare on-board or at the platform ticket machines. Of those only 3% do not purchase a fare (including those who did not validate their ticket or wait to purchase until they see the fare surveyor). Of the 8% that purchase a fare, only 1 or 2 out of every 100 riders will purchase a fare from the on-board fare machines. Due to the number of fares accepted as valid on Portland Streetcar, it is very easy to have valid fare in a wallet or on your smart phone where no one else sees it. See the chart below for an exact breakdown from the survey.
Beginning June 1, 2016, Portland Streetcar is offering a new $1.00 Streetcar Only Honored Citizen & Youth Fare valid for 2.5-Hours aboard Portland Streetcar. This new fare is available for purchase in the PDX Streetcar Mobile App, at the Portland Streetcar Customer Service Office at 1031 NW 11th Ave, as well as online. The $1.25 2.5-Hour Regional Fare valid on board TriMet and Portland Streetcar is still available at the fare machines. Along with the new fare, the Portland Streetcar Honored Citizen/Youth Monthly and Annual Pass prices have dropped to $20.00 and $220.00 respectively in accordance with the adopted fare policy.
People riding Portland Streetcar every evening on First Thursday from May through October will not have to pay a fare thanks to a sponsorship from Wave, a Northwest gigabit fiber and broadband services company.
Wave is sponsoring “Ride Free First Thursday” program for all Portland Streetcar patrons citywide riding on First Thursdays from 5:00pm until closing. Wave recently launched its new high-speed gigabit service, Wave G, in multiple Pearl District and SW Waterfront residential buildings. The Portland gigabit service is part of an accelerated expansion of the company’s fiber network.
“We’re thrilled to be able provide Wave G service to the vibrant and creative Portland community,” said Doug Woods, Wave’s Vice President of Corporate Development. “We’re excited to support Portland Streetcar and the Pearl District’s monthly art walk. Being a part of this signature event each month allows us to introduce ourselves to local residents in a unique way.”
2015 was a year of growth and change for Portland Streetcar and we are continuing that momentum into 2016. Since first opening service from NW 23rd Avenue to Portland State University in 2001, PBOT and Portland Streetcar, Inc. have worked together to continuously fine tune and improve the efficiency and reliability of Portland Streetcar. Work was done to improve signal timing and sequencing, improve crossings with TriMet MAX, improve scheduling to better align the overlapped service, create a couplet in the Pearl District on Lovejoy and Northrup to reduce congestion in the PM peak, and improve signage related to parking next to the alignment. Throughout the process discussions have been had at many levels about the next phase in improving service, both for the safety concerns and to improve reliability of service.
Portland Streetcar's new logo won Gold for Best Visual Identity from the travel & leisure sector at the Transform Awards North America. A big thank you to Spoke Branding and everyone else who participated in this effort!