CELEBRATIONS were held in Portland, Oregon, on May 1 to mark the inauguration of the city’s third light rail line. The 9·3 km Interstate Avenue extension has been opened four months early at a total cost of $350m.

Running north from the city to Expo Center, TriMet’s Yellow Line adds 10 stations to the MAX network, bringing the total route length to 70·8 km and 64 stations. Trains run every 10min during rush hours and every 15min at other times.

Community celebrations were held at many stations during the opening weekend. Almost 38000 passengers enjoyed free rides over the two days. Revenue service began on May 3, and TriMet reported a total of 12900 passengers on the first day; this is just 1 000 less than the target ridership after one year of operation.

Preliminary engineering design is already underway for the Green Line, which would diverge from the existing network at Gateway and run south for 10·5 km along the I-205 corridor to Clackamas Town Center, serving eight stations. The project would also include a second east-west link across the city centre, which would also be used by the Yellow Line. TriMet hopes to start construction next year for opening in 2008.

In the longer term, TriMet plans to extend the Green Line south along the east side of the Willamette valley to Milwaukie.