The Portland Metro region had not adopted a systemwide transit plan since 1982. Despite efforts that have positioned the region as a model for transit-supportive development, there was no comprehensive plan to guide investments in future high capacity transit.
Nelson\Nygaard led the development of the 2009 Regional High-Capacity Transit System Plan. We conducted an extensive corridor evaluation process to identify regional priorities, organized in tiers, for high-capacity transit investment over the next 30 years, as well as in the near-term. The tiers link to a System Expansion Policy, which contains an innovative, performance-based approach that allows local jurisdictions to compete for funding by improving land use, enhancing urban form, and developing local financing to advance major regional high capacity transit corridors.
The new plan is a critical element of Metro’s broader land use and transportation policies. Locally known as “Making the Greatest Place,” this policy defines how regional and local aspirations meld to create vibrant, healthy, and sustainable communities. The plan establishes a regional imperative that invests in high-capacity transit to leverage achievement of land use and economic development goals to address the challenges of climate change, rising energy costs, globalization, aging infrastructure, and population growth.