MAX Red Line

MAX Red Line

The MAX Red Line is a route in the Metropolitan Area Express light rail system in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. The route, operated by TriMet, provides an airport rail link to Portland International Airport from Beaverton and downtown Portland.


When the Portland International Airport was suffering from heavy road traffic coming from increased passenger service, and the Port of Portland was running out of land for new parking lots, the Port approached TriMet about bringing MAX to the airport, following through on a plan that dated to highway construction in the 1970s which had left room for such a connection.

The Airport MAX project was born, but the line was delayed after a North-South light rail proposal, part of which is today's MAX Yellow Line, was defeated at the polls. Instead, the Port and TriMet built the project through a Public-Private Partnership with the Bechtel Corporation. Bechtel agreed to pay for a large portion of the land cost of the line in exchange for rights to the Cascades development on empty land that the Port of Portland owned near I-205 and the Airport which is now under construction.

The line opened on September 10, 2001, one day before the September 11, 2001 attacks, which had the side effect of shutting down all air travel in the United States for several days.

Beginning in 2003, the Red Line's service was extended farther west along the existing Blue Line tracks, from downtown Portland to downtown Beaverton, to improve capacity between the Gateway area and Beaverton and also to provide a no-transfer airport connection for Westside MAX riders.

Future plans

The Red Line may branch up I-205 over the Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge into Vancouver, Washington.


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