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Powell-Division Transit and Development Project

  • Project description

    Improved transit

    The Powell-Division Transit and Development Project is planning for more reliable and rapid bus transit between Portland and Gresham (including Mt. Hood Community College). It also is looking at opportunities for making even more vibrant, healthy neighborhoods along the route.

    Every day thousands of people ride buses on Powell Boulevard and Division Street and regional studies have identified a need for improved transit along this corridor. Studies include the Regional and the East Metro Connections Plan.

    The City is working with partners, including Metro, TriMet, City of Portland, Oregon Department of Transportation and Multnomah County,to ensure land-use and transit alternatives consider and meet the needs of Gresham.  

    This project is working to provide:

    • A more robust transit connection between Portland and Gresham including improved service and new station areas along a new route to be determined on portions of Powell Boulevard and Division Street.
    • An economic development strategy for key places where additional jobs, housing and shops are desired and could be accommodated, based on community input and existing plans. 
    • Project Background
    • Status and Updates
    • Project Documents
    • Contact
    Project Background

    Planning for enhanced transit and neighborhood development in Portland and Gresham will involve generating lots of good ideas and refining those choices based on community input, the physical environment, cost and other considerations. Where do we want to see change in our community and what do we want to remain the same?

    Station areas and development opportunities

    A station area is more than just a transit stop. Community input can shape a station area into a neighborhood asset by protecting the things people value and planning for changes people want to see. We will identify station locations along with development strategies that meet community and businesses needs.


    Powell Boulevard and Division Street look very different depending on where you are in the corridor. We will determine a route that meets the needs of transit riders, complements existing neighborhoods and serves commercial areas and major destinations, such as Portland State University, Portland Community College and Mount Hood Community College.

    Transit type

    We will consider the type of transit, or mode, that best complements the neighborhoods along Powell Boulevard and Division Street. We will evaluate some familiar modes, such as light rail and streetcar, and others that would be new to our region. Bus rapid transit is a mode that can take many forms. It differs from standard bus service with larger buses and stations spaced further apart with amenities, such as larger shelters and real-time arrival information.

    Status and Updates

    Action plan - Nov. 17, 2015

    Public engagement efforts identified desired changes in neighborhoods and commercial areas around potential stations along the corridor:

    • Stronger connections among destinations and transit stops, such as safe, attractive sidewalks, crosswalks and places to bike.
    • Safe, attractive stations and station areas with weather protection, seating and nearby community gathering places, such as plazas, restaurants or shops.
    • Additional jobs and additional housing affordable at a range of incomes.

    Three example station opportunity areas in Gresham were studied to identify how Gresham might best promote desired changes in its neighborhoods and commercial districts:

    • 182nd and Division (a neighborhood center)
    • Division and Eastman (a downtown)
    • Stark and Hogan/Kane (an employment/campus corridor)

    Approved action plan



    • Winter 2014 - Establish a common understanding of the needs and opportunities for transit and development in the corridor
    • Spring and Summer 2014 - Look at the kinds of transit that are feasible and desirable in the corridor, hear ideas about where it should go, and identify places that would make safe and active station areas.
    • Fall 2014 - Take the elements that are most supported and feasible and craft recommendations on the type of transit, route and strategies for development at station areas.
    • Winter 2015 - Refine the recommendation and present it to local and regional elected councils for consideration and endorsement.


    • 2015 to 2017 - Create detailed design of the new transit line and station areas, and complete environmental review and permitting


    • 2018 to 2020 - Build the transit line and station areas and start a new service.

    Sign up to receive periodic updates on new information, meeting times and ways to provide comments.

    Project Documents

    Project fact sheet

    Project partners 

    Action plan

    This action plan provides near-term actions that would support transit and promote positive changes desired by the community near stations along a new Powell-Division bus rapid transit line. Although limited resources mean the City and its partners cannot implement them all at once, the list provides actions that would help achieve community goals. Some can be applied at stations all along the corridor. Others are specific to the station areas but could be considered for station areas with similar characteristics along the new line.


      Jay Higgins