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TriMet: $50 million created by ballot issue would go toward service first

This came up as part of my exchange with Carolyn Young over our past reporting, but it’s newsworthy in its own right: If November’s ballot issue passes, TriMet promises in an email to spend its new general fund money on service.

That’s as opposed to, for example, increasing TriMet’s contribution to its planned “Orange Line” to southeast Portland and Milwaukie.

This is a valuable promise to the riders of existing bus and rail routes – we’re talking about $50 million or so over 20 years, as well as I can figure. That’d be 40 percent of the value of the bond issue.

You can read the context in Young’s final email of my previous post, but here’s the sentence in question:

“Our top priority for any additional general fund money would be to either avoid additional service cuts if the economy continues to decline, or to restore service.”

Now, it’s not clear how much money “top priority” refers to. Still: good to know.

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