Frequent service line
From Portland Afoot
TriMet's 12 frequent service lines are the bus lines designed to carry the most passengers and arrive most regularly and frequently. Currently, all run every 15 minutes or better during weekday peak hours, but many drop to 17 minutes or worse during off-peak hours.
As of October 2010, TriMet offers 164 total miles of frequent bus service.
At a Save Our Ride rally in June 2010, incoming TriMet GM Neil McFarlane called frequent service bus lines "the lifeblood of our system" and pledged to restore service to them as soon as money was available.
 TriMet's frequent service lines
The times listed are the average frequencies, or headways, between two buses of each line on the middle of a weekday, as of January 2013.
- 72-Killingsworth/82nd: every 12 minutes
- 4-Division/Fessenden: every 15 minutes
- 9-Powell/Broadway: every 15 minutes
- 14-Hawthorne: every 18 minutes
- 75-Lombard/39th: every 18 minutes
- 15-Belmont/NW 23rd: every 18 minutes
- 8-Jackson Park/NE 15th: every 20 minutes
- 12-Barbur/Sandy Blvd: every 20 minutes
- 6-Martin Luther King Jr Blvd: every 20 minutes
- 57-TV Hwy/Forest Grove: every 20 minutes
- 33-McLoughlin: every 21 minutes
- 54-Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy / 56-Scholls Ferry Rd. (While the individual lines run at 30 minute headways, they are scheduled so that over their duplex portion from Raleigh Hills downtown, the combined service meets Frequent Service criteria): every 33 minutes for the 54, every 34 minutes for the 56
The agency also defines its four MAX lines as frequent service lines:
- Blue Line: every 15 minutes
- Green Line: every 15 minutes
- Red Line: every 15 mintues
- Yellow Line: every 15 minutes
Before November 2009, TriMet also scheduled arrivals on all frequent service bus lines every 15 minutes or better on evenings, weekends and midday. In a move the agency described as "temporary," TriMet cut frequent service during off-peak hours. These cuts have continued gradually through 2013.
According to the agency, frequent service buses were carrying 57 percent of all bus trips in the system in 2010.
 TriMet a national leader in frequent service buses
According to transit writer and consultant Jarrett Walker, TriMet was a national pioneer in use of frequent-service bus lines.
"Tri-Met was one of the first North American agencies to define and promote a Frequent Network, a clear way for customers to identify the major lines where a bus or train is always coming soon," Walker wrote on his blog Human Transport in November 2009. "Gradually, the idea has spread, from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to Adelaide."
 Criticism of cuts to frequent service lines
"Major transit spines like Belmont and Hawthorne will soon be less frequent than they were 25 years ago, even though the inner-city population they serve has grown massively in that time. How could America's self-proclaimed transit paradise have let that happen?"
Walker added that "Tri-Met is doing what they can with what they have, and their planners did what they could to avoid this moment."
 See also
- coverage of TriMet cuts on Human Transit
- blog post on the words "route" and "line", by Jarrett Walker
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