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LIFT is a taxi-like paratransit service by TriMet that provides direct curb-to-curb transportation to seniors and people with disabilites. It is provided as a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act to people with eligible TriMet disabilities.

LIFT tickets and passes can be purchased by the trip, day, 14 days, month or year.

[edit] Large and growing share of TriMet budget

TriMet says it 10 percent of its revenue on LIFT, which is used by 1 percent of TriMet riders.

Even after accounting for fares, the average LIFT ride cost the agency $27.93 in fiscal year 2010, according to the 2011 annual report of TriMet's Citizens Advisory Committee on the Budget. That compared to $1.54 for a frequent service bus or $2.73 for a standard service bus.

[edit] 2012 fare hike

In spring 2011, TriMet's Citizens Advisory Committee on the Budget recommended eliminating TriMet's all-you-can-ride monthly LIFT pass and doubling the price of a LIFT ride. In response, a group of disability advocates organized by Michael Levine urged TriMet's board to keep the monthly passes and hike fares more slowly. This led the agency to postpone its plans by several months.

In February 2012, the board voted to keep the monthly passes but increase fares over two years:

LIFT fare 04/01/11 04/01/12 04/01/13 2-year increase
single LIFT ride $1.85 $2.15 $2.45 32%
monthly LIFT pass $52.00 $62.00 $72.00 38%

If the agency had instead canceled the LIFT fare hike, TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane said in January 2012, the agency would have had to cut an additional $2 million from its 2012-2013 budget.

Board member Lynn Lehrbach said in January 2012 that he planned to vote against any LIFT fare hike.

"I do understand the costs," Lehrbach said, "but I'll be damned if I put more costs on people who are housebound."

Other board members have not spoken publicly about their votes.

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