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More Americans Ride Mass Transit - But Not Oregonians

Americans rode more buses, trains and subways last year than they have since suburbs started booming in 1956, according to a study by the American Public Transportation Association.

Public transport use increased nationally by about one percent.

But in Portland, it decreased -- by 3.8 percent.

TriMet released a statement citing: an increase in fares; the end of the Free Rail Zone; increased fare enforcement efforts; and reduced service because of the cuts made during the recession.

All valid reasons, according to Jennifer Dill of the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium. But she says Portland also has a high share of "choice riders" people who have other transit options.

"When you're not dependent on transit and the service goes downhill, you're more likely to take another option," said Dill.

"So you're going to drive or take a care share vehicle, or ride a bike or walk or something else. And so I think those changes in services had a particularly negative effect on TriMet compared to some other cities."

Public transportation use increased more than 8 percent in Seattle. It dropped in the Salem-Kaizer area, and bus ridership dropped slightly in Vancouver.

<p>Max Blue Line</p>
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Max Blue Line

<p>Max Blue Line trains pass through the Rose Quarter transit center.</p>
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Max Blue Line trains pass through the Rose Quarter transit center.

<p>Max Blue Line</p>
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Max Blue Line

<p>Along the Blue Line headed to Hillsboro.</p>
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Along the Blue Line headed to Hillsboro.

<p>Development along TriMet's Blue Line in Gresham.</p>
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Development along TriMet's Blue Line in Gresham.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

<p>Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.</p>
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Concrete closure pour on the westside bridge deck of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

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