TriMet will observe this year’s Transit Driver Appreciation Day on March 17th, 2023. For over a decade, the municipal transportation corporation has used this day to invite its users to thank those who keep the system moving. If riding on public transportation this Friday, event organizers encourage people to say “thank you,” wave, or smile at the operator. Riders can sign a banner at one of six transit center locations, including the Gateway Transit Center at 9900 NE Multnomah Street, or post their message of thanks on an online board.
Staffing issues over the last few years has left TriMet in need of more bus and MAX light rail operators. They are currently offering a $7,500 hiring bonus for those looking to take a full or part-time position as an operator. The transit system’s expansion depends on adequate staffing, and the role of public transportation is critical in building housing density and lowering Oregon’s carbon output. Modern Portland multi-family developments often lack onsite parking or offer minimal vehicle storage space. This development model helps maximize the housing units on a property and encourages people to forgo a private vehicle. Instead, builders expect residents to use other commuting methods. City planners promote this model to reduce the environmental impact of transit in our region, but it depends on fast and effective alternatives. TriMet is the largest transportation provider for those without personal vehicles, providing over 42 million rides in 2022.
In that respect, transit drivers are not only responsible for safely moving people throughout the community but also play an impactful role in reducing climate change and creating a greater quantity of homes. The drivers always welcome the daily appreciation of TriMet staff, but March 17th is an appropriate time to communicate your feelings explicitly.
Sign a banner at one of these transit centers:
- Beaverton Transit Center
- Clackamas Transit Center
- Gateway Transit Center
- Gresham Transit Center
- Rose Quarter Transit Center
- SE 21st Avenue and Jackson Street in Milwaukie (formerly the Milwaukie Transit Center).