Five Tips For Navigating the Upcoming MAX Disruption

May 14, 2021

If you’re a MAX rider, you’re going to want to know what’s happening starting this weekend. MAX Blue, Green and Red lines won’t be running between NE 7th Avenue and Gateway Transit Center from Saturday, May 15, through Sunday, May 23 so our crews can upgrade the tracks. We’ll essentially be rebuilding a section of our track that’s been in service nonstop since MAX started running in 1986.

We know this type of service interruption can be an inconvenience; we rely on transit to get around, too. But it’s necessary for the continued safety and reliability of our MAX system.

Fortunately, with a little planning, this disruption can just be a mild inconvenience instead of a major pain.

Here are five tips for getting around during the disruptions.

1. Check the maps before you go (and ask for help if you need it!)

With no MAX service between NE 7th Ave and Gateway Transit Center, shuttle buses will get you around the disruption. We strongly recommend you check our shuttle bus map and project details ahead of time to get a sense of what the disruption will mean for you. You can find all that here.

This is a pretty big shuttle bus route, one of the largest we’ve ever done. While we’ve put a lot of work into making it effortless for riders, we’re ready to provide help, if needed. We’ll have staff out at stations from NE 7th to Gateway during the disruption. They can help you make your connection or answer any questions you may have.

At Gateway, some bus riders may notice a small change to service as well. From May 20-23, lines 15, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 87 will still serve Gateway but will lay over on Northeast 99th Avenue to accommodate work that our crews will be performing on the tracks at the transit center.

2. Plan at least an extra 30 minutes for your trips

This will be a lengthy shuttle bus route, and it will take buses extra time to bridge that distance on the surface roads. You’ll want to plan at least an extra 30 minutes for your trip. Hopefully, you won’t need all of it but err on the safe side if you have somewhere important to be – like a vaccination appointment.

Your time is valuable, and we appreciate your patience as we work to keep the system in tip-top shape. 

3. COVID capacity limits remain in effect, so you may need to wait for a bus

Passenger limits remain in effect. If a shuttle bus reaches its capacity of 22 riders (or 26 if there are couples or families riding), you may have to wait for the next one. These limits come from the governor’s office and the Oregon Health Authority, and they remain an important way of keeping you, other riders and our employees safe.

4. Consider other transportation options

If you have the ability to do so, you may want to use different transportation options during the project. This will also help leave room in our shuttle buses for those who have no other way to get around. If you have an appointment you cannot miss – like a vaccination – you should consider other transportation options. 

5. Driving? Northeast 13th Avenue near the Lloyd Center will be closed

Here’s a tip for drivers (and potentially cyclists). Northeast 13th Avenue between Multnomah and Holladay streets will be closed during this project. You may know this better as the road leading to the Lloyd Center Parking structure, sandwiched between Holladay Park and the Regal Cinemas parking lot. Our crews will be using the lot as a staging area for the construction project, meaning heavy equipment will be coming and going. There will be signs leading drivers around Northeast 13th Avenue, but it’s best to avoid the slow-down at the detour altogether.

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