Proposed Service Change – MAX Night Buses

Jan 25, 2024

As part of our 2024-25 service changes proposal, we’re planning on creating a network of night buses in place of late-night MAX trains. This will allow more time for our crews to complete routine maintenance, which means a more reliable MAX system and fewer disruptions.

Our maintenance window is too short

TriMet has the second-shortest overnight maintenance window of any U.S. transit agency that runs light rail service. There are only 47 minutes in which no MAX trains are running anywhere on our 60-mile light rail network, drastically limiting what work our maintenance crews can complete before the next day’s service begins.

On average, transit agencies have a two and a half hour gap, with some agencies exceeding four hours.

Long service hours also lead to excessive wear and tear on rails, track equipment, overhead wires and trains. That, in turn, means more maintenance must be done to keep our light rail system and vehicles in a state of good repair, as required by the Federal Transit Administration.

More time for routine maintenance = fewer disruptions

This change would let us complete more overnight maintenance projects on our light rail system and reduce unplanned service disruptions, as well as multi-day disruptions for improvement projects. This will help us provide more reliable MAX service for our riders.

Very few people ride MAX late at night

MAX ridership in the overnight hours is much lower than during the day. Currently, less than 2% of rider trips on MAX take place between midnight and 4 a.m. By providing late night trips on MAX night buses instead of trains, we’ll be able to get more standard maintenance, repairs and improvements done on the MAX system, without affecting the vast majority of riders.

We propose to replace late-night MAX service with buses

A network of night buses in place of late-night MAX trains would expand on our Line 291-Orange Night Bus that has been in service since the MAX Orange Line opened in 2015.

The final hours of MAX night bus operations has not been determined and a timeline is not set, but the rollout of night buses on other MAX lines could begin as early as late June 2024.

We want your feedback

Share your thoughts on this plan at so our planners can see it!

Tidying MAX tracks with The Beast

Tidying MAX tracks with The Beast

TriMet’s Maintenance of Way (MOW) department manages the MAX light rail system’s overhead electric wires, signals, substations (which convert electricity from the public supply to power trains) and tracks. Since September 2022, MOW crews have saved a lot of time...

The Story of a Pageant Queen and Rail Training Supervisor 👑🚊

The Story of a Pageant Queen and Rail Training Supervisor 👑🚊

One of the biggest joys of the job for Rail Training Supervisor Krista Stone is pulling into a platform and seeing excited children waving at her. Girls tend to light up when they see a woman at the controls; Krista remembers one, with boundless enthusiasm, point and...

Hampton Rodriguez: The magical world of transit ticket art

Hampton Rodriguez: The magical world of transit ticket art

For many riders, transit serves a simple purpose: trips for groceries, school, work and other destinations. But for Portland-based artist Hampton Rodriguez, transit is a conduit to inspiration for creating art. The self-described urban artist is originally from the...

Love Portland too?

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Rider Help Center © TriMet