Winter storm poses problems for Portland area bus drivers - KPTV - FOX 12

Winter storm poses problems for Portland area bus drivers

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A dozen TriMet buses got stuck during Monday morning’s icy commute, including one that blocked a northeast Portland street for hours.

Neighbors said a bus slid on Northeast 92nd Avenue, near Fremont, while stopping to pick up a woman waiting at the bus stop. The bus then hit a sign and a fence.

Another bus slid into a car near Southwest 18th and Salmon.

Buses are outfitted with chains, but even that was no match for thick ice in hilly parts of the metro area.

“It's important to recognize that we have 79 bus lines and as public transit is vital to many, we do our best to provide as much service as possible, but we will detour or cancel buses if areas become unsafe,” according to a statement released by TriMet. “Buses may already be serving an area when road conditions change rapidly, leading to buses getting stuck.”

Bus riders faced long delays due to canceled routes or detours.

In addition, buses equipped with chains cannot travel faster than 25 mph.

The MAX Blue Line experienced delays due to a switch issue, but service elsewhere went smoothly much of the day, according to TriMet.

The agency warned commuters to prepare for more weather-related delays Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Buses will continue running with chains.

MAX trains outfitted with ice cutters will run on the tracks tonight to keep ice from forming on the lines.

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