Officials hold meeting to discuss new light rail proposal - KPTV - FOX 12

Officials hold meeting to discuss new light rail proposal

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

An ambitious new project is coming to Portland's southwest metro area. The city wants to install a light rail that would run from downtown Portland to Bridgeport Village.

Excitement, concern and curiosity were among the feelings swirling around a meeting Saturday to discuss the new proposed light rail. 

“This is a project that will be a MAX light rail line all the way to Portland to approximately Bridgeport Village in Tigard,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. 

The hope for the new line? Easier transportation, less cars on the road and bringing in more people and businesses to the area.

“As you build a light rail line, there’s an opportunity to build community,” Wheeler said. 

But the massive project will come with big changes for the community.

“A lot of the questions are about what are you going to do to ensure the people who live here today are going to be able to live there after the MAX line is put in place,” Wheeler said. 

Could the line cause rent to rise? Some also worry its construction will hurt their business.

“We need light rail, we need affordable housing, we just need to balance those and make sure everyone has an equal playing field,” said Omar Schay Omar. 

He is worried his rent will rise again. 

“Last year, we're paying around $1,200. This year, it's $1,600,” he said. 

However, Omar said meetings like this one make him feel hopeful about his neighborhood moving in the right direction. 

“Affordable housing is an issue that we are facing and we want to have a voice,” he said. “So far the community has been engaging and welcoming, I really like that.” 

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