Mass transit just got greener

Oregon’s largest transit agency, TriMet, has installed what it calls "eco-track" at the future home of the Portland-Milwaukie MAX line's Southwest Lincoln Street and Third Avenue station.  The vegetated trackway will provide a colourful carpet of low-growing plants along 200 feet of light rail line on either side of the Lincoln St/SW 3rd Ave MAX Station platforms.

Although “green” or “grass” trackways exist in Europe, it’s a rare application in the U.S., according to TriMet. The vegetated trackway area is pervious to stormwater, thus reducing runoff. The eco-track is comprised of 1-inch thick mats with various sedum species, which are a hardy, low-maintenance vegetation commonly used on eco-roofs. 

The sedum planting will initially be irrigated with a drip watering system for establishment and then irrigated on an as-needed basis.

In addition to the eco-track installation, the light rail project has replaced trees and is incorporating sidewalk stormwater planters on SW Lincoln Street. The line is set to open Saturday, September 12, 2015.