Months ago, when the Sellwood Bridge was diagnosed as being too worn-out to allow vehicles of over 10 tons to use, many large vehicle classes lost out. There was significant worry and debate an absolute ban would have placed the Sellwood-Westmoreland area beyond fast fire and emergency response, as the Fire Bureau station on SE Bybee Boulevard at SE 23rd Avenue was under remodeling at the time, and the original plan would have cut Sellwood off from the nearest fire station, on SW Taylor's Ferry Road near SW Terwilliger Boulevard–across the river and up the hill, in Burlingame.
That worry was evenutally assuaged. But one casualty was direct TriMet service to central Sellwood. The TriMet line 40-Tacoma, which ran down SE Tacoma Street and SE McLoughlin Boulevard on its way from downtown via Johns Landing to its ultimate destination, the Milwaukie Transit Center. This route has served Sellwood in that form for decades (also in its original guise as the 40-Johns Landing line). The weight restrictions on the bridge severed this long time link, relegating Sellwood to a status not even Forest Grove has-only reachable by transfer.
Actually, that move was to TriMet's credit. The 70-12th Avenue, a longtime crosstown route with a good amount of service, already serviced the Milwaukie Avenue-SE 13th Avenue-SE 17th Avenue area. What TriMet did was establish the Sellwood Shuttle, a route that more thoroughly served the 13th Avenue-"Antique Row" area and connected with the rest of the route net at the big transfer point at SE Milwaukie Avenue and Powell Boulevard.
But from that time, Sellwood all direct connections to the central core-until now.
Today, in this Rider Alert, the transit agency announces two system enhancements. The first is the new line 41-Tacoma, a route that runs from downtown, down Grand/MLK and McLoughlin Boulevard, west on SE MIlport Road, north on SE 17th Avenue, west on SE Linn Street, north on SE 13th Avenue, then east on SE Tacoma Street, returning to downtown via McLoughlin Boulevard.
The new 41-Tacoma only runs Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., though. To provide greater access during all hours of the service day, the line 70-12th Avenue has been enhanced with more early and late service. The first Milwaukie-bound bus leaves Rose Quarter at 5:37 a.m., and the last leaves Rose Quarter at 12:50 a.m., arriving Milwaukie TC at 1:07 a.m. This leaves Sellwood at the end of a transfer during off-peak and weekends, but is better than before, and the changes seem very prudent.
The old line 40-Tacoma has regained its historic name of 40-Johns Landing, and terminates at the downtown Lake Oswego TC.