16 April 2009

TriMet Map Cover Designs: 1984, 1985

2030.TriMet is known for having a neato-mosquito way of having any schedule you'll need to use as well as complete transit information in a democratic, dead-tree form that I've found pleasing over the years.

The Tri-Met Map and Guide has been published annually for over 25 years now (I'm guessing – I really don't know when it was first done) and is still being published, even in this age of PDAs and iPhones and wireless devices with tiny screens.

This is a good thing. Wireless devices are nifty and no mistake, but not everyone has such a device or needs one, really.

Here begins a tour of my collection of map cover designs. The book and map have had a new design every year for most of the last twenty-odd years I've used the system, and for many of those years (with some gaps) I've gotten myself every one. This time, we look at 1985 and 1986. You ought to be able to clicky to embiggen the following graphic.

In 1984, Tri-Met (remember in those days there was a hyphen in the name) had just debuted two new things: A new color scheme and design (reflected in the "sunset" stripes you see on the 1984 cover) replacing the silver-and-orange of up until then (the current design that TriMet's updating from? This is when it started) and a new technology that was hoped to move Tri-Met to being a cashless fare system.

"America's Fastest Buses" referred to the time you were going to save from pawing about for change for the bus because what Tri-Met wanted you to do was purchase a ticket before the ride. You can do that now, of course, but the idea here was that each and every bus had a ticket validator on, which meant if you had a single ticket or a 10-ride ticket (which was this long bit of cardstock with notches which the validator clipped off whilst printing the time of boarding on) you just stick it in the validator, punch it, and go. Upside: no irritating transfer waste to clutter up your purse or backpack. Downside: no convenient transfer to repurpose later as a bookmark.

I tried the validator and ticket system and found it nifty. Sadly, the public rejected it in droves.

In 1985, Tri-Met was just about to undertake actual construction of MAX – which didn't even have that name yet, we all just called it "Tri-Met Light Rail". Excitement was building then for it, and everyone was eager to see it start.

In downtown, Southwest Morrison and Yamhill Streets were used as the princpal cross-Mall access for lines that went straight east or west out of downtown – lines like the 15-Belmont, which was known then as the 15–Mt. Tabor – either way, they all went up Belmont to Mount Tabor, so six of one, you know.

Tri-Met used a zone-system for determining fares in those days, as today, though there were more zones-five instead of three. Zones 1, 2, and 3 were as they are now; Zone 4 took in areas such as East County (the area between I-205 and Gresham), Oak Grove-Jennings Lodge, and Aloha, and Zone 5 ecompassed places such as Hillsboro proper, Oregon City/West Linn/Gladstone, Gresham, and points beyond.

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Anonymous said...

Legend has it that the first guide was created by then-high-school-student now-Metro-chief David Bragdon.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Is that a fact? Actually, now that you mention, I seem to recall it being news on the tellyvision when it originally came out.

Boy, I'd like to see a copy of that first guide. That'd be sweet!

Maybe I'll dash off a letter to Mr. Bragdon seeing if he can substantiate that. That would be so great!

(coincidence: the word verification for this comment reply was "tramet". Seriouslys!)

jmchuff said...

I don't think David Bragdon's work was official, but he did produce a "busrider's manual": http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00072PU5Q/103-0015942-3688617

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I checked the Amazon URL. While it's listed, it looks as though it's out of print.

I wonder if David Bragdon has any hangin' around his attic or summat?

Mario said...


In the 6-17-84 edition of this map, Milwaukie Transit Center was served by these routes:
31-Estacada (renamed King Road in 2009; service on Lake, Webster and Roots was given to 29-Lake/Webster eff. 9-1-85)
34-River Road
40-Johns Landing (Milwaukie service defunct in 2004 when Sellwood Bridge closed to buses)
70-12th Avenue
75-39th Avenue/Lombard
76-King Road (now part of today's 31-King Road)
78-Linwood (now 28-Linwood)

Effective 9-1-85, Line 31 handed over service on Lake, Webster and Roots roads to then new Line 29-Lake/Webster. Line 31 also acquired Line 76-King Road, but no longer uses Washington, Oak and Monroe streets between the TC and King Road. Line 78-Linwood is renamed 28-Linwood.