PORTLAND – Later this year, TriMet will send the last two of Portland’s four old-timey street trolleys to St. Louis. When it does, downtown Portland will lose a local icon and a little piece of its streetcar history. TriMet, which owns the streetcars, said in an era of cutbacks, it’s unavoidable. Critics say “you’ll regret it.”
The trolleys have been clanking through downtown for more than 20 years. While the City of Portland is gearing up to pay up to at least $1 million for a new streetcar for its own rail system, TriMet said it just doesn’t have the resources to run what are essentially tourist attractions.
Critics, however, believe transit bosses have been looking for a way to get rid of the streetcars for years and are giving away an emblematic asset.
An overlooked icon
The trolley have been a symbol for Portland for decades. They’ve adorned everything from postcards to refrigerator magnets.