Dylan Rivera reports that Fareless Square could soon be eliminated or changed. One of the options, he says, would be to maintain the fareless zone for Max trains in the Downtown core, but begin charging fares for bus rides. Compared with the outright eliminiation of Fareless Square, this is a good option.
The forthcoming Green and Yellow Max lines that will soon traverse 5th and 6th Avenue from Union Station to Portland State University, along with the Red and Blue lines, must remain free in the existing fareless square zone to encourage street-level vitality. With the new Marriot Courtyard Hotel on 6th Avenue and Oak Street, a recently renovated Macy's Department store capped by the luxurious Nines hotel, and the stunning Hotel Modera soon to be anchored by the restaurant Nel Centro, top Portland Restaurateur David Machado's first foray in the downtown market in a decade, the momentum must continue. If the the city is serious about revitalizing retail in what was formerly the derelict bus mall, it will need all the help it can get.