The MAX is popular in Portland, but light rail projects are very controversial in the city's suburbs. Vancouver, Washington, weighed a proposal that was crucial to funding the Columbia River Crossing project: Voters were asked to approve a small sales tax hike raising $2 million annually to cover operating costs for the bridge's light rail link planned between Portland and Vancouver. Instead, the tax was soundly rejected. Federal and local legislators have repeatedly said that the CRC will not be built if it doesn't include light rail.
Scrambling for a Plan B, the CRC project proposed raising the money from other sources, including cutting bus routes planned to run over the bridge, adding a surcharge on transit tickets, and charging for parking at Park and Ride stations.
Meanwhile, Clackamas voted in two anti-"Portland creep" conservative candidates to the county commission last week, both of whom have promised to oppose the already-under-construction Portland-Milwaukie light rail line. In September, Clackamas voted heavily in favor of an measure that forces a county-wide vote on public light rail decisions—likely killing any future rail lines in Clackamas, if the current political environment holds.
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