My rainy-ass bus stop.
My rainy-ass bus stop. Dirk VanderHart

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If you attempted to ride a bus or MAX train down to the waterfront for Saturday's Women's March on Portland, you already know: TriMet was pushed to its limit.

My bus stop in North Portland—choked with sign-waving, pussy-hat-wearing solidarity—was passed by on at least one occasion by a full number 35 bus (I left to find another way downtown, so don't know if it happened again, but according to TriMet, that wouldn't have been uncommon).

It was worse than that. The agency's ticketing app went out of service for a while. And with the system so thoroughly choked, word went out that if downtown was within walking distance, that was maybe your best bet.




It's obviously tricky to get an accurate gauge of crowd size (just ask the new president). Some have pegged Saturday's march as 100,000 marchers strong or more, but everything I've seen is a guesstimate. TriMet's got a little surer footing, since it records trips taken on its system. And according to the transit agency, Saturday was potentially record setting.

Spokesperson Mary Fetsch says the Women's March represented "likely the biggest crowds we have ever experienced in a short period of time."

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That translates into a nearly 50 percent uptick in ridership, compared to an average Saturday.

"TriMet saw a 46% increase in ridership on Saturday and provided 82,500 more rides than a typical Saturday, for a total of 261,400 rides," Fetsch says.