Former Tualatin City Councilor Robert Kellogg was appointed to the Tri-Met board of directors last month after a nomination from Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek.
The Oregon Senate approved Kellogg’s four-year term on June 16, naming him director of TriMet District 3, which includes southern Washington County, Beaverton, and parts of Southwest Portland.
“My goal is to advance public transportation in affordability, availability and safety,” he said.
Kellogg, who has worked as an attorney for 17 years, has deep experience in transportation.
His public service career began with a stint on the Washington County Future Transportation Study, which looked at opportunities for the county’s transportation systems a half-century into the future.
During his 2016-2020 city council term, he championed a successful $20 million transportation bond focused on improving traffic flow, cutting commute times, and increasing safety, then served on a committee that looked at expanding TriMet’s light rail.
The Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project Steering Committee explored bringing train service from Portland to Bridgeport Village, a move that would have added 11 miles to the Max system and bridged some of the existing connectivity gap.
“It’s an essential spoke in the wheel of Portland transportation,” he said. “Right now, we have two bus lines to Tualatin (from Portland), and at least one doesn’t operate on the weekend.”
The project has been on hold since late 2020, after Metro failed to pass a transportation measure that would have generated funding, but he’s advocating for resurrecting the topic.
Upcoming tolling on area roads, he said, amplifies the need for efficient, affordable alternatives to driving.
“TriMet can get people where they want to go,” he said in a press release. “But we need to work on increasing efficiency, collaborating with our regional partners to speed up busses and get people to where they’re going quicker.”
Kellogg’s interest in public transportation was sparked in New York City, where he lived for five years, and like most others in the dense metro area, used the bus and subway system as his primary transportation.