PORTLAND, Ore. — Waiting for the bus or the MAX is not fun during a heat wave.
Soaring temperatures mean the MAX is running slower than 35 miles per hour, causing delays ranging from 15 to 45 minutes. A TriMet spokesperson said a faulty piece of equipment during a system upgrade caused many other problems from Saturday through Thursday.
"Something went wrong, it was faulty. They quickly tried to make repairs but it cascaded through many different systems and brought down many of our computer-aided communications,” said Roberta Altstadt.
The heat forced MAX trains to slow down and suspended WES train service Wednesday afternoon. The network failure also caused problems for computers and phones, which forced TriMet to stop checking fares. They also had to limit LIFT services to only life-supporting trips. Altstadt says things will be back to normal Friday, meaning TriMet will require fares.
“For riders everything is essentially back to normal besides that we are not checking fares today," Altstadt said.
For riders battling the excessive heat, this week has been anything but normal. They’ve been trying to keep their kids cool.
“It has been really tough on them, we have been pouring water on their heads,” said one mom, who was waiting for the MAX to arrive.
Others were frustrated with the confusion.
“There is nothing saying hey today is a free day," said another man waiting for the MAX. "I already paid my $2.50 and got on the train. So I’m already out $2.50."
The riders we talked to say they can deal with some delays but the heat is making every minute seem longer.
“I don't do the heat. I specifically moved to Portland because I don't do heat,” said a woman who dressed her dog in a UV protective vest.