Light Rail Comes to PAA

December 01, 2009 | Liesl Vistaunet

Portland Adventist Academy recently welcomed an extension of MAX, the Portland, Ore., area light rail train, to its front entrance.

Mass transit is nothing new to PAA students. The school, 100 years old this year, has always had students who depend on mass transit. In the 30s, students rode electric street cars from as far away as Salem, Estacada and Forest Grove (Ore). "Not very many families owned cars," says Gloria Myers, PAA alumna. "We rode the street car to school and everywhere else."

In the twenty-first century, Portland's mass transit growth brings PAA's history full circle. "We see the new Green Line as an asset for our school," says Ty Johnson, vice principal. "We have more than 30 students and staff using MAX and only see that number increasing in the future."

With the growth, come some functional changes for PAA. "When we first heard about the new MAX line and its proximity to our front doors, we had security concerns," says Johnson. "But we made a number of adjustments to our campus, like new gates, fencing, buzz in doors and security cameras. TriMet has also made a real effort to increase their security by adding additional lighting, security cameras and security staff."

"Overall, having MAX come to our school has been a blessing to our students who depend on mass transit for their transportation to PAA," says Gale Crosby, principal.