Agency overview
Formed1993 (1993)
Preceding agencies
  • Metropolitan Service District (1979–1992)
  • Columbia Region Association of Governments (1966–1978)
  • Metropolitan Service District (1957–1966)
TypeRegional Special-purpose district and Metropolitan planning organization
JurisdictionPortland metropolitan area
HeadquartersPortland, Oregon
Employees793 (2014-15 fiscal year)[1]
Annual budget$484 million (2014-15 fiscal year)[1]
Agency executives
  • Lynn Peterson, President
  • Brian Evans, Auditor
  • Marissa Madrigal, Chief Operating Officer

Metro is the regional government for the Oregon portion of the Portland metropolitan area, covering portions of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties. It is the only directly elected regional government and metropolitan planning organization in the United States.[2] Metro is responsible for managing the Portland region's solid waste system, coordinating the growth of the cities in the region, managing a regional parks and natural areas system, and overseeing the Oregon Zoo, Oregon Convention Center, Portland's Centers for the Arts, and the Portland Expo Center. It also administers the Regional Illegal Dumping Patrol or RID Patrol which is tasked with cleaning up illegal dumping and it is the designated point of contact for citizens to report illegal dumping in the Portland metro area.

History and evolution

Metro in its current form evolved from Columbia Region Association of Governments (CRAG) (1966–1978) and a predecessor Metropolitan Service District (MSD) (1957–1966).[2] Measure 6, a 1978 statewide ballot measure established Metro, effective January 1, 1979. In 1992 voters approved a home-rule charter that identified Metro's primary mission as planning and policy making to preserve and enhance the quality of life and the environment, and changed the agency's name to Metro. This charter was amended in November 2000 when Ballot Measure 26-10 was passed by voters, although the principal changes did not take effect until January 2003.[3] The measure eliminated the Executive Office and reorganized executive staff. The position of Executive Officer, elected by voters, was merged with that of council presiding officer, chosen annually by fellow Metro councilors, creating the position of Metro Council President.[3] Metro's first president was David Bragdon, who served in the office from January 2003 until September 2010.[4]

In 2020, Metro has proposed a measure intended to raise $250 million for homeless services. If passed, individuals with earnings of over $125,000 annually and couples with earnings over $200,000 are subject to 1% marginal income tax. Businesses with a gross revenue over $5 million are also subject to a 1% business tax.[5][6] This measure was passed by voters in May 2020, and it will be enacted in January 2021.[7]

Areas of responsibility

See also: Land use in Oregon

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Regional Illegal Dumping Patrol

Regional Illegal Dumping Patrol or RID Patrol cleans up illegal dumping and it is the designated contact for the public to report illegal dumping on public property, such as furniture, hazardous waste and construction debris.[8][9]


Operations Management

Jurisdiction, leadership

Metro serves 24 cities - including Portland - in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties in Oregon, as well as unincorporated parts of those counties.[10] The Metro Council consists of a president and six councilors, all directly elected by their districts, and nonpartisan.[11] The incumbent President is Lynn Peterson, who assumed office January 7, 2019.[12]

According to the 2010 census, the average district population is 248,362 and the current population is as follows:[13][14]

District Includes (as of 2010) 2010 Population Current councilor[15]
1 Boring, Damascus Fairview, Gresham, Happy Valley, Maywood Park, portions of East Portland, Troutdale, Wood Village  253,858 Shirley Craddick
2 Unincorporated parts of Clackamas County including Stafford north of I-205, Gladstone, Johnson City, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Oregon City, a portion of Southwest Portland, Rivergrove, West Linn and  230,157 Christine Lewis
3 Most of Beaverton and all of Durham, King City, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville, plus portions of Stafford south of I-205  248,541 Gerritt Rosenthal
4 Northern Washington County, communities of Aloha, northwest portion of Beaverton, Bethany, Bonny Slope, Cedar Hills, Cedar Mill, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Raleigh Hills, and West Slope  272,566 Juan Carlos Gonzalez
5 All of N and NW Portland and portions of NE, SE and SW Portland (including downtown)  245,890 Mary Nolan
6 Portions of SW, SE and NE Portland  239,159 Bob Stacey
Total 1,490,171

Metro's approved 2020-21 Budget is $1.4 billion, with 979 FTE.[16]

Regional plan

Metro is also the Portland regional planning organization and develops a regional master plan to coordinate future development. Metro's master plan for the region includes transit-oriented development: this approach, part of the new urbanism, promotes mixed-use and high-density development around light rail stops and transit centers, and the investment of the metropolitan area's share of federal tax dollars into multiple modes of transportation. Metro's master plan also includes multiple town centers, smaller versions of the city center, scattered throughout the metropolitan area.

In 1995 Metro introduced the 2040 plan as a way to define long term growth planning. The 2040 Growth Concept[17] is designed to accommodate 780,000 additional people and 350,000 jobs by 2040. This plan has created some criticism from environmentalists, but few consider it a threat to Portland's legacy of urban growth management.

An April 2004 study in the Journal of the American Planning Association tried to quantify the effects of Metro's plans on Portland's urban form. While the report cautioned against finding a direct link between any single one policy and any improvements in Portland's urban form, it showed strong correlation between Metro's 2040 plan and various west-side changes in Portland. Changes cited include increased density and mixed-use development as well as improved pedestrian/non-automobile accessibility.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Metro's 2014-15 adopted budget" (PDF). Metro. July 1, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  2. ^ a b Carl Abbott. "Metro". The Oregon Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ a b Oppenheimer, Laura (November 20, 2002). "Bragdon to lead streamlined Metro". The Oregonian, p. C1.
  4. ^ Crombie, Noelle (August 11, 2010). "Metro chief David Bragdon leaving for top New York City post". The Oregonian. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  5. ^ Powell, Meerah (March 8, 2020). "Metro's $250 Million Homeless Services Measure Receives Legal Challenge". Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  6. ^ Bailey Jr, Everton; Rogoway, Mike (2020-02-26). "Metro sends tax measure to ballot, would raise $250 million a year for Portland-area homeless services". oregonlive. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  7. ^ "Metro Discusses Next Steps After Passage Of Homeless Services Measure". opb. Retrieved 2020-08-01.
  8. ^ Tomlinson, Stuart (2018-03-28). "Metro's Regional Illegal Dump Patrol is out there, hunting tires, couches and dumpsites". KATU. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  9. ^ "Regional Illegal Dumping Patrol". Metro. 2014-03-21. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  10. ^ "What is Metro?". Metro. 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  11. ^ "What is Metro?". Metro. 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  12. ^ "Metro Council President Lynn Peterson". Metro. 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  13. ^ "Metro: New Metro Council district boundaries". Metro. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
  14. ^ "Metro proposes redrawing its six districts". Daily Journal of Commerce. 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
  15. ^ "Find your councilor". Metro. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  16. ^ "Metro budget". Metro. 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  17. ^ "Metro: Making the Greatest Place". Metro. Retrieved 2014-11-17.