A high-speed people mover could simply move people between East/West sides of the Willamette, the South/North light rail alignment should stay on the east side of the river. Not having to cross the river (twice), the line could run more quickly. There would be at least three people-movers crossing the Willamette at different places, probably using existing bridges. The people-movers would connect key places on the east banks with key places on the west bank. These East/West people-movers could also serve inner SE/NE neighborhood transit connections. (i.e. downtown workers could use a people mover to get to the South/North Max -- or to a bus route serving the east side.
The mall itself could be a people mover of some kind. People-movers could move people more quickly to the north and south ends of the transit mall downtown, so that buses could come in only to the top or bottom of the transit mall to pick up passengers.
Buses waste time stopping on the mall that could be better applied to their routes. For example, SW buses would come in only to the South End of the Mall, NW buses would come to the North End, etc.