Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I find it pretty funny indeed how the anti Trimet crowd keeps popping up on the various blogs always with the same tiresome argument:

"A tragedy of public financing of transit, is that increased ridership does not naturally lead to more service due to fares representing less than 50% of the 'cost' of the ride."

These folks never seem to have any problem with billions of dollars being spent to bailout CEO's of the banking industry, or trillions being wasted on immoral wars waged by private mercenary armies.

ON NO, they pick on TRANSIT as their big anti government issue.

Why should any citizen actually get any sort of subsidy from the federal government.

How dare we subsidize any sort of movement for people that cannot afford to purchase, insure, and maintain their own private vehicles.

These are the same people who voted for McCain. These are the same people who in a past generation were the "anti abolitionists".

It's pathetic.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Boy the whining and moaning you guys do over the most ridiculous stuff never ceases to astound me.


Like buildings, sidewalks, TRANSIT CENTERS.

GET OVER YOUR TRIMET PHOBIAS, it makes you all look like ignorant dolts.


"Pouring maple syrup on a cowpie don't make it a pancake Al. People will (rightfully) avoid this station, and Tri Met in general, until they make the system safe."

~~>Nobody has ever explained to me how is it THAT TRIMET IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CRIME IN THE CITIES IT SERVES? Last time I looked crime is HANDLED BY THE POLICE, not the transit agency. Do you call up the police when you need a ride somewhere, no, you call Trimet scheduling or a taxi!

Oh yea, you guys want TRIMET TO PAY FOR IT! Right, as I said previously, TAX DOLLARS ARE TAX DOLLARS ARE TAX DOLLARS. Why don't we (trimet) just open our own police department then, completely independent from all the other existing police departments!

"No they are not and should not be wasted."

~~~>OH I SEE, $700 billion to bankers is not wasted? TRILLIONS spent killing innocent people bankrupting are country are not wasted?

"Light Rail is not sustainable"

~~~>OH, AND THE AUTO INDUSTRY IS? Huh huh, and that's why they are now begging for socialism to save capatalism.

I don't even know why I waste my time trying to reason with unreasonable people such as you folks that comment on the Tribune blog.


"shouldn't Tri Met be responsible for taking measures to install security at its stations or on its trains?"

~~>yes sir, I happen to agree with you here, however this system was designed on the 'honor' system decades ago for reasons that have not fully been explained. Planners should have made entry to max less accessible by securing stations.

HOWEVER, the fact that there might be some people inclined to criminal activity is not the fault of TRIMET!

You contend that somehow TRIMET is reponsible for this behavior, THAT IS ABSURD!

"IF put in a swimming pool, and did not provide a fence, then let anyone and everyone swim there on the honor system, and then someone drowned, you can bet it would be MY BACON for creating a dangerous attraction with no supervision."

~~>That maybe true, however if the person willingly went into your pool then how is that your fault? If some little baby crawled into your pool and drowned then that might be a different story. HOW ARE WE AS A SOCIETY SUPPOSE TO SUPERVISE ALL THE PLACES THAT ADULTS FREQUENT? You want a police officer patrolling every road? That's what your asking of the transit district!

***And the tax dollar issue is a red herring due to all the money that is being flushed down the toilet so as to save the banks and occupy a bunch of innocents in a land that wants nothing to do with us.***


FYI- I AM NOT A LIGHT RAIL SUPPORTER,and there has been an increase in police presence on the system for quite awhile now.


You see nothing good at all, obviously, you were all McCain supporters, focus on the bad, fear, superiority.

Your entitled to feel that way, luckily you're not in control.


"Check the city codes and you would find that simply by HAVING A POOL and NOT FENCING IT, it would be MY FAULT IF ANYONE WERE TO DROWN OR INJURE THEMSELVES in or around my pool."

~~>First of all that is PRIVATE PROPERTY, not usable by the public. Secondly, we do live in a litigious society, which is one of the pitfalls of advanced civilization with multiple levels of bureaucratic systems. Does a public park have a chain link fence on it? Does a city street have a chain link fence?

"In my opinion, by not inspecting for fares, like they used to do when this east side line first came into town, TriMet has created an attractive nuisance."

~~>Your right on this issue, no doubt. But this system was conceptualized 30+ years ago and back then things were "groovy" as you may recall. Yea, that was a stupid thing to do, but this is Portland.

"As for your assertion that I would have to have been a McCain supporter, you could not be any farther off the mark if you tried."

~~>I apologize for that remark. :-(

"In the beginning we were told once light rail was built it would need less money to keep running compared to running buses."

~~>Can you provide any documentation to back up that statement?

"Another genius-level commentary from Al M. the highly educated, dual degree Trimet bus driver."

~~>Here is the usual type of blogger that we run into over here at the TRIBUNE blog. The blogger that has to stoop to some sort of personal attack in order to make themselves feel superior. It's pathetic.

"I will be happyier with Tri-Met when the fare box pays at least 50% of the cost of buses, Trains, tracks, stations and operating cost. It would be a step in the right direction"

~~>Will you please provide me with documentation from any transit system in the world that meets that criteria.

"The purpose of TriMet Bus service is to deliver a small number of the population daily to and from markets, and the cost is justified by additional income tax revenue from business."

~~>I disagree with MARK plenty, but he always understands issues and is literate enough to post complex theories clearly. The above statement is correct.

FURTHERMORE, there is another reason for the light rail fixation, and they never talk about it either:


"Rose City Transit was self supporting and paid taxes before the State and local governments said they could not raise the fare by a nickel."

~~>I would like to see EVIDENCE of this statement. I have asked Jason Mchuff to research this issue.

"It is hard to compete with a government monopoly with taxing authority."

~~>Why don't we just privatize everything then? Like the police and the fire and the water department and the roads. Wonderful idea. THEY CAN ALL FOLLOW THE BANKS EXAMPLES OF HOW TO MANAGE THINGS!


~~>I'm not against that idea, I just don't think it happens anywhere. And why is it such a tremendous crime in your eyes to subsidize movement for people that are unable to afford to purchase, insure, and maintain a private automobile? They hand out subsidies to all sorts of businesses, LIKE THE BANKS FOR THE TUNE OF $700 BILLION, making the whole transit issue A RED HERRING!
"hat does the police,fire,water dept roads and banks have to do with outlawing the private sector from competing with Tri-Met transit monopoly."

~~~>The police, fire, and roads do not allow competition, and the banks are the example of free market failure!

"So are you saying if it is ok to bail out banks it must be ok to bailout Tri-Mets light rail monopoly?"

~~>That's exactly what I am saying! Bailing out multi-million dollar executives is ok in your eyes but subsidizing transit is a big crime eh? Your thinking process needs some fine tuning, SIR!

["Inbreeding Defiles The Gene Pool"]

~~>When you develop the ability to use your mind over your emotions I will attempt to dialog with you.

{"Ever heard of reality?"}

~~>Why don't you try posting in a continuous recognizable blog name, instead of the sniveling coward anonymous way.

I'm used to you guys having been participating on this blog for years now.
Your name calling, attempts to demean me, cowardly anonymity in making your childish posts do not discourage me. Those of you who participate in this sorts of activity just demean yourselves and lower the quality of the TRIBUNE BLOG in general,which is too bad, because I happen to like the PORTLAND TRIBUNE and the way it handles its news stories.
"I'm opposed to bailing out banks and Tri-Met"

~~>Providing public transportation is no different than providing police or fire services, its DOES NOT GENERATE PROFIT.

BTW-Head researcher Jason Mchuff has found that ROSE CITY TRANSIT was about to go out of business!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I think if you look at the facts TRIMET BUS DRIVERS, and transit bus drivers in general, are far more attentive and skilled at driving then any other segment of the driving population.
I don't have statistics at my fingertips, sorry, but I think that if one would research all the fatal accidents that happen in this country and compare how many were transit related due to operator error, it would become quite clear that most of the carnage created on American roadways is indeed caused by non professional drivers.

Human error will always occur when humans are involved, obviously no bus/train operator should be talking on a cell phone when their vehicle is in motion, I give you that.

As y'all can see from the posts above, LOTS OF PEOPLE DO SAY THANKS when exiting the bus.

I'm actually amazed how many people are so completely polite!

In all areas of the Trimet district this applies.

If your gonna drive a transit bus in an American city, Portland is the place to do it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The crime here is that the driver LEFT THE SCENE!
Made a bad situation worse by running.
The punishment fits the crime.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My dear pal Adron;

This is a job for ARMED POLICE, FARE INSPECTORS AND/OR ROAD SUPERVISORS, not for bus drivers.

One of these days this driver will get a bottle broken over his head for his trouble.

And how much money did he really "sniff out" anyway?


GIMME A BREAK, I aint doing it, and any S-A-N-E bus driver would risk thier health or safety doing it either.

I put it to you that the driver you refer to has an 'ego' problem and if he thinks he will be able to survive as a bus driver using this methodology every time he leaves fare less square he is in for a rude awakening.

Well sir, you are indeed entitled to your opinion, and I have always respected your opinion.
The fact that the operators LEFT HIS SEAT, to confront passengers WHO ARE ALREADY BOARDED is prohibited.

If there had been an altercation that driver would have been in serious trouble.

The point that I am trying to make, irregardless of the TRIMET rules is that the way the system is set up, fare enforcement is not possible.


That operator is entitled to do things his way.

He wants to make the job harder than it has to be, good luck to him.

And I still respect your point of view!
Here is the actual regulation from the bus operators guide;

""When leaving fareless square make an announcement reminding customers of the fareless square policy.

+This is the last stop in fareless square, riders who have not purchased a fare need to come forward and purchase a fare at this time. Riders without proof of payment are subject to citation+
The reason I am making an issue of this is not because I am a lazy slacker, but because I am realistic and cautious as to how I handle my responsibilities.


CSI' ARE GENERATED BY FARE ENFORCEMENT. (customer service incident, and each one generated requires the operator to spend time and effort to "justify" whatever action was taken that precipitated the CSI. In TRIMET WORLD, bus drivers are always guilty unless they can prove innocence. The burden of proof is on the operator. I SAY THE HELL WITH THAT!

Your a bus driver, at the same place at the same time each and every day, YOU BETTER DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO MINIMIZE THE CHANCES OF DEVELOPING ENEMIES.

For $2.30 it aint worth it.

TRIMET needs to handle these issues in another way, aka FARE INSPECTORS, or at the very least, change the transfer/zones/pass/ticket boondoogle that they have created so at least its not so damn complicated to enforce the fares.

I'm watching the wretched auto makers BEG for bailout money.

Alas, had they been producing some of these alternative vehicles maybe they wouldn't be in this position.

Oh yea, I keep forgetting, with the American style of capitalism, when the big boys fail they can always resort to corporate socialism and get bailed out by our tax dollars.

Funny how American citizens just have to suffer and die.

Copenhagen and Amsterdam are in EUROPE!
Portland is in AMERICA!
Completely different cultures.
Bicycles are good I agree, but this weird fixation that happens here in Portland is bizarre.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sure the street car is pork barrel, and sure bus service is more practical, however,
citizens DO PREFER riding street cars over buses (the 'Lexus" effect).

When examining the hierarchy of pork barrel spending
" Tenskwatawa" gets my vote!

Streetcars don't even appear on the radar of Federal pork.

Sheesh, you guys only complain about the stuff you don't like.

What do they call that?


Friday, November 14, 2008

Well, the proper thing for that driver to have done was to stop, and plenty of TRIMET bus drivers would have stopped.

Unfortunately, some just have gotten callous about the whole thing, which is too bad.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


now gimme my prize!

"My opinion is that the bus driver is the enforcer. No ticket? No ride. Smoking? No ride."

-->Well that's all very nice and dandy!
Right, the unarmed bus driver, strapped into his seat, with a passenger towering over him, will be the enforcer. Sorry, but I am not taking my life into my hands over this stuff, take your problems up with the ADA or the unenforceable ticket/transfer/zone/fare structure. The only people that can enforce anything are the ARMED POLICE!

"The Operator’s #1 job is to operate the bus safely and professionally. They don’t have the time, training, or necessary backup to enforce the rules"

--->ERIK always seem to understand the way things REALLY ARE!
"Not sure what TriMet can do about this, but some type of solution should be arrived at."

---->They could do something about it, they don't want too. It's easier to say:
"The fare inspectors, the field supervisors and transit police are responsible for enforcement system wide."

--->Rail rider provides the correct answer to the question
"I still put my foot down about some things, but I had to do it carefully; there is nothing there to back a bus driver up."

--->My technique is to put my head down and shut the bus off and pretend I am having a heart attack, it works wonderfully in shutting people up.
"Apparently that is Tri-Met’s version of “enforcement” nowadays."

--->That has ALWAYS been the TRIMET version of enforcement.


They need to have "teams" of enforcement personnel available to respond, IMMEDIATELY, to incidents, fare evasions, altercations etc. 1/2 the time they don't even answer the call for help, so as far as I am concerned, I am alone, without help, so if you think I am going to risk my life for this absurd crap, FOGETABOUTIT!

I'm sick of this absurd ADA, its time to bring some sanity back into our lives.

"Increasing such a public debt only diminishes consumer spending that would build up the community. "

--->What a load of dog feces. God am I sick of hearing this market baloney.

"If you think about it, taxpayers have been constantly bailing out transit operations in Portland since late 1969 when TriMet took over the for-profit companies of Rose City Transit"

--->I get a headache reading your posts

"Bicyclists too are the recipients of Federal Highway Trust Funding and taxpayer funded bailout dollars"

--->Those evil bicyclists, sucking down tax dollars. THE HORROR..THE HORROR..

Well, I can't do anymore Portland Transport, I get a headache visiting here lately....

Billy, do you know Jim Karlock?

I hope I am still alive to witness the end of the gas combustion engine.

What a marvelous treat that would be!

A cell phone and a call to 238-ride is the best way to find out when your bus is coming.

Jason, do you really find the schedules accurate?

How many times have I said on this forum;


Let me say it one more time:

FORGET THE FARES, enforcing fares can cause:
1-verbal attacks
2-physical attacks

The system as they have designed is UNENFORCEABLE, its not our problem, forget it!


This is not the appropriate forum for a debate on "what people think" or why they think what they think.

I would like to point out that when the company offered to provide health insurance for the "mini runners" a vast majority of full time operators said to me; "I didn't get health insurance when I was a mini-runner so why the hell should they get it now"? If it had not been for the maintenance employees, part time operators would still not have health insurance

I am not making this up as some way to gain sympathy for my point of view, it as an event as experienced by myself as I went around the company debating this with full time operators.

When the company wanted to offer a 3 day work week for "mini runners" it was consistently voted down each time, by the full time operators, using language as "They are taking work away from us". Us being the full time operators.

I am providing you with my opinion, you are free to reject it completely and believe what you want.

It is a union problem, and and a labor problem. Nobody wants to give up 'their' work to somebody else, its understandable.

If your not a mini runner, and have never been a bus driver, you have no way of knowing what is and is not fact.

-----Original Message-----
From: Highsmith, Wayne
Sent: Tue 11/11/2008 3:59 PM
To: Haley, Greg
Cc: Balgos, Bob; Margulies, Al; Frye, Jay; Hanson, Peggy; OPERATIONS MANAGERS; ''
Subject: RE: Mini Runners - Career Advancement

I am not really sure why this was forwarded to me but I am glad to see that there is no wasted minuted to fuel further seperation of the body who currently make up the workforce whom we call full time and part time ie. mini run. After reading this note it does appear that for the most part this would be an ATU issue not so much a management one. There are apparently some policies that may need to be modified.but to view a statement that has been made in the bullpens since before my employment began here is about as ignorant a blanket statement as anyone would make about a minority and is a view probably shared by a small percentage of operators.

-----Original Message-----
From: Haley, Greg
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 2:56 PM
To: Nielsen, Tom; Hawley, Bob; Margulies, Al; Frye, Jay; 'Jon Hunt'; Hanson, Peggy; OPERATIONS MANAGERS; Bus Operators; ''
Subject: RE: Mini Runners - Career Advancement

Please remove me also.

Thanks, Greg

-----Original Message-----
From: Nielsen, Tom
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 2:41 PM
To: Hawley, Bob; Margulies, Al; Frye, Jay; 'Jon Hunt'; Hanson, Peggy; OPERATIONS MANAGERS; Bus Operators; ''
Subject: RE: Mini Runners - Career Advancement

Can you take my name off this e-mail trail As maintenance manager at Center St I have no knowledge of this issue nor any comment to make on the issue. Thanks

-----Original Message-----
From: Hawley, Bob
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 1:57 PM
To: Margulies, Al; Frye, Jay; 'Jon Hunt'; Hanson, Peggy; OPERATIONS MANAGERS; Bus Operators; ''
Subject: RE: Mini Runners - Career Advancement

How about also adding into the contract a provision where we don't lose vacation transferring from, say PT to FT or other job classifications?

And how about quit penalizing us when we take vacation? Why, as minis, do we get only 5 hrs/day vacation instead of 6? Every time we take vacation, we take a hit, and that's not right.

bob hawley
FT mini runner!

-----Original Message-----
From: Margulies, Al
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008 11:29 AM
To: Frye, Jay; 'Jon Hunt'; Hanson, Peggy; OPERATIONS MANAGERS; Bus Operators;
Subject: RE: Mini Runners - Career Advancement

Very nice concept!

Passing through a vote of the full time membership which holds a 4:1 advantage over part time membership is another matter.

Unfortunately, "mini runners" (a very disrespectful job title, imo) are in actuality, discriminated against by full time operators.

You hear many of the same complaints about them that are heard about minorities in the general population;

ie: "they are taking away our work" etc.

However, I personally support the concept.

Al M (career "mini runner")

-----Original Message-----
From: Frye, Jay
Sent: Sat 11/1/2008 11:59 AM
To: 'Jon Hunt'; Hanson, Peggy; OPERATIONS MANAGERS; Bus Operators;
Subject: RE: Mini Runners - Career Advancement

Thank you Jon,

Is there a proposal on the table for this coming contract? if not, can we determine if there is a real interest in adding something like this, and if so, can we include it?

Thanks again,
jay Frye


From: Jon Hunt []
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 2:50 PM
To: Frye, Jay; Hanson, Peggy; OPERATIONS MANAGERS; Bus Operators;
Subject: RE: Mini Runners - Career Advancement

Jay, this would have to be done during contract negotiation and then ratified by the membership. Jon

From: Frye, Jay []
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 12:13 PM
To: Hanson, Peggy; Jon Hunt; OPERATIONS MANAGERS; Bus Operators; ''
Subject: Mini Runners - Career Advancement

Can anyone in this group tell me if there is currently or if there will be in the near future a conversation about mini-runners being able to use their accumulated time to qualify them to apply for some of these career advancement opportunities. Many, otherwise well qualified operators feel they are being penalized for their decision to remain part time.

Please reply to all. Thank you for your time.

Jay Frye

Field Operations Supervisor.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The "free" market has failed, so stop blithering on and on about how wonderful it is.

I have been having knock down drag out blog combat with the remnants of this failed imaginary system.

Billions and billions on the military to protect us from phantoms.

Billions handed to failed bankers executive.

All of that money needs to be used for infrastructure!


Transit needs huge subsidies because those subsidies actually benefit the citizens, the ones who use transit and the people employed in transit.


And you free market worshipers, I suggest you watch this video:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Unfortunately, even stupid people that know how to use a computer can participate in blogging.

We see many examples AKA: 'cowboy'.

Why don't ya go back to Texas cowboy, and be with your own kind.

I hear George Bush will be returning there, maybe you two can have a beer together and reflect on what's wrong with this country.

At some point, you have to stop blogging with these conservatives.

Who cares what they think, they are out of power, let em think what they want.

The sad part of all of it is, America is so divided in terms of how we see the world.

It's almost like we are from two separate countries, with nothing in common between us.

Like the civil war continues, nothing was settled between the blue and the gray (red).

The abolitionists against the slave states. The names have just changed.