Thursday, February 19, 2009

First of all, BODANSKI is generally a blowhard. Occasionally he makes some sense, in this case for example.

I agree with the point that all building must cease and desist until the money situation stabilizes.

You cannot build on one hand and cut services on the other. The absurdity of that should be obvious.

The first places that should have gotten bailout funds were the transit authorities around America.
Another in a long list of federal failures

In the long run its cheaper for TRIMET to operate rail vs bus. Basically because they don't need so many employees to run it. (Although most of the world is turning to bus rapid transit vs fixed rail). Of course if there is a problem along the rail line so much for your wonderful mass transit system.

The 'ego' factor is a real syndrome. Developers will build on rail lines, but not on bus lines. American's will ride rail, but not bus. (with those people)

Now as far as TRIMET not getting enough passenger revenue to support itself, this argument is a red herring. Transit is a PUBLIC SERVICE, something the government should provide its citizens, like the police and fire departments.

Neither the police or fire departments generate any revenue from the clients they serve, yet nobody says a thing about it.

If transit is expected to be self supporting so should the police and fire. A fee for service.
Investigation of murder, lets say $100k up front. House fire, you must show a credit card when the fire truck shows up or too bad your house must be left to burn. We at the fire department must be self supporting.

The anti transit crowd has some sort of special phobia just for transit agencies. The fact that anybody rides transit irks these people. These are the Rush Limbaugh crowd, the ones married to that failed ideology that got us into this mess!

“Ever check on how much Tri-Met employees make?”

~~>A full time bus driver makes $47k a year. Which is nothing but a lower middle class lifestyle. The reason that looks so good is that there are SO MANY FRIGGEN JOBS THAT PAY SLAVE WAGES!

Bus drivers have more health problems+ die younger than the general population.

It aint no ‘sweet’ deal;.


“Where's the mayor on this one?”

~~>Hanging out in the bathroom. (sorry, couldn’t help myself)


“Sschting, are you really criticizing Tri-Met for paying their employees equitably?”

~~>thank you Graham!


“Have they been laying off employees, I haven't heard?”

~~>70 driver positions are getting whacked, dunno about middle management


“I think that bus ticket prices need to be standardized. Get rid of the zones. Two bucks for all you can ride four hours. if you are going to have fareless zones, enforce them.”



I’ve never been a fan of fareless square. I can’t tell you how many times I would hear:


I pull over the bus, they hop on, say FARELESS, and they go ONE FRIGGEN STOP!

Fareless square is an idea left over from the 70’s.

It clogs the system and pushes out people that actually need to GET OUT of fareleess square.

Some buses are so full of fareless people that fare paying people can’t get on.

And for those of you skeptical that TRIMET is making this up, check what’s going on in Seattle!

The entire countries transit systems are falling apart.

So much for OBAMA’S stimulus. USELESS!

There are people that don’t live in PORTLAND that are about to be left stranded.

These people have been riding TRIMET for years but are now going to be abandoned by TRIMET.

Its an obscenity for people to be riding FREE right now while others can’t get service and more have to pay top dollar to get to Portland.



I think that bus ticket prices need to be standardized. Get rid of the zones. Two bucks for all you can ride four hours. if you are going to have fareless zones, enforce them.

The fair thing to do is end fareless.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

""I guess it would be too much to hope that maybe they'd dismantle the tram and sell of some of its parts to collectors to keep things running for awhile ""

""Well, they certainly were getting practice cutting service yesterday when I had to wait for my bus for two hours downtown.""

Apparently they don't have the 'bodies' so they are just cutting runs left and right.
""Mr Rivera, could you ask TriMet how much revenue could be realized by charging TriMet employees fares like other riders?""

I got a better idea, get rid of fare less square.
""Would that hurt the
fat pensions Trimet retirees receive?"

I just love this anti trimet hatred that appears around the web. They never say anything about all the city employees, nor the state employees, nor the police pensions, nor the fire pensions, its the bus drivers that they whine about. IT'S PATHETIC.
"" I swore off riding the bus system after continually watching numerous drivers throw mini tantrums.""

Me thinks you may fall into the TRIMETPHOBIA sociological subgroups of humans who have the illogical ill founded hatred for anything with the word BUS in it.
"""Bad service has TriMet consider economy cut"""

That remark might have some foundation to it.
""Scrap the trains and track.""

Seems logical to me.
""Also, for those of you who think there will ever be efficient and thoughtful management of any city program please stop voting for every new law""

Also not a bad idea.
""Oregon - trying to have it both ways.""

Not bad.
""Trimet can start by saving the $2,000,000 a year it costs to operate WES by shutting down WES immediately""

Another logical step that could be taken. (Don't hold your breath)
""First, they vent out against our Mayor, then against our public transit, what comes next? Our postmen? Our firemen? How can a rational person become so worked up about such basic services, necessary in any town?""

I thought I was the only blogger that figured that out?
""One of the more bizarre sets of attitudes Republicans seem to have is hostility towrd mass transit.""

They sure do. It has always amazed me just how much hostility these neo cons have against mass transit. Well we can all see now just how much damage these people can do when they are in power. Just look at the legacy of the failed 8 years of GEORGE BUSH.
""One of the more bizarre sets of attitudes DEMOCRATS seem to have is hostility towrd mass transit.""

I aways appreciate creative writing.
""How about a public comparison for maintaining and running this lemon with keeping or improving regular bus service! I bet Fred won't dare do this.""

good one!
""Capital costs are much higher, of course.""

These cost have to be included in any cost analysis. You can't just write off capital costs because they are just that. INCLUDING CAPITAL COSTS bus is much cheaper and efficient to run.
""As General Manager, he should have reserved this capital for a rainy day situation.""

I agree that some of FRED'S actions are very questionable. But I want to know who is he answering to? He's not making these decisions alone, that should be obvious. WHO REALLY RUNS TRIMET? It's not Fred Hansen.

""why don't you enlighten all of us by telling us what's right about cutting service?""

I didn't say anything was right about cutting service. I'm just as unhappy as you are about it.
""Margu, feel free to expand -to everyone- on why a Trimet employee has it so tough?""

Tough? We earn the money, its a tough job.If you look at the statistics what you will see is that BUS DRIVERS have more health problems and die earlier than the general population.
I say again, we make a livable wage with some benefits. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT? That is supposed to be the way it is in AMERICA!
""It's a good job during tough times. They need to respect that. We deserve that much from them.""

I don't disagree with any of that!
""Guess what, if the bus you are waiting for has been canceled there is NO WARNING."

True. There are management practices which I definitely have a problem with also.
""three number 17 buses that all form a chain up Holgate""

Do you think TRIMET is the only place this happens? The answer is NO! It's a standard problem in all transit districts that even has its own name: BUS BUNCHING.
Why can't they do something about it?
""I can't tell you how many times I have seen people chsing a bus that won't stop,"

This unfortunately does happen, but plenty of bus drivers DO LET PEOPLE ON.
It's the one that doesn't that everyone remembers.
""Tri-Met is a service, an optional one at that. If you don't like their service, then buy a car. Tri-Met is not a pleasure cruise, I don't expect drivers to be overly kind to me, I just want to get from point A to point B without sitting next to a homeless man or psycho. If a driver forgets I'm there then I consider it a successful trip.""

""It's a shame TriMet misses opportunities to work smarter-- not harder.""


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Thanks for that interesting explanation, I had been wondering about the nuts and bolts of that fuel deal that TRIMET entered into. How did you get that information if I may ask?

Now, on to fare less square.

It's pretty easy for people that are supporters of this 70's feel good idea called "fare less square" to continue spouting lines such as:

"the square is not so much a place as a steering-wheel-free state of mind."
"At its heart, Fareless Square is a sweep-you-off-your-feet gesture of civic hospitality."
"Trust us. You're going to love our downtown. It's the best we have to offer, Portland's E-Ticket, but put away your spare change. This is on the house."

TRIMET is at this very minute contemplating cutting and eliminating service throughout the district. This means the so called "marginal" routes are in jeopardy, which will then effectively STRAND whoever lives on these lines forcing them to relocate. Most of the people that use TRIMET on the 'marginal' routes do so because they cannot drive. All of these cuts will most likely occur outside of Portland.

Portland already gets the lion share of TRIMET operating funds and has much overlapping service.

People pay $2.30 to get to downtown Portland but people in downtown Portland pay zilch?

How is giving away free service, in a economy that is quickly turning to mush, the right thing to do?

Fare less square is one of the best examples I have ever seen of why government handouts are so miguided.

Fare less square has now created an entire class of dependent individuals who expect nothing but "free" service forever.

It's time to get rid of this misguided relic of the past. People don't value what they don't have to pay for.

All citizens within the TRIMET district need to be treated fairly. Either they all ride free or they all pay.

You cannot have your cake and eat it too, as this misguided editorial attempts to do

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fred Hansen, where is your leadership?
You disappear during the worst storm in 75 years, you hand out money to bankrupt companies on the sly, now you hit us with this!

A real leader would have made the following statement.

"I regret that I have mishandled pubic funds at the same time that payroll taxes have taken a steep drop, so today I and all of my executive staff are taking 8% cut in our huge salaries. "

"All of our unnecessary expenses are being eliminated. 25% of supervisory staff is now going go get out from behind their desks or trucks and start providing direct services to our riding public either as rail or bus operators."

"Over the past 3 years we have hired many extra assistant station managers who will now be let go. There will be one station manager who will take over all the business of each garage and will no longer be attending any career enhancement seminars."

"We will no longer create shifts for our operators that cause them to fall into physical distress attempting to meet work hours that no human being should be expected to attempt which then leads operators to sick leave.

"Scheduling will be informed to create schedules that will allow operators to function in a healthy environment so as reduce sick leave.

"We will slash our wasteful overtime practices by re devising our methods of filling runs."

"We will immediately institute a hiring freeze on non essential personnel, which includes everyone but bus and rail operators."

"The training department will be cut by 1/2 and those people will once again be serving the public."

"After we have done all of these things, we will look to reducing service to the citizens themselves."

That's what a real leader would do.