I think your ridership chart may be wrong.
For example your chart shows a sharp drop in bus ridership between the last two years, the the trimet chart shows no such drop:
have nave made no mention in the body of your article of the sparwling
bureacracy that has bloomed in the last ten years, layer upon layer of
managment, a HUGE IT department, and lumbering CAPITAL PROJECTS
You left out the recent hiring of overly compensated executives that Mr Mcfarlane keeps adding.
You left out that there are more people working in Portland today paying into this system than 10 years ago, recession included.
left out that the incompetence of this management that thinks it can
keep adding and adding and adding FOREVER, without consequence.
left out the part where Trimet operators have given up raises (which is
why we are among the lowest paid on the west coast) so that we could
get decent health coverage.
Other than that, its a pretty good article