Friday, December 13, 2013

Beaten TriMet bus driver in frantic North Portland emergency call: 'He hit me in the head 15 times ... I can't see myself' |

Beaten TriMet bus driver in frantic North Portland emergency call: 'He hit me in the head 15 times ... I can't see myself' |

Instead of using words like 'Cadillac' and 'generous'  how bout phrasing things a little more like the real world.

ATU757 is trying to preserve health benefits that most citizens of the Western developed world have now. Countries like CANANDA, BRITIAN, FRANCE, etc. provide their citizens with the type of coverage that assures small co-pays and prevents medical bankruptcies.

American's have bought into this 'race to the bottom' idea that means American citizens lose more while the executive class gains more. There is a reason why the richest 1% is richer now than ever in history.

While Joe talks about our 'Cadillac' benefits I have to get some of my prescriptions from Canada completely out of pocket. The word 'Cadillac' is very misleading and appeals to the emotions.

As far as: """transit worker is not defined as a high-risk profession qualifying for savings""" that once again shows how little respect the profession has now. Best advice for people looking for work nowadays, leave the job of transit operator behind. It's definitely the wrong time to be involved in that endeavor

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

TriMet can improve service and protect budget with these two moves: Editorial |

TriMet can improve service and protect budget with these two moves: Editorial |

You guys are so off base its actually funny. Where is your outrage over the $1 million that Mcfarlane decided he needed to 'retain' his great cronies that he took in secret?
Where is your outrage over Fred Hansens ridiculous pension of $16k per month?
Where is your outrage over Olivia Clarks pension of $10k a month.
Trimet right now is in a sorry state of disrepair with daily MAX delays and dozens of buses breaking down.
Trimet's finances are not that rocky, loads of Trimet executives are still getting rich off the tax payers there.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Al Said Phoenix Has No Traffic Problems | Transit Sleuth

Al Said Phoenix Has No Traffic Problems | Transit Sleuth

When you say AL are you referring to me?
As a matter of fact if you remember I did as you suggested and researched more about Phoenix and found out they had a higher % of poverty citizens than Portland!
"AL" is not """Al is giving Portland crap about all sorts of stuff"""
Like what? I rant about Trimet management and the Goldschidt gang and the ridiculously high taxes here.,
I've got homeless people living behind my car while they put in a silly street car and talk about sustainability.
I rant about PORTLAND HYPOCRISY, the 'creative class' nonsense and the ridiculous obsession with bicycles because I find it ridiculous!

But Portland as a place to live? Maybe the last city in America that could be considered liveable if you just ignore everything else.

Portland is like Paris France. As long as you ignore the Parisians Paris is a wonderful city
Same thing here. Ignore all the stupidity weirdos and corruption  its a wonderful city!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Human Transit: should we cut fares or increase service? an advocacy parable

Human Transit: should we cut fares or increase service? an advocacy parable

The so called 'budget crisis' that  precipitated all of the cuts to service never materialized in the first place, and OPAL called them out on that. They got no media coverage but I myself saw what they were saying come exactly true.

So Trimet takes an axe to service a over a year ago now they decide they can 'restore' some of that service.

"But you can't have both" according to the Trimet technocrats.

Sorry, I just don't believe them. Your post assumes they are truthful as to the current state of their financial status. They have proven over and over they cannot be trusted when it comes to their public statements about their finances.

Let's remember, these people in charge took an axe to service AND raise the fares pleading poverty all the while and at the exact same time hid raises for themselves of $1 million that goes on in perpetuity.

I don't buy your premise, people with time on their hands want longer transfers and people that are busy want more service.

It's a false dichotomy as far as I am concerned.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Is TriMet trying to boost revenue by pushing low-income Portland area riders away from 'unintended' round trips? |

Is TriMet trying to boost revenue by pushing low-income Portland area riders away from 'unintended' round trips? |

 """Yet if you ask any of the roughly 31 percent of TriMet riders who use cash fares daily, they’ll likely say the time-based system gives them the right to board a bus or train and ride anywhere in the system for two hours. Whether you’re a transit-dependent single mom or a retiree on a fixed income, that comes in handy for quick-and-cheap round trips to run errands."""
~~~~>It's always been that way.
"""For an adult living below the poverty line, that's the difference between spending $2.50 and $5"""
~~~>A 'day ticket' seems like a good deal, for a day. However if a fixed income person spends $5/day on a day pass that's $150/mo which is huge.
""""“There’s a lot of confusion about TriMet’s fare policy -- what it’s intended to be, what it is in practice, what it's become,” said Jon Ostar, executive director of OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, which has spearheaded the "Campaign for a Fair Transfer." “It seems their underlying motive is to capture as much revenue as possible, regardless of whose pocket it’s coming out of.""
~~~~>I agree 100% with Mr Ostar, Trimet is just trying to get every single penny out of every single rider that they can. Don't forget there is no 'low income pass' here like at many Transit districts. They gave a million dollars to various agencies to deal with the poor of the area but who knows how to access any of that. I haven't seen one news release on how to access those funds for low income people.
"""TriMet's own data shows that while two out of every three cash-paying riders are low-income, about 75 percent of round-trippers are also low-income."""
~~~>There ya go, Trimet's own data shows that most of their riders cannot afford them
""""A TriMet customer service representative named “Janet P.” replied that Weick was using her ticket the wrong way. “A single fare is two hours because it is only meant to get you from your starting point to your destination,” Janet P. wrote. “If you need to make a trip, run errands, and take the bus back, TriMet does offer a day ticket.”""
~~~~>I don't think even one bus driver knows anything about that. And how would anybody be able to check something like that?  Once again Trimet management has no idea what is going on in the field.
"""So does that mean a transfer to a single destination? Or does it include transfers that allows round trips on one ticket? “Certainly,” McFarlane said, “round trips are an unintended, positive benefit of having a time-based system.”
~~~~>So this is just coming out of the blue huh? Yup, it sounds to me like they are setting up for some kind of major change to transfer policies
""""Simple: With a series of service cuts in recent years, especially in the suburbs, and rush-hour traffic worsening as the economy improves, it’s harder than ever to make even a one-way trip on a single fare."""
~~~~>If your living outside Portland proper and there is a service disruption, which happens often lately, the 2 hours is not enough time to get to a destination with a transfer time of 2 hours
"""“If TriMet really cared about equity and mitigating the impact of the fare hikes and service cuts in recent years,” Ostar said, “it would have extended transfers to three hours already, and wouldn't be nickel-and-diming us debating 2.5 hours.”""
"""“They deliberately moved away from one-way fares decades ago,” Howell said. “I don’t see how keeping riders confused leads to more ridership and confidence in the system.”""
~~~>What we are seeing reflected in these fare policy remarks is the evolution of Trimet from a real 'transit service' to a 'real estate development agency'. The real mission of Trimet has evolved away from the public that it was supposedly serving to supporting capital projects and the so called 'transit oriented development'. It's quite a sad commentary, once again the rich and connected become the target of government funds rather than the citizenry. Trimet is pretty yuppified transit  catering to an 'image' it has created by itself with no real concern for the public any longer

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

TriMet testing grassy 'eco-track' on Portland-Milwaukie MAX line (video) |

TriMet testing grassy 'eco-track' on Portland-Milwaukie MAX line (video) |

""" said John Fall, TriMet's capital projects communications manager"""
~~~>John Fall huh? Yet another overpaid communications person?
"""TriMet said the eco-track pilot project along Lincoln Street is part of its ongoing push to make transit more sustainable."""
~~~>How is having grass on the trackway going to make transit more sustainable?
"""We're talking only 200 feet of on the Portland-Milwaukie MAX line's 7.3 miles,""
~~~>Oh for crying out loud, and that warrants this kind of media attention?
""" Altstadt didn't have a dollar figure, but said the eco-track costs more to build than a standard length of track. "But it wasn't extravagant," she said, "or we wouldn't be doing it."""
~~~>Oh my lord it just gets funnier and funnier

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Transit Rider PDX

Transit Rider PDX

"""Sometimes the bus bridge is effective, such as when the person walked in front of the MAX train at Goose Hollow on Tuesday night."""
~~~>Saw more than a few tweets from riders who do not agree with you there.

"""This really ticks people off, because it makes it look like TriMet cares more about keeping the MAX system running than providing bus service."""
~~>Obviously that's true or they wouldn't be pulling buses of active routes!

""" But one of the public communications officers told me once that there is a great absenteeism problem with bus operators, making it impossible to pull enough people from the yard."""
~~~>Ridiculous typical Trimet modus operandi , blame it on the drivers. True moral is low, who wants to come to work for an organization that publicly says you are over compensated. I wouldn't come through for them if I worked there. Screw them.

"""This means having at least 3-4 buses and operators on call at all times to make this possible. (I don't want to hear any "we don't have the resources right now" stuff"""
~~~~>Absolutely. Trimet hires bureaucrat after bureaucrat after bureaucrat. They have lost all sense of priority and their goals are no longer consistent with running transit. There is absolutely no money crisis there its totally made up. They are a capital projects agency and they exist to enrich its executive class and to add to that classes empire. It's quiet disgraceful and even more disgraceful is that they continually get away with this.

There is one other thing you forgot to mention Patrick. Trimet is over extended. They are too big and too unwieldy. They have been unable to perfect their current operation yet they continue to expand. They are totally unaccountable for anything ever so what do you expect from them? There is no incentive to 'do the right thing', even if their latest slogan says that.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

TriMet quietly deals with quarantined whooping cough bus at Southeast Portland garage |

TriMet quietly deals with quarantined whooping cough bus at Southeast Portland garage |

Must have been quite a sight, from the Trimet statement:
"""People with whooping cough may have coughing spells in which they can’t catch their breath between coughs. As they catch their breath at the end of a coughing spell, they may loudly gasp (“whoop”).''''
I can imagine the  shock the riders must have experienced  as the driver "whooped"  away then "gasped" for air. Wow...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Visit From the TriMet Squad: Blogger Arrested After Repeatedly Texting Spokeswoman

A Visit From the TriMet Squad: Blogger Arrested After Repeatedly Texting Spokeswoman

Good story, factually correct
 Mr Jensen has never 'threatened' anybody, ever. It's all huff and puff.

Alsdedt admits right here in this story that he never threatened her safety
“I fear the behavior will escalate and threaten my personal safety.”  She is playing psychiatrist as she feels his behavior will 'escalate'  which is the same as saying 'he hasn't threatened me'.

Then we have Festch making her usual ignorant comments like:
"the agency has had no direct involvement in the case". If that were true then why is this happening:
"TriMet has also barred him from speaking to anyone at the agency except a designated contact person"
Supposedly Alsdedt is the vicitim here, but her victim-hood extends to everybody else that works there? Ya right. And he can't speak at board meetings if she is there? Gimme a break will ya.

Michael Anderson who is the most objective journalist in the area sums it up perfectly

“Lane is often obnoxious, regularly disruptive and probably counterproductive to his own agenda, but none of that is illegal,” Andersen says. “His advocacy journalism isn’t always right, but it’s regularly useful.”

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

TriMet to restore weekday frequent bus service in 2014 (video) |

TriMet to restore weekday frequent bus service in 2014 (video) |

"" during the Great Recession.""~~~>Boy do I get tired of that line.""On a frequent service bus, she said, it's $2.63 per ride, compared to $3.93 on a fixed route bus, Altstadt said.""~~~>Completely absurd to start looking at costs during a particular period of the day. Why have any service at all then that is off peak?"""It won't mean world peace," McFarlane said, "but it will mean a great deal to our frequent riders."""~~~>Idiotic comment.  """My focus has been to restore Frequent Service, and I'm so pleased we found savings in our current budget to allow us to reinvest in this network,"""~~>Doesn't anybody else find it odd that Trimet always can find several million dollars to fund a whole variety of non transit related projects.  """However, OPAL Environmental Justice, which runs the Bus Riders Unite activist group, maintains that the best way to bring more equity to the bus system is to increase fare transfer times to three hours."""~~~>Obviously since this will only help the people that use those lines, the other riders get nothing out of trimet.

I also see Mr Wonderful didn't mention that in 12 years 70% of all Trimet services will be cut. Readers should be made aware that bus riders have suffered cuts for 10 straight years. I also think Mr Wonderful would not have done any of this had he not been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Joseph Rose: Why won't TriMet use double decker buses? |

Joseph Rose: Why won't TriMet use double decker buses? |

"""By the way, TriMet is working on plans to restore some frequent bus service (every 15 minutes) in March."""
~~~>FREQUENT service, is NOT every 15 minutes, its actually every 8 MINUTES or less. The word is being misused here in Portland, as usual. You have 15 minute service and one drops out, well now its 1/2 hour for the next bus, IF IT'S ON TIME and that is not frequent service. FREQUENT SERVICE means you NEVER wait more than 15 minutes for a bus, even if one drops out.

All they really need is to bring back those articulated buses, BENDY BUSES as they are called in jolly old England. That would relieve overcrowding and prevent pass ups which are common now.

""" As it comes together like a $134 million piece of Ikea furniture""
~~~>How things look here in Portlandia is important, that is true. The tourists magazines write lots and lots of nice stuff about how a place looks and that will definatley help Portlandia's image with the tourist crowd which is so vital to Portland policy makers. (we don't need to mention the fact that 88% of people in Portland will probably never use it, it still looks good)

""""we definitely took emergency vehicles into consideration," says Roberta Altstadt, an agency spokeswoman. "The bridge was designed and is being built so it is accessible to fire trucks and other emergency response vehicles.""""
~~~>Thank god for that! Are they sure the Coast Guard has approved the height limits this time?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

TriMet secret pay raises: After controversy, non-union workers will have to wait until next year |

TriMet secret pay raises: After controversy, non-union workers will have to wait until next year |

"""In March, an investigation by The Oregonian found that TriMet's General Manager Neil McFarlane dipped into a rainy day fund to pay for $910,000 in non-union raises, even as he supported cutting service and raising fares."""
~~~>That's proof positive that Mcfarlane is not being truthful when he is telling the public about the financial state of Trimet. He said the agency was going broke but at the exact same time he gave himself a raise. The man and all of his cronies should have been fired right there, but this is Portland, where this kind of corruption seems to be a standard.

"""On Wednesday, Randy Stedman, the agency's executive director of human resources and labor relations, presented a report outlining how an improving economy and "below market" pay, among other things, has accelerated turnover.""""
~~~>First of all, Steadman was hired by Mcfarlane so Mcfarlane would not have to get his hands dirty. Steadman is Mcfarlanes hatchet man so you shouldn't be quoting Steadman, its Mcfarlane that tells him what to do.
SECONDLY....the concept of 'below market' is false. Trimet is not a 'market based' business. It would not exist at all without government subsidy. There was at one time an element of ALTRUISM in providing public service, not any longer apparently.  There is no 'market' for government employees. If they can do better in the private sector than go do it. Public should not have to foot the bill for this so called 'talent' (BS)

This is an affront to everybody, riders and union employees. None of those people in the office have to wait 30 years to get Christmas off with their families. None of those people get up in the wee hours or stay up till the latest at night to get the job done. None of those people risk getting stabbed or attacked at their jobs.

Once again we see a blatant attack on union employees, they get 'too much' but the non union employees 'get too little'
It's just disgraceful

Monday, October 7, 2013

TriMet hits bumpy road in critics' eyes

TriMet hits bumpy road in critics' eyes

"""TriMet officials disagree. They say the fare increases and service cuts
were necessary to stabilize the agency’s finances, which were undermined
by the Great Recession."""

~~~> the fact that Trimet has brought back the service PROVES that OPAL was correct in its evaluation of the Trimet budget.

"""In addition, TriMet still has not resolved its long-running contract
dispute with the union that represents most of its workers. Although the
state Employment Relations Board upheld the contract imposed by an
arbitrator earlier this year, Amalgamated Transit Union 757 recently
appealed that ruling to the Oregon Court of Appeals."""

~~~~>That appeal is routine. Trimet appeals every single decision that does not go in their favor and so should the union. It's highly unlikely that that will be reversed.

"""According to Franz, TriMet data shows the majority of the riders hurt by
the two-hour transfer limit are low-income and people of color. A
TriMet analysis says such a change could reduce expected revenue by
between $2 million and $3 million, however."""

~~~> The Trimet executives gave themselves raises totaling $1,000,000. They did that at the exact same time and the increased the fares and cut service. And they hid the fact that they did that with the complicity of the trimet board.

"""While they argue over a couple million dollars what people never question the is the HUGE AMOUNT of pork being funded by trimet:

"""The delay proves an old political adage: It is frequently harder to increase government spending than to cut it.""
~~~>I've never heard that before and its a completely ludicrous remark

""" Now the union has appealed the ERB decision to the Oregon Court of Appeals, which could reverse both decisions.""
~~~>The odds of that happening are 100:1.

""" And it is unclear if TriMet would have to reimburse the union’s members for unpaid raises and increased health care benefit costs if the union prevails.
~~>Trimet is still fighting the ruling that ordered them to pay back union personnel for illegally charging them for health insurance.  The don't pay anything for years anyway, takes 10 years to winde through the courts.

"""The uncertainty does not matter to OPAL, however. Its mission is to help low-income people and people of color. OPAL believes last year’s fare increases and service cuts disproportionately hurt those populations, and it has focused on the transfer policy change as the solution. OPAL does not oppose increasing run times on the frequent service lines. But it believes changing the transfer policy would help more riders."""
~~~>OPAL is too polite. The fact of the matter is is that Trimet set up a dynamic of 'one or the other' and never even notified OPAL to that affect.

""" Stovall, who is working on the Strategic Financial Plan, said the board should decide whether that additional revenue should be dedicated to a specific purpose — such as restoring service cuts — or be set aside in a rainy day fund to prevent future cuts if the economy turns bad again.""
~~~>Interesting that his board all of a sudden wants 'input'. This is the exact same board that doubled the contingency budget and awarded $1,000,000 in raises to executives without bothering to inform the public or public feedback. Whatever caused this %100 turn around

OPAL should be getting more mainstream coverage. These are the people that called out Mcfarlanes budget 'shortage'. The fact that Trimet is restoring the service they just cut proves they called it correctly. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

NunatsiaqOnline 2013-09-30: NEWS: Vandals wreck Nunavut community’s school bus fleet

NunatsiaqOnline 2013-09-30: NEWS: Vandals wreck Nunavut community’s school bus fleet

Ohio transit attorney eating through BART tab for ongoing labor negotiations | Transportation | San Francisco | San Francisco Examiner

Ohio transit attorney eating through BART tab for ongoing labor negotiations | Transportation | San Francisco | San Francisco Examiner

Look folks, the story is told in the money being paid out to the professional strike breaker. This guy is getting paid even though there are no negotiations going on?

Who are the criminals here? The people making fortunes off BART or the ones making a decent paycheck providing transit to the bay area?

It's important to point out that the EXECUTIVES WILL STILL GET PAID EVEN IF THERE IS A BART STRIKE while the  BART workers won't.

The BART executives have no reason to settle since they personally have nothing to lose!

This is exactly like the congress shutting down congress, The congressman will still get paid, its just the people that are doing the work that don't get paid.

Don't be fooled by the attempts to demonize and privatize the workforce, this situation is created completely by the executive class at BART which has NOTHING TO LOSE if there is a BART strike!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

TriMet ridership declined 5 percent over summer, even as more workers took WES |

TriMet ridership declined 5 percent over summer, even as more workers took WES |

You don't really expect to get any actual objective information from Trimet right? There is always an external scapegoat for every one of their failures. The numbskulls in charge don't want to admit they made riding Trimet for short trips ridiculously expensive compared to other transit agencies, a nazi like fare enforcement and horrible bus service in the suburbs have contributed to driving people back into their cars.

I can't tell you how many tweets I see everyday from people saying they cant wait to get their cars back or get their license.

Trimet may have max but if you cant get to or from max what good is it?

Interesting observation about STREAM and its 100% subisdy. There are so few riders on WES that even a few hundred extra riders bump that by a decent percentage.

And when the new stats start coming out which take into consideration the end of fareless square that will give a very clear picture of what is going on.

The bus service decline cannot be explained by fare less square however, Trimet has done itself in, and the execs gave themselves a raise for the wonderful job THEY ARE NOT DOING.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

TriMet to fare app users: Dead battery? Good luck with that |

TriMet to fare app users: Dead battery? Good luck with that |

Usually I agree with most everything that chwherittakesu writes, however not this time.
However you do agree that the fine is excessive, so you do have some understanding of the plight of the vast majority of citizens out here.
The way things are set up now is a clear example of government 'predation' pure and simple. The fine does not fit the crime, there is no possible way to justify it either. It's completely wrong and immoral.

The reason I call inspectors Gestapo , I actually don't use that term any longer I call them TRISTAPO is because they use the exact same techniques as the Gestapo used in Germany. Boarding trains and checking papers randomly without probable cause. The inspectors make the assumption that everyone is a fare evader and everyone that is inspected is expected to give up their rights and comply. That is fascism, you have no rights in the face of random inspections.

Let me take this one step further, I assume you have been working at Trimet at least 15 years so you are fully aware that for 10 years prior to Herr Mcfarlane showing up there was a large fareless square and minimal investment made to enforcement. Trimet did not make the necessary obligations to secure their transit system but decided 'walk on' was somehow preferable.

Then Mcfarlane shows up and decides that everything needs to change, except the securment of the stations. If Trimet was serious about fares rather than intruding on peoples lives they would have secured the stations, heavens knows they spend multimillions on everything else.

Mcfarlane then raises the fares to the level of highest in the country for short trips and hires dozens of white shirted Tristapo  to plague riders. Add to that TVM's that don't work and what you have is one of the most abusive transit systems in the world. Ridership has plummeted under Mcfarlanes iron fisted rule.

You comment that 'trimet doesn't get rich off the fines'. What you forget to understand is that Trimet is a cog in the thing called 'government machinery'. The fine is used to pay for other governmental operations. You hear Trimet big shots always referring to their 'partners'. Well those 'partners' are other governmental units and you may be aware that there are constant 'intergovernmental agreements' between them. In other words, THEY SUPPORT EACH OTHER.

And in regards to this comment:
""They should know they are taking the risk. You don't charge a shoplifter who steals a pair of jeans just the price of the jeans if they are caught. You charge them $250-500 plus the possibility of jail time so they think twice about doing it.''

But then you make this comment: 
"""I've watched many of these guys who cite the fare evaders. ON AVERAGE (not every day) out of every 10 people stopped; 7 are prior offenders with MORE than 1 prior offense (so they havn't learned their lesson),"""


Monday, September 16, 2013

TriMet smartphone fares app getting not-so-rave reviews from frustrated riders |

TriMet smartphone fares app getting not-so-rave reviews from frustrated riders |

I'm beginning to think that this is more a scam in which TriMet can claim infallibility if something doesn't work - because it will distance itself and say "Call GlobeSherpa...and, by the way, here's your citation. See you in court."
~~~>WOW, no wonder its 'privatized'. I was really curious why Trimet is allowing a for profit company to make money on this rather than having this app created directly by Trimet, and ERIK just hit the nail on the head. This is indeed the beauty of PRIVATIZATION, government can pass the buck while filling cronies pockets.

I knew this latest propaganda bonanza was just the usual Trimet nonsense. And as they always do, TRIMET points the finger at everything else but themselves for the blame.

"""The most common rider mistake, Altstadt said, is entering a credit or debit card without checking the box that says “store card for future purchases.” “If they do not do this, the app will not remember the info,” she said.

Meanwhile, app crashes, Altstadt said, are likely related to older phones running older operating system versions. She suggested riders with Android phones go into their settings and make sure “developer options” is turned off."""

Always somebody else to blame, A-L-W-A-Y-S!

And I know your poll is unscientific but it does denote a 30% failure rate with is HIGHER than the TVM's. Don't expect Trimet to ever mention anything that even hints of failure when it comes to their operation.

None of this is surprising to me, not at all, saw it coming from a mile away.

Friday, September 13, 2013,d.cGE&psig=AFQjCNHRzPCdOiIOFvXVQSPwkbJJbampEw&ust=1379213309206899

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OPAL's Pitch to TriMet - Portland Transport

OPAL's Pitch to TriMet - Portland Transport

Actually I believe transit should be free, a publicly provided service like police/fire/sidewalks/streets etc.

The problem has always been, and will continue to be, that transit in this country makes too much money for the people that are involved in it.

It shouldn't cost 100k a year to operate a bus (with overtime), executives shouldn't be making mid six figure salaries and obscene pensions. Layers and layers of bureaucracy exist now with each layer siphoning off money that could be used to transport people

Transit funds lately in this  country has been more about building things than transporting people, billions are made available for capital projects but nothing to move people around now.

And I just don't believe what the Trimet executives say, we have no way to prove or disprove their budget analysis.

Last year Mcfarlane claimed the sky was falling cut routes and raised fares, all the while he hid $970,000 in raises for himself and his executive staff that will continue in perpetuity. 

This year he says there is money to restore something, but in 20 years 70% of everything will have to be cut.

How can anyone believe anything that comes out of Trimet?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

MaxRedline: More Union Thuggery

MaxRedline: More Union Thuggery

attendees, spitting on a speaker, barging into a room rented by the two
libertarian organizations with bullhorns - really? Yeah boy, makes me
want to sign right up. Not.

~~~>No not good at all. My experience at Trimet makes me more pro union than anti union. I had some protections as a result of the union. We also had a good contract because of the union.

It is a fact that GENERALLY speaking union employees get better wages and benefits than non union employees. Not always but most of the time. Collectivism does work occasionally. 

MaxRedline: More Union Thuggery

MaxRedline: More Union Thuggery

So, letting union workers decide if they want to be in a union is cutting half their wages?
~~~> I support allowing workers to decide for themselves if they want to be in the union

Yes. But if I'm on the public payroll, and have a vastly better deal than the taxpayers, I could see their point.
~~~>Understood and agree, as I said I am on the fence with this issue.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Human Transit: portland: TriMet's new mobile ticketing app reviewed (guest post)

Human Transit: portland: TriMet's new mobile ticketing app reviewed (guest post)

This telephone app is indeed a positive development for Trimet riders who for years have suffered the horrible Trimet ticket machines and the brutality of Trimet's policy forcing riders to get off at other stations and buy tickets if the machines are not working at the embarking station.
That truly is a fascist policy if there ever was one, placing the responsibility on the rider to cover for Trimet's failures.
So in that respect this is a giant step forward.

I do have some problems with this however.
First there are ex trimet executives that stand to make a quite a bit of money from this.  I am never pleased to see ex government officials enter into that 'revolving door' of public/private enterprise.
These connected people (already wealthy) get themselves richer from their inside connections, its a societal problem but should not be so readily acceptable.

Secondly as the author noted, many people do not have a smart phone, those people will still have to suffer the brutality of the TVM policy. Trimet has created a sub class of riders now, transit equity this is not. This is another example of catering to the so called 'choice rider' which is code for UPPER CLASS WHITE PEOPLE.

Third, Trimet has been paying for all the advertising for this. Since when is it appropriate for a government agency to use tax funds to advertise  a 'for profit' company?

Fourth, the hype was way over the top. Completely blown up into some sort of major earthshaking event which it is not. Mobile ticketing has been around for a long long time, especially in Europe and it is used at other transit districts here in America. Sure Trimet is the first to allow it on its buses and trains instead of just the trains. But the reason for that is Trimet is a relatively small system compared to places like NY or Boston. Those places have multitudes of fares and many different types of services. Trimet basically has only 3 fares, Disabled, Youth, and Adult, and only two types of services, bus and max (WES doesn't count its ridership is so tiny and its fare is the same)

And we shall see how long it takes for some highly intelligent computer geek to counterfeit this software into a look a like app.  Are the fare inspectors going to have time to scan all the QR codes for each person that has this app to verify it? I doubt it.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Post-CRC Transit: Time for (Real) Commuter Rail? - Portland Transport

Post-CRC Transit: Time for (Real) Commuter Rail? - Portland Transport

I feel like I keep repeating myself I guess that's cause I keep repeating myself.

This is not complicated folks, high capacity transit can be available tomorrow.

All that's needed is to buy buses,lots of them,  high capacity buses, that have nice interiors with nice comfortable seats and simple amenities like high speed internet, run them frequently (as in every 10 minutes all day long) and people will use it.

No turmoil or construction needed. One 60 ft bus can haul 200 people comfortably that's 200 cars off I5. If you had a whole fleet of those  you can remove thousands of cars from the existing roadway.

 Planners like to plan and providing reliable and frequent bus service in big buses doesn't employ any planners and makes no money for construction outfits nor does it make profit  for developers.

Why are people attached to the complicated. The solution lies in the obvious.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Portland Transport: Comment Preview

Portland Transport: Comment Preview

divisive narratives about "bus vs. rail"

~~>Further thought about this leads me to comment additionally.

The 'bus vs rail' argument is in reality nothing to do with buses or rail. The fight that is going on here is about government technocrats forcing their agenda down the citizens throats. "bus vs Light rail" has become the metaphor for 'government vs the people', especially here in the northwest. Have you looked around lately? How many people are wandering around with nowhere to go? We citizens have no idea where those billions are actually going,into who's pockets that money is ending up. The attachment to the concept of light rail is all about the money, I am certain of that.

On the subject of "union vs. non-union employee" that fight is symptomatic of an 'entitled class' enriching itself on the labor of the working class. It's a righteous argument and its a fight that will have decades long consequences.

When you look behind the propaganda and the intentional 'divisiveness' what you end up seeing is that gubmint is not on the side of the citizens. Over a million a year dead on roadways and where is gubmint? What happened in Greece and Detroit is the harbinger of what gubmint (and its owners the banks) has in store for its citizenry. It ain't gonna be pretty.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

TriMet announces opening date for Portland-Milwaukie light rail line |

TriMet announces opening date for Portland-Milwaukie light rail line | Oh Jeez, first of all TriMet on Thursday announced the opening date for the $1.49 billion Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail line will be Sept. 12, 2015. ~~~> That is absolutely ridiculous, they are setting the exact day it will open almost 2 years from now! Cheap public relations stunt! A "50 Percent Complete" event in downtown Portland not only drew TriMet officials but members of the Oregon Legislature, Metro's leadership, the Portland City Council and the Clackamas County Commission and representatives of Oregon's congressional delegation and Oregon Health & Sciences University ~~~>Well ya, all politicians and bureaucrats showed up. It a PR event! They do that only to get their stupid pictures that they use later. If they didn't show up nobody would. TriMet describes the bridge as "the first of its kind multi-modal bridge will carry light rail, buses, bikes, pedestrians and a future Portland Streetcar extension over the Willamette River, but no private vehicles." Hmmm. Legally, bicycles are private vehicles. Less bureaucra-speak please. There is nothing wrong with Light Rail per se, everybody should have it if possible (note to everybody, DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT, put light rail right down the middle of your downtown street and stop every 3 blocks. Not only does it make the LR vulnerable to traffic issues and accidents but it defeats the purpose of LR which is FAST service. Then there is the question of ethics involved with this, I wrote an essay about that HERE!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

State board upholds TriMet contract requiring union members to pay more of their health care costs |

State board upholds TriMet contract requiring union members to pay more of their health care costs |

Listen up everybody, you all have been duped, fooled by that most excellent government propaganda that comes out of the Trimet propaganda dept and the mainstream media which serves as the mouthpiece for government propaganda.

Nobody expected the arbitrators award to be thrown out in its entirety. There were items in the body of the award that were highly questionable. The horrible Oregon arbitration system allows the arbitrator to only 'pick one or the other' contract. No modifications to either are allowed. Right there we can see the stupidity of Oregon's arbitration system.

This went to the court because of items within the award, not the entirety of the award.
One of the major issues was the issue of retroactive payment for health insurance coverage that was already provided. Trimet  intent on recouping that money. I have the Trimet board meeting when this was discussed, it can be proven.

That was the main reason this went to the courts, Trimet intentionally attempted to abuse the arbitration process by including within the body of its offer items that were clearly illegal.

Those illegal items were thrown out, it was a victory for law and order. The loser was Trimet who attempted to subvert the arbitration process in its ongoing attempts to destroy its union workforce.

Don't believe the headline, the headline is pure propaganda and intentionally switches from the reality of the court ruling in order to present the case as it was most certainly not.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Let’s Talk About Cost of Commute, Transit & Trimet Fares | Transit Sleuth

Let’s Talk About Cost of Commute, Transit & Trimet Fares | Transit Sleuth

As I said on the Facebook, my main objection to Trimet fares is lack of an affordable pass.
I also objected to the way Trimet handled this last fare increase, basically forcing everyone into the previous 'all zone' ticket, which itself was raised 10 cents. That was a 20% increase for riders only using Trimet for short distances.

The other reason I have a problem with the 'high' fares is the amount of transit money that is going to the employees, both union and non union. Everybody involved with transit in the USA is making a great living with the executive class retiring with actual riches. Fred Hansen left Trimet after a little more than 10 years with a pension of $16,000/mo. While the press doesn't cover it this is the type of obscenity that has lead to excessive fares on Trimet. Trimet employs seventy six  $100k+  executive positions.  All of those people will retire with huge pensions. My point, people are getting rich while the lower socioeconomic riders foot the bill.

All of THESE cities have an affordable pass, Trimet does not unless you are HC or a student high school or lower.

Nobody argues that transit is cheaper than driving, however, does your time have value? I used Trimet for years to get to and from work. One day I got sick and decided to drive rather than take transit. I got home a full hour faster than when I was taking transit. I never took transit again after that. I realized my time was more valuable than the money I was saving taking transit. The other problem with transit is (unless u live and work in the downtown core) is that you are a prisoner to it. As in you have to schedule your time to be at the stop before the train (in my case) gets there. I found myself rushing to make the train. Then when the train got to Jen-Weld the 15 bus had gone by just 2 minutes before. Transit is highly inconvenient.

Last but not least is the one event that proved to me that owing a car is important.
Hurricane Katrina is the example. All the people that were transit dependent got left behind during the evacuation. And we know how that story ended.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pay for shuttle drivers cut after Nike switches contractors |

Pay for shuttle drivers cut after Nike switches contractors |

TriMet's audit, a 'full-body X-ray' of finances and operations, will help set things straight |

TriMet's audit, a 'full-body X-ray' of finances and operations, will help set things straight |

The agency's unfunded liability for health care and pension benefits already promised to workers approaches $1 billion. That's a lot of bus fare on a network of routes sharply cut back to save money.

Lets get this into perspective, the 'unfunded liability' (which was intentionally created due to the negligence of both the Trimet board and the Trimet management) is less than the cost of a silly light rail line to Milwaukie that was not needed. So you want to talk numbers and scale how but comparing apples to apples.

And Rose followed up with the disclosure that TriMet's general manager, Neil McFarlane, had tapped into a $20 million rainy day fund to give raises to top managers and nonunion personnel -- this with the approval of the agency's board, which saw fit to give McFarlane a raise, and this as the cash-strapped agency jacked up bus and train fares.
Financially speaking, however, that's small pickin's.

"Small pickins" huh? That one million dollars hidden from the public view while that arrogant general manager was yacking how he hadn't had a raise in 4 years is in perpetuity. That's one million every single year from this point on. To represent it as small pickin's is downright dishonest say nothing of the fact they evaded public process which in my feeling is criminal behavior

At least make some attempt to be fair on the issue, your attempt to influence public opinion is obvious.

Plenty of people think the whole audit is a 'whitewash' since its being done by Oregon technocrats all of whom have connections to each other.

I have my doubts that it will be anything other than another white wash.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Portland Transport: Comment Preview

Portland Transport: Comment Preview

The idea that somehow more and more people will move into an area that will grow the equivalence of 23 Powell's  is preposterous.
They planning on putting up a whole bunch of high rises? Is that what this is based on?
And if they put up 1000 high rise building that hold the population of 23 Powell Boulevards and they want to all drive their cars down Powell Boulevard what business is that of anybody? If people want to do that then let them.
Is it a free country or not?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Warner's long ride boosts TriMet

Warner's long ride boosts TriMet

{"“Neil is operating with the full understanding and support of the board,” Warner says. “We respect what he is trying to make happen.”}
~~~>Experienced Trimet enthusiasts know full well Mcfarlane is not operating alone here. He is following a carefully scripted plan, most likely laid out by himself and his predecessor Fred Hansen (currently soaking tax payers for $16k each and every month) and whoever the power players are that are hidden from public view and scrutiny. (the hack in the governors office comes to mind)

{ATU 757 officials question whether the board is aware of everything McFarlane does, however. “When you go to the meetings, you wonder if the board has even read what they’re voting on,” says ATU 757 President Bruce Hansen}
~~~>It's perfectly reasonable to assume that board has very little understanding of what they are voting on. The only information they get is given to them by Mcfarlane or his hand picked cronies. They get no outside counsel

{No one who knows Warner should be surprised by his high profile. Before becoming board chairman, he held a series of increasingly pressure-filled public positions in the state and region. They include executive stints at Hillsboro, Washington County, the Portland Development Commission, Metro and the Oregon Department of Transportation.}
~~~> The man is  a career technocrat, much like Mcfarlane, spending his entire career as a tax funded bureaucrat. What does he know of the concerns of the average man in the street or the guy that drives the bus. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

{In person, Warner hardly seems like the kind of person used to negotiating with elected officials, running large bureaucracies, and brokering multimillion-dollar deals. Trim and fit, with graying hair and a thick mustache, he looks more like a favorite uncle at a family gathering. He has a relaxed personality and is even dismissive of his extensive background}
 ~~~>Pure subjective PROPAGANDA, plain and simple.

{The board unanimously approved the $485 million budget a few minutes later.}
~~~>That's not news, that's the way it has been done for years and years. The board (in reality sock puppets) routinely approves whatever the general manager puts in front of them.

{Bringing credibility}
~~~>HUH? Says who? The writer of this propaganda piece that's who!

~~~~>I can't read anymore of this drivel, sorry. Such obvious propaganda it sickens me. I am sick of this disgusting hero worship that passes for news. Warner is a hack sent in to prop up that bumbling general manager Mcfarlane who under his watch:

1-Has lost more than a few unfair labor practice complaints
2-Hid raises for himself and his cronies
3-Was fined by the courts for obstructing justice
4-Intentionally obstructed the Oregonian investigation into overtime at Trimet.
5-Intentionally obstructed the investigation into the yellow line crash at expo center.
6-Has sent drovers of storm troopers onto trains (even with dogs) to terrorize riders
7-Has created an institutional disrespectful workplace  by dragging his problems with the union onto the public stage creating a hostile public to the union workers.

Mcfarlane is a disgrace, and Warner is a disgrace for trying to prop him up.

Will you allow this contrary point of view to remain on your web site? Who knows.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

TriMet, union negotiations don't have to be open to public, judge rules |

TriMet, union negotiations don't have to be open to public, judge rules |

TriMet has submitted a list of media outlets, including newspapers, radio and TV stations, the labor press and at least one Portland transit blogger, it would like to invite. But the agency says the two sides have not reached agreement on the issue. 
~~~>So they are allowing 1 blogger huh? Who is it?

Following Roberts' ruling, ATU President Bruce Hansen said the union plans to appeal.
~~~>Right on!

In the end, Hansen said he has a problem with TriMet essentially cherry-picking media outlets. 
~~~>As he should

The slugs running trimet will continue to bully and distort information to get their way. The only way to get accountability out of these people is by shoving transparency down their throats. As long as they can continue their secret ways there will be problems at trimet

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

MAX mess: Tiny surge protector at Steel Bridge caused massive system failure |

MAX mess: Tiny surge protector at Steel Bridge caused massive system failure |

There is a systemic problem here that is being ignored.
If it takes that long to find  something so small then the transit system has serious engineering problems and more serious flaws in its troubleshooting procedures.
That means there has been some very bad, even incompetent management at the top.
A well designed and managed system should be able to troubleshoot this sort of thing quickly and efficiently.
Obviously that is not and has not been the case.

And Joe your story is pretty incomplete.

You completely left out the MAX breakdown on the west side and the resulting evacuation of riders.
Some particular reason you left that out?

You also left out  the fact that the  controllers desk top computers crashed in the middle of the crisis, a kind of important fact don't you think Joe. Controllers were directing MAX traffic blind. Kinda important you know from a safety point of view.

All of this points to a very incompetent management, something else not mentioned. I wish I had a job where I could screw up this bad and face no consequences.

One is too assume from your article that the whole thing was 'just standard stuff'.
It was hardly standard stuff.

Sometimes I wonder about you Joe, are you really being impartial? Seems to me you leave a lot of very important facts out of some of your stories. Facts that make the management of Trimet look bad are sometimes left out of some of your stories. Not all your stories, just some of them, like this one.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Kid's Take: Portland Transit Activism from the Bottom Up.: Letting Go

The Kid's Take: Portland Transit Activism from the Bottom Up.: Letting Go

Portland Transport: Comment Preview

Portland Transport: Comment Preview
Ya I know you can censor anybody you want, lots of blogs do, you guys have censored me for years.

I just love the obsession with 'nicety' with you guys.

Such nonsense especially in light of the guy you were talking to at that table literally hid $1,000,000 in raises for himself and his henchmen in a 'contingency' budget that we were told was for emergencies! And he knew that he had done that while he was talking about how bad off Trimet was

"this is a place for civil discussion" says his highness.

Don't mind those people watching the store as they rob public funds, just make sure you have a 'civil discussion'

Ya right.

We know where the moderators of this blog stand:

hy·poc·ri·sy  (h-pkr-s)
n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies
1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
2. An act or instance of such falseness.

Monday, April 22, 2013

TriMet's westside plans include more service to job centers in Hillsboro, as 'solar system' evolves |

TriMet's westside plans include more service to job centers in Hillsboro, as 'solar system' evolves |

While TriMet's MAX Blue Line runs deep into the city's core, bus service hasn't significantly changed since 1997, according to TriMet planners, before the light-rail trains hummed into downtown Hillsboro.
That is suck BS, they have cut so much service from the west side I can't believe they would make a statement like that. (actually of course I should believe they would make up something so absurd)

"You have to draw a new solar system," Rob Dixon, Hillsboro assistant city manager, said of bus service.
Well that's very cute of course.

But ever since Neil McFarlane joined the agency as general manager in 2010, the hand has been extended.

I know isn't he wonderful? Too bad he hates his retirees and is trying to starve them to death.

"It was just exciting to have the head of the agency acknowledge that the paradigm that most of the system was built on is not an accurate paradigm anymore," Dixon said.

Ya I'm so excited I can hardly sit in my chair!

TriMet has faced $56 million in budget shortfalls since 2008, and is battling with the Amalgamated Transit Union 757 on health benefits for employees.
We all knew this was coming. Instead of making pie in the sky plans why doesn't the fools that run Trimet get its house in order and stop with the false promises and disguised anti union propaganda. This i
Publish Posts disgraceful! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

TriMet proposes $2.1 million for bus 'service improvements' |

What you are witnessing in reality is Trimet's highly paid very expert public relations department trying to rehabilitate the shattered Trimet  executive image.

An image that was already dimly perceived by the public before the 'secret' executive raises.

The secret raises sunk the executive class in the eyes of the public.

What they are attempting to do now is rehabilitate that image, with Mcfarlane making various appearances at Transit centers, 'conference calls' 'finding money' to add services, declaring no fare increases next year, blah blah blah.

It's all a very carefully instrumented propaganda campaign.

These executives are the owners of Trimet, they do what they want. There is absolutely no accountability to the public there. When they want to raise fares and cut services they do it, when they don't want to do it they don't.

Anybody who has ever kept books and records know how easy it is to make things look the way you want them to, especially with a budget as huge and complicated at Trimet's.

And remember, the 'improvements' are all listed as 'potential' with very little meat.

Look at these proposals:

Slight increases in frequency to relieve passenger crowding on the No. 4 on weekends, the No. 12 on weekend evenings and the No. 33 on weekday evenings.
~~~>"slight' increases? Like one bus on a tripper?

Better connections and increased weekday frequency on the No. 47, with buses running to Portland Community College Rock Creek via Northwest 174th Avenue and Laidlaw Road, instead of running to Sunset Transit Center. Frequency would also improve between the Orenco/Northwest 231st Avenue MAX station and PCC Rock Creek.  
~~~>What the heck is that supposed to mean? English please.

More frequent rush-hour buses between the Sunset Transit Center and Northwest Stucki Avenue for the No. 48-Cornell.
~~~>Again, why nothing specific?

Midday express buses added and rush hour local buses added to the No. 94-Pacific Highway/Sherwood between the Tigard Transit Center and Sherwood to improve transfer connections.
`~~> Again, how many buses are we talking about? One extra bus, two, three. They are being dishonest by leaving out specifics

Time added to present trips to better match schedules with traffic conditions on weekdays and weekends on the No. 6-Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
~~~>Huh? Adding how many minutes on the schedule? One minute? 2? 3?

Service starting a half an hour earlier on weekday mornings on the No. 9-Powell and No. 21-Sandy/223rd Avenue.
~~~~>That's actually something specific, first one!

Minor weekday schedule adjustments to better match schedules with traffic conditions on the 10-Harold Street, 14-Hawthorne, 62-Murray Boulevard, 36-South Shore and 37-Lake Grove
~~~>Whatever that means

And the band played on  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

TriMet's open MAX door: How the wrong word gave rise to online conspiracy theories |

TriMet's open MAX door: How the wrong word gave rise to online conspiracy theories |

The anonymous MAX FAQs blog, which apparently exists in part to promote the Amalgamated Transit Union 757’s myriad grievances with management, pushed even further. 

~~~>And this statement is just completely false. In every single news release Trimet sticks in its anti union propaganda. Is it so surprising that a blogger might take offense to that over and over and over and may try to hit back against that sort of onslaught?
You think that everyone who supports workers rights has some sort of hidden agenda?
Well you are wrong.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

TriMet's open MAX door: How the wrong word gave rise to online conspiracy theories |

TriMet's open MAX door: How the wrong word gave rise to online conspiracy theories |

First of all this is a 'theory' not a fact. They could not recreate the event which leads me to believe that this is definitely not the proper explanation so they never should have even brought it up.

Secondly, if this was indeed the explanation and the ' corroded switch' was indeed the problem and all the doors are interconnected by one cable then why did all the other doors close down line from that door.

I still  think they made it up although I am glad it didn't come out of the blue completely.

That sort of incompetence is unreal but still, Aldesdt still made a major error in putting out that defective new release.

Of course since she works for Trimet she has no accountability for her actions, just like everybody else there.