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.