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. 

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