November 30, 2012
Time once again to pass out the candy and coal.
- Relations between TriMet and the ATU aren't getting any better. As the current contract (finally finalized just a few months ago by the ERB) expires at the end of November--most likely by the time you read this--it's now time to negotiate the next contract; and the ATU boycotted a work session scheduled for today. TriMet calls this a delay tactic. At issue is to what level negotiations shall be conducted openly--the ATU wants a public process (with the public able to attend), and TriMet wishes to limit outside attendance to certain members of the press. The agency and union have been issuing a series of duelling press releases on the topic (most of which I won't dignify with a link), and it appears that even this issue will be decided in arbitration, after which work on the actual contract can begin. TriMet has released publicly an initial offer, which requests further concessions from union members, primarily around health care benefits. Joseph Rose has more.
- A bit more progress on the SW Corridor: A new draft of the Barbur Concept Plan summary report is available, and Metro has released a public outreach tool on the SW Corridor.
- December is the last month to use old TriMet tickets without the foil strip; starting in 2013 they will no longer be accepted as valid fare on TriMet.
- A survey reveals that if the new CRC is built and is tolled, 2/3 of motorists who presently use the Interstate Bridge would use the new crossing less often; with many of those trips shifting to the Glenn Jackson Bridge (and less than 10% expressing a willingness to shift to transit).
- Jarrett Walker will be offering a course on transit network design, with sessions being held here in Portland, as well as in Washington DC.
The Business Journal is reporting that Governor Kitzhaber's announced budget includes bonding authority for the Columbia River Crossing, without getting specific about the funding source.
Our latest, in the Whitaker Street foyer of the OHSU Center for Health and Healing in South Waterfront (at the base of the tram).
November 27, 2012
I think this sums it up nicely...
November 24, 2012
A few weeks ago, when the Oregonian wrote their "people will always drive" editorial, I penned a response with Randy Miller, a business leader in the Central Eastside. Our perspective addressed in particular how mobility in the central city has changed. The O has finally published it.
November 19, 2012
Now to be found in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza hotel on NE Broadway.
This is the first time we've deployed in a hotel and also the first time we've used the iPad (and a commercially available kiosk stand for it) as the display platform!
This particular unit is displaying four MAX lines plus the Streetcar Loop, all within walking distance of the hotel.
November 15, 2012
In an e-mail missive sent out to many decision-makers in Washington County, Hillsboro mayor Jerry Willey is proposing legislative language to require ODOT to conduct a study on a "Westside Corridor"--which is defined as a
new, alternative state highway corridor route, and associated, supporting state and regional highway projects, west of Oregon Route 217 running north and south through Washington County and portions of Multnomah and Clackamas Counties and connecting to US Interstate Highway 5 at its north terminus approximately at Highway 30 and at its south terminus near the City of Wilsonville.
The e-mail contains numerous things: A memo to various government officials, a white paper in support of the project, and the aforementioned proposed language.
Within the white paper, a rather rough map describes the corridor as starting in Wilsonville, wrapping around the west side of Sherwood, up to Scholls, and then north to Hillsboro following the rough path of OR219, and then across the West Hills south of Cornelius Pass (but north of Germantown Road), intersecting US 30 south of Sauvie Island, crossing the Willamette into the North Portland industrial area somewhere south of Kelly Point Park, and then running along Marine Drive right up to the Expo Center, ending at I-5. The proposed routing, for much of its track, lies well outside the current Urban Growth Boundary for the Portland metropolitan area; the major exception is when it passes through Hillsboro. Obviously, this alignment, which the white paper at least once refers to as a "parkway", could stand some refinement...
I guess no bad idea is ever truly dead.
That said, it appears that Mayor Willey apparently hasn't read (or seen) the recent presentation from ODOT, which outlines the current funding realities for the agency. ODOT cannot cobble together funding for the CRC, or its own maintenance backlog--let alone numerous other projects in the pipe, with completed EIS's waiting to go, such as the full build-out of the Pinot-Casino Highway or the Sunrise Corridor; projects that are (whatever their drawbacks) probably better-thought-out than this idea.
But regardless, it's probably wise to have some silver bullets and garlic handy.
November 14, 2012
In the previous post, we lamented the recent spate of (sometimes bizarre) incidents affecting MAX service, in particular a car which ran off a freeway offramp and landed in the middle of Sunset Transit Center, shutting down MAX service on the westside for the better part of a day. (Nobody was badly hurt; the driver was arrested for DUI).
The topic swiftly turned to the contingency plans TriMet deploys whenever there is a major outage on the rail system--the bus bridge. A bus bridge consists of a fleet of busses transporting passengers between two out-of-service segments on the line. Nobody likes it--it is inconvenient for rail passengers, who have their trip times lengthened considerably (but certainly preferable to being stuck). It is inconvenient for bus passengers, who often see runs cancelled due to the need to service the bus bridge, and it is expensive for TriMet, who may have to pay operators overtime due to the unplanned additional service need, as well as pay for lots of unplanned deadheading.
And some bus riders claim that the practice is unfair to them--that bridging MAX, Streetcar, or WES is a rail problem, and thus ought not have any adverse affects on bus riders.
The mechanics of a bus bridge
A bus bridge occurs when a section of track goes out of service for an extended period of time. This may be due to a broken-down train, a collision, a problem with the tracks, signalling, or power lines, or any number of other reasons. Short outages generally don't produce bus bridges--and in some cases there can be an aggravatingly long wait before a bridge is ordered (if it is a mechanical problem for instance, TriMet may try to fix it on site before taking the line out of service--which requires a mechanic travel to the problem, troubleshoot it, and decide if it can be fixed easily or not; meanwhile, trains back up upstream of the incident).
If a bridge is ordered, the section of track taken out of service extends to the nearest turnaround points on either side. There's a limited number of places on the MAX line where trains can reverse direction--generally, at transit centers with pocket tracks (such as Beaverton, Rose Quarter, or Gateway); as well as the Blue Line turnaround near Galleria downtown, and at the ends of lines. Most of the MAX system (outside these places) is signalled in only one direction; and MAX trains are forbidden to travel backwards (against the signals) under normal operations (and certainly not with passengers on board). Thus even if only one half of the line is affected (such as by a broken-down train), the bus bridge is bidirectional; trains cannot pass the broken-down train on the opposite track, and a balance of trains on both sides needs to be maintained.
Thus, when a bridge occurs, trains will enter the pocket track or turnaround at one of the stations at the end of the outage, unload passengers, pick up passengers heading the other way, and then leave in the opposite direction. Busses then transport passengers to the station at the other end of the out-of-service section, serving intermediate stations. Depending on the situation, busses may also pick up passengers from trains stuck in the closed section (though passengers on a train involved in an incident may have to wait, particularly if the train is stopped in a place where safe unloading is not possible).
To do a bus bridge, you need two things: 1) busses, and 2) bus drivers. #2 is often the harder resource to come by--TriMet keeps a number of busses in reserve, even at peak times, and at off-peak times (when MAX loads and frequency are lower, and fewer busses are needed) there are even more unused vehicles available. TriMet doesn't, however, like to pay drivers to sit around waiting for the phone to ring, so when a bus bridge occurs, drivers can come from one of several places:
- Supervisors and mechanics still current on bus training and licensure, and thus legally able to operate a bus
- Busses (and drivers) deadheading at the end of a run
- Off-duty drivers who agree to be called in
- Drivers diverted from operational bus service
MAX operators are generally not available for a bus bridge--many may not have current training or licensing, and trains cannot be abandoned along the line.
In many cases, there are not enough of numbers 1-3 to go around, so bus bridges are staffed, at least partially, with #4. Generally, busses and drivers are only taken out of regular service at the end of runs, as terminating a run mid-route and booting off the passengers would be rather rude--but if it is a bus you are expecting that is taken out of service, and the line is not a frequent one (or is frequently crowded), you won't be a happy camper.
Needless to say, bus bridges can be highly disruptive to scheduled bus service.
The equity issues
Some TriMet riders, particularly those who mainly use the bus system, consider this situation inequitable--questioning whether or not it is fair to disadvantage bus riders for the benefit of rail riders. I generally take a holistic view of transit--both bus and rail are part of the same system (as opposed to competing modes); many users of TriMet use both modes, and to some extent view the distinction as a bit artificial. But given recent history (with a rail expansion coupled with the current financial troubles resulting in significant reductions in bus service), a decrepit bus fleet (with many vehicles lacking modern amenities like A/C or low-floor boarding), and a political culture which has appeared to view bus service as second-class (along with politicians and business interests who may advocate rail projects for reasons other than mobility benefits), it is understandable that bus riders object vehemently to the practice.
There have been suggestions that TriMet discontinue the use of bus bridges altogether--or at a minimum, restrict bus bridges to use of "spare" assets, and refrain from taking busses and drivers out of scheduled revenue service. When a bus breaks down, after all, it is generally not replaced for a while--passengers on board are simply asked to wait for the follower. (If it is an infrequent line, or if the follower is SRO, this obviously becomes inconvenient). Local bus service, while being subject to ordinary traffic jams, generally doesn't suffer catastrophic disruptions. An incident involving one bus does not shut down the line, and busses can re-route around road closures in most cases. One could argue that if riders are to enjoy the advantages of exclusive-ROW rail (no traffic conflicts and a smoother ride), they should also endure the disadvantage (the possibility of catastrophic failure of the service).
On the other hand, if you view things from the point of view of causing the least inconvenience to the fewest number of passengers; a bus bridge makes sense. A bus involved in a bridge will generally be more full than one circulating through the suburbs--in many cases, more passengers will benefit from the bridge than will be inconvenienced by it. On the third hand, the benefit is asymmetrical, as the same groups of passengers "win" and "lose", time and time again.
One other issue is finance. Erik H, in a comment on the prior thread, proposes:
There's a pretty simple solution:
Require MAX Operations (yes, Operations - not Capital) to buy 100 new buses.
Those 100 buses are then put into bus service - and DEDICATED to bus service. Meanwhile, MAX then takes possession of the 1400 and 1600 series fleet. They are stored at Ruby or Elmonica. They become MAX specific assets.
When MAX craps out, the MAX Operators get to drive those 22 year old POS buses - with zero impact to bus riders.
As noted above, the critical resource is drivers and not vehicles. TriMet does keep a number of vehicles in reserve, and reserve vehicles are more likely to be older ones (newer busses are run all day, older ones mainly during the peak and/or emergencies; this is a big reason why express lines, including the 94 which Erik commutes on, often use the dregs of the fleet). As Bob points out, vehicles are capital goods and should be bought with capital dollars--using operating funds to buy rolling stock is simply not wise. And TriMet doesn't, to my knowledge, a priori dedicate X% of funding to bus and Y% to rail; its funding allocation strategies are more flexible. That said, Erik makes a good point: Any time a bus is used or diverted for bridging a rail outage, its corresponding expenses (fuel, driver labor, and pro-rated maintenance) ought to be "charged" to the rail accounts and not to bus service, in order to be an adequate representation of the cost of offering the different types of service. This may be TriMet's practice today; it may not be. Given that a claimed benefit of rail is that it is cheaper to operate on a per passenger-mile basis, this ought to be true even if contingency measures are taken into consideration.
Westside MAX is down today, as a speeding car trying to negotiate the loop ramp from US26 to OR217 ran off the highway, landing on the MAX tracks at Sunset Transit Center. Nobody at the station was hurt; the driver (who was intoxicated) only suffered minor injuries, and no MAX trains were involved, but the overhead wires powering the MAX line were destroyed. Service is not expected to be restored until this evening.
TriMet users have had it rough in the past several years, and rougher in the past two months, since the latest round of fare hikes and service cuts went into effect. But it seems that the problems have been exacerbated by an unusual number of incidents (many involving MAX) that are, certainly, outside the agency's control: A car runs into a pole, disabling Transit Tracker for a couple of weeks. This morning's happenings. Numerous other collisions between MAX trains and motor vehicles--all of which, AFAIK, the fault of the motorist rather than the TriMet operator? It seems as though someone out there has a voodoo doll...
...but that said, there's an old saying: "You make your own luck". While the incidents themselves are probably things that TriMet cannot reasonably do something about--should we cover the tracks everywhere just in case a car runs off the road and lands on them?--TriMet's ability to respond to these things has been compromised. Reduced bus service means that when a bus bridge is needed, then there is a greater impact on bus riders--each bus run which is cancelled is a greater percentage of the total. Reduced staffing levels reduces the number of "spare" operators (including supervisors who are trained and licensed to drive a bus if necessary) available. And it wouldn't surprise me to learn that deteriorating relations with the union has meant fewer drivers are willing to come to work outside their scheduled shifts to help man a bus bridge.
Dedicated-corridor rapid transit is generally considered more "reliable" in that under normal circumstances, it doesn't have to contend with traffic jams and other things which may impact its ability to keep to schedule (or maintain a specific headway). But the downside of dedicated-corridor running (particularly rail) is that when something does go wrong, the entire line can be taken out of service, rather than just one vehicle. TriMet is actually fairly good about being able to get fallback service running when an incident shuts down MAX (it gets plenty of practice, after all), but a good argument can be made that in this time of reduced budgets (and reduced operational flexibility), doing so is materially affecting service in other parts of the system--far much moreso than was the case prior to the service cuts.
Restoring service hours on the existing network (mainly bus, but also under-served portions of MAX--light rail with 20 minute headways, or worse, is not at all cost-effective) needs to be the agency's, and the region's, focus. Given some of the news that has come from the SW Corridor planning, it appears that at least a few folks at Metro have gotten the message, and that business is no longer as usual--but there are plenty in the region who still view public transit through a capital-projects prism. Rapid transit doesn't make sense unless you have a good, basic, high-frequency bus service for it to networ with. Five years ago, when many of the current plans were drafted, we did; today, we don't (or are on the knife's edge). TriMet ridership reached record levels this past summer; unfortunately, these riders were served by fewer service-hours, meaning longer waits, more crowded vehicles, and less reliable operations.
But in the meantime: whoever has the voodoo doll, could you pretty please--with sugar on it--remove the pin?
November 11, 2012
On Tuesday, wearing my Planning and Sustainability Commissioner hat, I'm going to hear from neighbors concerned that the development of new apartment buildings without on-site parking is impacting livability in their neighborhoods.
In fact, I think parking is the tip of the iceberg here. Portland's growth strategy anticipates a lot of residential growth to occur on transit corridors and the key issues include not just parking, but also design standards, building mass, setbacks and height, all of which impact neighborhood character.
But for the discussion here, I'd like to focus on one interesting tidbit from the research that has been conducted about residents of recently built apartments: they use cars a lot less than the average citizen, at least for commute trips. Only 36% said they commute by single occupancy vehicle. That compares to 59% city-wide.
But 72% of these households are NOT car-free, which says they are owning cars for purposes other than commuting.
That's an interesting policy problem, as car storage (parking) may impact neighborhood livability as much or more than actual car use.
What kind of policies might keep car ownership more in line with (commuting) car use? ZipCar, Car2Go and GetAround, where are you?
November 9, 2012
Listen to the show (mp3, 25.7MB)
We're talking to professionals again - this time, professional bike riders. Our listeners can probably picture the bike messengers - the lean, fast couriers with a big bag slung over their backs, zipping around downtown delivering documents. But these days, a much wider range of goods is being delivered by bike, in Portland and in other US cities.
We're interviewing a few of the people involved in bicycle delivery here in Portland:
- Mike Cobb is a cargo bike mechanic and former cargo delivery biker
- Michael Hannah owns The Mattress Lot, where on sunny days they have been known to deliver a mattress or two by bike
- Jenn Dederich works for Portland Pedal Power, a bicycle concierge service for downtown offices
- Jed Lazar is the founder and owner of SoupCycle, which delivers organic soup by bicycle to homes and offices
November 6, 2012
It has certainly been a momentous--and busy--election night. In DC, the status quo was mostly maintained--President Obama is re-elected, and neither house of Congress changes control (the Democrats pick up a few seats in the Senate, and likely will in the House as well; though many seats are still undecided at this point). All Oregon congresspersons are re-elected, and the Jaime Herrera Beutler in WA-3 appears headed for re-election as well. In Salem, the Democrats will maintain control of the Senate and re-take the House.
But several local races may have a bigger impact on transit and land use.
First, in the Portland mayoral election, Charlie Hales has defeated Jefferson Smith. This result was not surprising, given the various damaging personal revelations about Smith to surface in recent months. Earlier in the year, Hales gave an interview with Portland Afoot where he stated his positions on the relevant issued. He is, of course, a strong supporter of (and strongly associated with) Portland Streetcar, and has long supported the system during his career in both public office and private industry, and supports its expansion. He believes that transit in general is a worthwhile public endeavor, and supports new taxes/fees to fund operations. On the other hand, he is also a strong supporter of the Columbia River Crossing project (arguably moreso than Smith was), though has made clear that he will continue Sam Adams' policy of requiring alternate transportation on the CRC as a condition of Portland's support for the project.
Which brings us to Proposition 1, the initiative in Clark County for a 0.1% sales tax hike to fund both MAX operations as part of the CRC process, and the proposed Fourth Plain BRT project. It failed, 56%-44%. As Portland Afoot notes, officials in Washington have been viewing Prop 1 as a referendum on the CRC itself. With Clark County expressing its dislike for light rail across the river, and Portland likely continuing to insist that it be built, and a continued lack of funds from either Olympia or Salem, and the extreme difficulties the project team seems to be having with designing a bridge that will meet regulatory approval; will this put the brakes on the CRC? (One other factor that may have an affect: The Washington governor's race remains too close to call at this time).
Two Oregon suburban communities also continued an anti-rail backlash, with Tigard voters passing a measure to require a public vote on tax/fee increases going towards future light rail spending (and doing so by a wide margin). This measure seems to be more competently drafted than the similar measure which passed in Clackamas County--it only applies to new taxes and fees (not sure how it deals with the money-is-fungible problem), and also only applies to construction projects. It doesn't appear that this measure will limit Tigard's ability to participate in the SW Corridor planning process; though it certainly could constrain the result of that process. As noted previously, if Tigard residents are opposed to light rail, this is the time to speak up. While Clackamas County residents have made opposition clear to future projects, the Green Line is already in operation along I-205, and the Milwaukie line is under construction as we speak.
Speaking of Clackamas County, transit opponent John Ludlow is currently leadingincumbent Charlotte Lehan in the race for county chair, and another transit skeptic, Tootie Smith, is leading Jamie Dimon. Should both results hold up, the county government will shift to a position of being considerably more hostile to "Portland creep" in the county. Whether this will affect ongoing projects like MLR remains to be seen; though it's safe to assume that future "smart growth" projects will be on hold in the county for a while.
Portland Afoot has more analysis of tonight's election results.
November 4, 2012
This Wednesday at 2pm the Portland City Council will hold a public hearing and take a vote on the contentious issue of whether or not to grant
132 78 new taxi permits, the first increase from the current 382 permits in a decade (I have learned since first publishing this post that the Revenue Bureau scaled back the number of new permits recommended to 78, with plans to reassess after the first year). As many have pointed out, Portland has one of the most restrictive taxi policies in the country. We have fewer taxis per person and pay more for them than most other cities.
50 of the new permits would go to a new company, Union Cab, an employee-owned company headed up by Kedir Wako and mostly composed of immigrants who used to drive for Broadway Cab. Several years ago they considered unionizing in response to poor working conditions, but that would have been very difficult because taxi drivers are considered "independent contractors." Instead they decided to form their own company along the lines of the employee-owned cooperative Radio Cab. A study by the city back in February confirmed the generally poor working conditions found at all the Portland taxi companies with the notable exception of Radio Cab, where drivers worked fewer hours and got better wages. We covered this issue here.
In more recent developments, the Portland Private for Hire Transportation Board voted for a recommendation to the city council to issue the 132 new permits, allow the formation of Union Cab with 50 of those permits, and institute a package of regulatory reforms meant to improve driver working conditions and customer experience. This recommendation was strongly opposed by a group of existing taxi drivers and companies led by Red Diamond, the elected taxi driver member of the Transportation Board. Diamond argues that the new permits will hurt existing drivers by increasing competition and that Union Cab owners will give jobs to out-of-town family members. Diamond has also made a number of comments about Union Cab that are hard to interpret as anything other than xenophobic and racist. From a Portland Mercury article last month:
Diamond has also repeatedly--and publicly--made the claim that Union Cab is made up of Ethiopian immigrants like Wako who want to take jobs from Portland drivers. He also mentions "persistent rumors" that Union Cab drivers have promised permits to relatives in other states.
Not true, says Wako--who accuses Diamond of racism.
"Our members are current city cab drivers and are licensed in Portland or Vancouver," says Wako. As to Union Cab's ethnic makeup, he says, "We have Russian drivers, we have people from Iran, and we have Asian drivers."
"I don't think it's a racist comment," says Diamond. "It's an observation. I don't think there are any American-born people in that union. I don't think there are any European-born people in that union. I don't think there are any white people in that union."
Now Diamond is organizing protests in advance of this Wednesday's City Council vote, accusing Mayor Adams (who supports the taxi permit increase) of "back door dealings" with Union Cab, and possibly pursuing legal action against the city. All of this is meant to intimidate the rest of the City Council enough to sway the vote, as has happened again and again for the last 10 years. It is clear that the incumbent taxi drivers and companies will do whatever they can to keep their oligopoly intact.
As I argued in my previous article, taxis should not receive special protection from competition by the city. We don't limit the number of coffee shops, or restaurants, or hair stylists, or breweries, and if employees in those industries want to quit and form their own company, we let them do it. Competition is generally seen as a positive force that not only produces innovation but also can increase the market for a product. Even in the realm of transportation, we generally allow competition, with the exception of fixed-route public transit (which is ill-suited to competition for fairly obvious reasons). We now have three car-share companies in Portland, with more to come in the future. Bike rentals can be found all over the city. Even in the realm of public transportation, we have employer shuttles and school shuttles that supplement TriMet. Why should taxis be exempt from the need to compete and innovate?
Some people like to claim that taxis are special because there is not real competition anyway. They argue that taxi customers don't care which company they use, but instead take whichever taxi they find. This may be true in the case of taxi stands at hotels and the airport--people generally just take the first one available. It would also be true of hailing a cab on the street, but let's be honest--that doesn't really happen in Portland. It is so difficult to hail a cab in Portland that many people think it is illegal! In any case, taxi stands only have so much space available, so increasing the total number of permits should not have an effect on driver wages. Basically, the city should regulate the number of taxis that can mob one spot at once, rather than restricting the total number in the city.
In the telephone dispatch market, which is how most people get cabs anyway, competition can absolutely exist, and that's a good thing. Most people have one or two favorite companies programmed in their phones. If they have a bad experience, they can switch companies, and if they have a good experience they can tell others about it. In an open taxi market, there would be a strong incentive for companies to market themselves and innovate in the areas of comfort, speed of response, and other amenities. We could see companies specialize in certain areas. I could imagine a company focusing on the young urban market by including bike racks and allowing control over the music selection, while another company focuses on longer distances by charging a flat fee rather than per-mile and making the seats more comfortable. I would also expect more creative use of phone apps than we see now. The current system, with only a few companies and only 382 cars, does not encourage such creativity.
As I see it, there are several distinct issues that lead me to support the legislation in front of the City Council on Wednesday:
- Multi-Modal Transportation: Taxis are an essential component of the multi-modal transportation system that Portland been a leader in creating over the last few decades. We are trying to transition from a system in which most people are dependent on car ownership and daily car use to a system in which people can choose a mode of transportation day-by-day based on their wants, needs, and willingness to pay. To do this, we need sidewalks, bicycle facilities, public transit, car-sharing, and taxis. Many people dismiss taxis as unimportant given new car-sharing options like Car2go, but Car2go has its limitations: it requires a sober driver; it requires a membership; cars are not always available nearby; the "home area" only covers inner neighborhoods; and the cars are very small.
- Safety: Let's admit it, drunk driving and drunk bicycling are major safety problems in our city. Taxis are one of the only ways to safely travel late at night when people are intoxicated, but anyone who has tried to call a taxi late on a Friday or Saturday night knows that we don't have enough to meet demand. When it takes forever to wait for a taxi, many people will choose to take their chances behind the wheel of a car or on a bike, with possibly deadly consequences. If more taxis are available, human lives will undoubtedly be saved.
- Economic Competition: I've already made this point, but we should not be preventing competition in order to protect existing businesses. I'm sure most businesses would love it if the government kept out competition, but that is not what government is supposed to be about. Regulations are meant to establish a level playing field and ensure safety, not support monopolies or oligopolies.
- Equity: The idea of equity has become central to what Portland aspires to be. We now have an Office of Equity, and the concept is woven throughout the Portland Plan. The city can not make a commitment to equity, even while denying a group of immigrants the chance to form their own taxi company. This is supposed to be a land of opportunity, and Portland in particular is supposed to be a place that encourages small business creation by anyone who has a skill or a product people want. We long ago realized that by making food carts legal, we would give people with few resources the chance to build a business from the ground up. We need to take the same approach with the taxi business and any other industry we regulate.
Zef Wagner is pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree at Portland State University, specializing in transportation planning.
November 1, 2012
Halloween is over, and Turkey Day is coming up. Time for another Open Thread.
- Also coming up is election day, on Tuesday, November 6. As a non-profit, we can't endorse any candidates, but we can tell you that you should vote, and point you to Portland Afoot's voters' guide.
- Portland Afoot also looks at the trend of new apartments without parking for tenants, a recent practice that has delighted environmentalists and active transportation advocates, but outraged some neighbors who view ample free on-street parking as a fundamental right.
- TriMet releases their Service and Ridership Annual Performance Report, and wants you to also know that number of fare inspectors is going up.
- A few notes from Europe, both from Atlantic Cities: Some discussion of why German transit use is higher than that of the US, and transit is now free in one French city.