Author Archive | EngineerScotty

Women’s World Cup Open Thread

Team USA will be playing in the women’s World Cup final this weekend, including a few members of the Portland Thorns.  A few local notes:

  • TriMet is banning vaping and therapy dogs, with a few exceptions.  Vaping and e-cigs are to be treated like tobacco, and only licensed and trained assistance dogs (seeing-eye dogs and such) will be allowed on TriMet vehicles, unless in a pet carrier.  Animals whose only purpose is companionship will be no longer allowed without being secured.
  • More photo-radar may be coming to Portland, as an Oregon House bill authorizing an expansion of the program (and allowing unmanned vehicles–under current law, photo radar vans must have an officer present) has made it out of committee.
  • Jarrett Walker notes that many transit agencies have greatly reduced bus service in the past decade or so, not all of it attributable to the Great Recession, despite an increase in demand.  On the other hand, TriMet is considering an increase in the payroll tax (which the Legislature has authorized) to help pay for new bus service, as outlined in the various service enhancement plans.
  • TriMet explains how the Orange Line will operate, and why it’s not being called the Yellow Line even though most Orange and Yellow trains convert to the other color upon reaching the Transit Mall, and provide through north-south service.
  • Oregon today launched a pilot project for a pay-per-mileage vehicle tax as an alternate to the gas tax.

Rethinking bus service in Gresham and East County

This past week, TriMet released its first draft proposal for improved bus service in East County (essentially, anything east of Interstate 205 and north of Mt. Scott).  Like the recently similar proposal for the SW Metro area, the new Eastside Plan is an effort being done in parallel with a rapid transit project (the Powell/Division BRT), but does not include that project itself; instead it focuses on (mostly) non-capital improvements to bus service:  new routes, re-routings, and improvements to frequency and/or span of service.  (A few proposed changes require new streets be completed).

A map and brief description is here:

And as Bike Portland reports, one of the proposed changes will soon come to fruition:  The 71 between Lents and Parkrose via 122nd, will become a frequent service route once Portland completes some improvements.    (It appears that this line will be disconnected from the western leg of the 71 at Parkrose; whether that will be joined with another line or not, I do not know).

Anyway, on to the details, and my comments, after the jump:

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Rose Festival Open Thread

Starlight parade is tomorrow night, and TriMet wants you to know they’ll be there.

Post Tax Open Thread

OK, it’s a full week since the Ides of April, but another open thread for everyone.

  •  Portland has legalized (for now) uber and Lyft.  One condition placed on uber and Lyft drivers is a city business license.  Taxi drivers and cab companies are, naturally, unhappy.
  • TriMet toots its horn about service increases leading to ridership increases.  (And conversely, service decreases lead to ridership decreases).  This pattern is well-known within transit circles, but tends to be lost on some decision makers (and transit critics) who view transit demand as inelastic.  (Though if you scale back service to the point that you’re only getting those who are poor and desparate, it does become inelastic).
  • The SW Corridor team with some detailed analysis of the PCC-Sylvania area.  And TriMet has extended its feedback deadline for the Southwest Service Enhancement Plan Refined Draft Vision to the 27th.
  • In further evidence that the Lake Oswego Streetcar is dead–funding allocated to it (nearly $6M) is being re-allocated to other transit projects:  namely Powell/Division, the SW Corridor, and upgrades to keep the excursion trolley on the right-of-way in operation.
  • Joseph Rose of The Oregonian is now taking votes for the Portland area’s worst bus stop.
  • Funding issues puts Amtrak Cascades service south of Portland in jeopardy.

TriMet and Metro to extend Blue Line to Central Oregon

Today, TriMet president Neil McFarlane and Metro president Tom Hughes announced the start of a new transit project, the Hood and Central Oregon Corridor.  This project, a 210-mile (338km) extension of the Blue Line, would provide light rail service to Sandy, Mount Hood, Madras, Redmond, Bend, and Sunriver.  The line would end at a transit center in Chemult, Oregon, where riders may transfer to the Amtrak Coast Starlight for service to Klamath Falls and points in California.   The proposed project, a direct result of the approval of Ballot Measure 91 by Oregon voters last Novemeber, is estimated to cost between $35B-$40B; the project is scheduled for opening in 2042.

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