You Asked For It: Open Thread on Topics

One of the pieces of feedback from the Reader Survey was a request to have a place to make suggestions for subjects for future posts. So here it is. Add your comment at any time for a topic suggestion.

There will be a slight makeover of the home page soon (related to other feedback from the survey), and a link to this post will live in the sidebar.

Let’s hear your thoughts!

382 responses to “You Asked For It: Open Thread on Topics”

  1. We need to make investments into transportation infrastructure but the big issue is how to pay the capital cost and the grim reaper – the on going maintenance cost.

    We all can see that the cost of most transportation infrastructural investments are going up in cost at a greater rate then inflation.

    This tells me that if well thought out and justified projects that reflect a real return on investment are delayed we maybe making a terrible mistake by not coming up with the finances and moving ahead. I am just a pragmatic conservative!

    In Portland, UR Districts have been used to jump over the financial road blocks and fund significant transportation projects but is has been at a cost.

    Sam Adams has proposed Halo type LID’s that cover a greater number of properties.

    We can use the standby “Gas Tax” but it has been a hard sell.

    We can use Vehicle Registriation Fees, not tax ha, ha!

    We can use incidents of travel fees that can be charged to each property and/or entity for access to properly maintained streets.

  2. I’d like to see a discussion of the viability of continuing to allow high density development in neighborhoods already stressed by a shortage of parking, without requiring new parking infrastructure if that development is within 500 feet of transit.

  3. I think 2007 will be one of the biggest years in PDX history. Decisions on the Columbia River Crossing final package; the I-405 Loop study by the city is due in October; the state is working the Dundee Bypass/I-205/Sunrise study; the start of major construction for MAX on I-205; the decision on the next streetcar expansion.

    Busy Year!

    Plus less funding is coming from a federal government that hasn’t balanced a budget in five plus years.

    The decision on tolling will be the biggest decision of them all.


  4. I found this particular paragraph in the Reuters article rather interesting:

    “The tram, which opened earlier this month, is a key project of Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, a Socialist, and his Green deputy in charge of transport policy, Denis Baupin, in their bid to force drivers out of their cars and onto public transport.”

    It sounds similar to what I have called the “socilaist agenda” of PDOT and the City of Portland to control the way people live and move about.

  5. One of the buzz words that continues to run a drift in today’s politics is “sustainability”. But left out of the sustainability framework is forward financial thinking. With all the subsidies and tax breaks being handed out by the government, the percentage of people paying transportation taxes and land owners paying property taxes in narrowing.

    Every time a person rides a bicycle or uses transit instead of driving, they help themselves to a subsidy rather than helping to pay for the pavement they are moving about on. Every time a developer is granted a property tax abatement, or property tax dollars are siphoned off for urban renewal, it has a negative impact on schools and other city services.

    With the population in the Metro area growing in leaps and bounds, there is a growing need for more transportation infrastructure and increased government services. Instead of adding taxes on a narrowing the tax base, the tax base must be broadened. That means the inclusion of bicyclists being directly taxed to pay for bicycle infrastructure, transit users paying a greater share of the costs of providing transit service and motor vehicle taxes being redirected to pay only for motor vehicle infrastructure. Each mode of transport must come closer to financial self-sustainability to pay for the infrastructure used. It means that property tax abatements must be eliminated, new development must be financially self-sustainable and the land mass in urban renewal districts must be reduced to truly blighted areas. Furthermore, financial sustainability it must mean that large corporations pay a larger share of the revenue collected at the state level – far greater than the current five to six percent of total revenue collected at today’s level. Financial stability to obtain financial self-sustainability requires a market based economy, not the current propped up and subsidized economy Portland and Oregon now have.

  6. The debate over who gets the larger subsidy, individual motor vehicle users or transit, bike and pedestrian facility users, is stale.

    I think a discussion of how to realistically create alternative transportation connections to job centers in the suburbs would be a good topic. The discussion of light rail/street car to Kruse Way seems to ignore the question of how someone would get from the transit stop to their ultimate destination. Or where they would go to lunch without a car to take them there.

    In Damascus the region has the chance to use land use to concentrate job development where high quality transit is achievable. But what about the existing isolated suburban office parks. Perhaps the next street car should be in the Sunset Corridor.

  7. Ross W., Damascus boundries are very large and what Metro has put into place with this push of the UGB out into this area is criminal.

    My wife and I just drove Sunnyside Road from I-205 out to Damascus and took the loop back using the 212/224 corridor. It is not preaty but this is what we get from Metro. Thank god for what Clackamas County has done with their investments into Sunnyside Road.

    The proposed Sunset Corridor is desperately needed and their is ROW dedicated for rail/transit in it. I would like to see it as commuter rail in this corridor and have it go all the way to Sandy initially and then get extended up the mountain. This can get people out of cars in Highway 26 in the long run.

  8. It is not preaty but this is what we get from Metro.

    As far as I know, Metro hasn’t done anything in Damascus other than include it within the UGB. All the planning and current development has been managed by Clackamas County, including the transportation planning. Some of that is now going to be turned over to the new City of Damascus, created by the voters there.

    My point was that Damascus can avoid the problems in other suburbs by integrating a multi-modal transportation system into the land use plans. Existing suburban development doesn’t have that luxury.

    There are a lot of suburban job centers that are basically inaccessible to those who use transit. Even where the transit is there, many lack the pedestrian facilities to connect the job centers to them. And their isolation from other commercial centers makes an auto mandatory to access other services.

  9. Has the thought ever occurred to anyone on this board that maybe a good majority of people actually WANT to live in a low-density, auto centric, neighborhood? That maybe they WANT to own three gas guzzling SUVs, commute 20 miles to work, water their lawns, and shop in a strip mall?

    I propose an experiment. Let market forces decide what types of developments happen in Damascus. Charge each new home or business a development fee to pay for infrastructure. Build a nice mile by mile grid of 6 lane roads and a good freeway and we will see how popular it will become.

  10. I propose an experiment. Let market forces decide what types of developments happen in Damascus.

    I think a thread on what a true “free market” approach would produce would be interesting. Of course that means the decision on where to have roads and what kind needs to be left up to the market as well.

  11. I concur with Ross’ just comment just above this one…


    Let’s have a topic on
    “How to allow the market to have larger input so real competitive and user based choices can appear within the transportation industry again.”


    “How to prevent Government from too drastically containing, manipulating, and distributing the costs of some to the costs of many for minority use methods of movement.”


    “Dispelling the myths: Why Streetcars weren’t destroyed by the big bad oil guys, why rail provides more throughput (or not), why Streetcars provide reason to invest where busses and other modes do not, and other such things that people new but interested in transit usually don’t grasp (and some that have been in it for a long time still don’t).”

    …anyway, you could open up a forum, and have a forum on…

    what forum topics do you want listed…

    Have people vote on topic choices, implement the most wanted. It’d be kind of like a market place for forum choices. :o

  12. Okay. How the government with the 1938 Public Utilities Holding Company Act killed off the streetcars.

  13. My suggestion for a topic is: The true financial costs of providing bicycle infrastructure in Portland & how much is that equates to per commuter/everyday bicyclist. Roland in Sam’s office claims a budget figure of less than $800,000.00 per year. That figure however does not include staff time, some bicycle infrastructure costs within multi-modal projects, bicycle infrastructure maintenance including street sweeping costs, and money spent by Metro, Multnomah County and the State. Somebody would have to do some digging and calculating to come up with the total figure so the true amount can be uncovered beneath the shell game being played that continues to be played to hide bicycle infrastructure spending.

    Another topic could be: The true financial costs of providing transit service.

    I also like the idea of a free market based economy vs a propped up subsidized economy as it applies to both housing densities and transport mode.

    Another idea is a discussion of real demand vs a political agenda. Where is the true demand for more infrastructure, motor vehicle, freight, transit, pedestrian and/or bike? Again this may require some digging that would include increases and percentages for auto usage, transit usage, and bicycle usage, the distance of most trips per mode, etc. Such a discussion might also require breaking it up to various parts of the City, metro area or a specific corridor.

    Finally, yet another topic could be to break down the PDOT budget. As a prerequisite, this would require looking at where the dollars come from, and how those dollars are then spent. As an example, street lighting comes from the general fund, but most other dollars spent on transportation do not.

  14. Not so much a topic, but an inquiry to this bunch of transportation wonks: Why are US intercity railroads still using wooden ties (sleepers)? As far as I can tell, every other developed nation is using concrete sleepers, which, while adding some cost upfront, undoubtedly lower maintenance costs and reduce derailments. The idea that we run the monstrously heavy and frequent freight trains of today on railbeds held together with rotting timbers just boggles my mind.

  15. Some topics:
    how to get high capacity transit in the Barbur corrior.
    how to get more trips, especially shorter ones, onto bikes.
    how to eliminate free employee parking where industrial/employment land is in short supply.

  16. Please submit bus trolley and articulated bus put into your webpage that makes testiomial allowance to all audiences into this webpage as well as it helps for you get in campagin, please. Please help me to increase concerns in Portland/Vancouver area. Thank you for help, David

  17. Yet another topic: how to implement a direct bicycle tax and charge bicyclists for bike storage/parking and on transit.

  18. I would suggest the bike tax question be discussed first…i.e. Should we imposed a direct bicycle tax, etc.? If yes, then how…

  19. Before any thread on the topic “how to get high capacity transit in the Barbur corridor” is discussed. The need for need for high capacity transit in this corridor should be discussed with a look at any proposed way to pay for it, and if such a proposal will only gum up the works of Barbur Boulevard for the transport taxpaying stakeholder user motorists and freight carriers that currently use the thoroughfare. As an example, reducing the number of travel lanes like was done on Interstate Avenue, or having transit blocking any of the current number of travel lanes when stopping for passengers will have only have a negative effect for travel in the corridor. Furthermore, I-Max, for example, had a neural effect on regional air quality, but indirectly created negative consequences to air quality on at ground level on Interstate Avenue itself.

    Similarly, questions must be asked related to any conceived need to eliminate free parking before the how to question is asked.

    Another topic that might be interesting would be Is tolling to some destinations building a wall that many will not cross, and how will that affect doing business in those areas?

    Here are a few more:

    Where and when do transit gum up the streets other modes use?

    Where should bicycle lanes actually be placed (if at all), on main thoroughfares or parallel less traveled streets?

    As proposed and designed, are bicycle boulevards really worth their price tags? Is the demand really there or just hyped through political agendas?

    Yet another topic narrowed from a previous post; Should TriMet charge a fee for bringing bikes on board Max and carrying bikes on busses?

    And finally, what part does socialism, attempts to move people from using one mode of transport to another and controlling how the public moves about play in politics? How are politically motivated tax codes altered and used attempting to achieve this goal?

  20. Here is another idea for a topic: “Street lighting”. The City of Portland has what is called cutoff lighting on most thoroughfares. Unlike the street lighting in most residential neighborhoods, this cut off type of lighting produces light and dark areas on the street pavement creating a safety factor whereby pedestrians in dark clothing crossing streets in the shadowed dark areas can not be seen by motorists. The shadows. dark and light areas are particularly noticeable where no lighting from surrounding buildings also helps light the street. PDOT has been placing additional pedestrian scale lighting in some high pedestrian areas that does increase visibility, but it also doubles the energy use where the new lighting is added. In some areas, such as on NE 60th Avenue at the Max station, even with additional lighting, the problem of pedestrians crossing the street in the shadows still exists. It seems there should be compromise solution that is batter than just adding more lighting that uses more energy. .

    On the other hand, many areas in downtown Portland have what can be viewed as excessive lighting. As an example, the intersections around Pioneer Square each have two ornamental light standards on each corner with two light fixtures each. That is a total of sixteen street lamps per intersection. Again this can be viewed as a waste of energy when there is considerably more lighting in place than is needed to meet safety requirements. Part of the problem here lies within a city policy of where to place the ornamental lighting on downtown streets. Somewhere, there should be a compromise solution here too.

  21. So now, Chris, your $100.00 a year Streetcar pass ALSO gets you on the Tram. Sweet.

    Too bad, for me, ONE round trip ticket weighs in at $1.70 (bus & stretcar); $4.00 (tram); $1.70 (bus and streetcar)…or $7.40 for ONE visit up Pill Hill.

    Discrimination raised to a whole new level.

    And while MY employer pays the Tri-Met payroll tax OHSU’s docs don’t, for further public subsidy.

    How crazy are we going to let this get?

    (click link above for the entire article)

    Habitat Matters: ‘Walkable’ Communities May Make Elders Healthier

    Some of a neighborhood’s features — the length of its blocks, how many grocery stores or restaurants are nearby — may be more than selling points for real estate agents. A new study suggests such factors may work to beat back obesity in older people by increasing a neighborhood’s “walkability.”

  23. Why don’t we have a 24 hour transit system?

    I missed the last train from Beaverton to downtown tonight, and while I could have just gone back to work, and then gotten on the first train of the day 3 and half hours later, I biked over the hill, (it only takes about half an hour longer than the train,) but neither of those were my first choice, I would have rather waited half an hour and gotten on another one…

    Admittingly the system doesn’t move very many people late at night, and most of the time the people that are on those trains/buses aren’t the most, “respectable,” (they are safe enough, but they aren’t the middle class that rides the train at rush hour.) The exception is the late night trains on Friday night, which tends to be more than 50% female…

    Also, The fact that there are very few trains/buses that are still running at 2am when the bars close must be having a significant effect on the number of drunk drivers on our streets, so it seems like the city/country/state should be interested in having a system that runs overnight too, (even if they had to subsidize it.)

    The other thing, by the time the last bus run has run, and then headed back to the garage, it is almost time for the first bus to head back to the end of it’s route to pick up the morning passengers, so even if ridership at night isn’t very high, the cost of providing those additional hours isn’t that great either.

  24. I would like to address (3) points put out by terry parker
    a) free-market enterprise : objects like work-bicycle, work-auto, commercial-autofreight, work-bus, work-train, rec-auto, rec-bicycle, rec-walk, … become seperate taxable entities. Each entity is supported by the people who use it or support it. Business/political groups can each subsidize its own entity as to their own business/political direction. The city or metro can oversee metrics that surround each entity (number_users/day, cost_of_basematerial, upkeep_on_basematerial, maintenance_staff, design_staff, financial_staff, …) and they could make rational decisions based over gis view-graphs over all data for all projects. This would allow a common language for all projects. This would allow the projects to communicate to each other and to be able to access forecasting/simulation programs that further augment the planning/design process. terry, if this was your idea, i think it is exactly what i was thinking :-)
    b) high-capacity transit : again exactly right on. we need high capacity bullet trains between PDX and Salem/Eugene/GrantsPass to the south and Vancouver/Olympia/Seattle/Vancouver to the north. The sooner the better and cost is no object. Fund it however. Again we might differentiate and run (2)lines, one for commercialfreight and one for work_recreation (which includes vacations). Run it off electric and use the best technology we can muster.
    c) lighting : Kona, HI has Mauna Kea, which is one of the best observatories in the world. It also has an ordinance in Kona on the type of lighting that it can use for street lights. I think every city should adopt this same type of lighting. They are low wattage and not as bright to telescopes which means they are easier on our eyes but seem to be bright enough for cars. I don’t know exactly the details but it would be worth it to explore. They have also done some great research in solar and thermal energy production but that is another topic. :-)
    mike dill

  25. In re: Trimet safety/rider services – it seems to me that Trimet customer service should be available during all service hours. Even weekends, since now they’re nearly as busy as weekdays.

    Also, while the transit tracker is VERY useful, when it says the bus is “scheduled at” a certain time, instead of “arriving in x minutes” it seems to me to have a very good chance of not actually showing up at all.

    Trimet having a transit emergency line would be great for those of us who unfortunately get stranded by our commuter buses out in the wilds of Tualatin & Wilsonville – and probably for a lot of other areas as well.


    “Growth Guru comes to Portland”

    Some bunch of people who call themselves the Executive Club are hosting a talk by a Mr. Wendell Cox. Apparently he is a professional anti-transit, anti-planning pundit. He’s coming here to explain what we’ve done wrong that makes Portland such an awful place. =)

    I actually only know what I’ve read about him on the Shift list. Make this a thread and let’s discuss the guy’s qualifications to live in Los Angeles and complain about Portland’s planning.

  27. Oh those tyrannical cars are at it again! What would you suggest – a return to the horse and buggy days? You’ll like this – while I was doing some genealogical research I read about how a horse went on a rampage and ran over a guy smashing his skull. It happened on the corner of 3rd and Oak! Read the Oregonian 1/22/1886 on page 4 – the tagline is “Killed in the Street”. There will always be accidents no matter what form of transportation we use. We can’t just live in fear and object to everything imaginable. We need more forward looking thinkers in this debate not just all those marching to the drumbeat that cars are BAAAAD. The recent Penn and Teller’s B.S. about the energy crisis was quite interesting.

  28. I wonder if the horse naysayers of the day spent any time or money studying over events such as these:

    “Oregonian – 22 January 1886

    A runaway Team Strikes Geroge F. Tribou, Crushing his Skull – Death Eases in a Few Hours.

    George F. Tribou, a pioneer resident and well known contractor of this city, met with an accident yesterday from the effects of which he died in a few hours. He was going down Third street on his way to the Portland General hospital where he was engaged in fitting up the baths connected with that institution, and was walking along the car track, as the sidewalks had not been cleaned. The delivery sleigh of the German bakery was coming down the street several blocks behind him, when from some cause the tongue broke loose from the sleigh and the spirited horses ran away down the street dragging the driver out of the sleigh and pulling the reins out of his hands. They overtook Mr. Tribou a short distance below Oak street. He evidently did not hear them till they were almost upon him, when he turned his head and was struck at that instant by the end of the pole on the right temple. The blow crushed in the skull, allowing the brains to ooze out. Several persons rushed to his assistance, and finding that life was not extinct carried him to the Portland General hospital. An examination showed that human help was of no avail and that death was inevitable.
    Mrs. Tribou was at once notified of the dreadful affair, and instantly repaired to his bedside, where she remained till the end came- at 1:20 P.M. Mr. Tribou has been a resident of this city since 1857, and was about 54 years of age. He leaves a wife and infant son, the latter very ill and not expected to recover. He was one of the organizers of the volunteer fire department, and was a member of Multnomah engine company No. 2 as long as it existed. He was an honest and industrious man and a good citizen.”

  29. Google Maps has extended its interface with Trimet. It looks like you can now zoom in and see bus stops all over Portland – you can click on them for tracker information. I did a blurb on my blog about it that includes a screenshot (not sure if it is generally available yet).

  30. Just something to think about–it is very possible to get from Portland to Salem on transit, even out to outlying Marion and Polk Counties using transit.

    For example, I go from Dallas (about 20 miles west of Salem) to my best friend’s home in Laurelhurst at least once a week.

    Total transit time: 2:28:00. Total time to drive: 1:45:00. Cost difference: just a couple bucks each way. Stress difference: immeasureable.

    So how? Catch CARTS route 50 to Salem, Cheeriots 1x from Salem to Tualatin, TriMet 96 Tualatin to Downtown, then #20 Burnside.

    Wait times:

    Salem: 4 minutes
    Tualatin: 8 minutes
    Downtown: 4 minutes.

  31. I tried to figure out how to get from Portland to Eugene this way once, just using local public transit. Also Portland to Seattle.

    Couldn’t work it out either way.

  32. A good discussion to have might be: how do we improve bus service in the Portland area? Not only does the LRT vs. bus issue ends up dominating almost every bloody thread these days, but bus service is a vital, but underappreciated part of the city’s transit; it would be wonderful if just a bit of the creativity that goes into the planning of streetcars and such went into the most used form of transit. I’ll admit that I doubt the ability of certain posters to not make it in to another battle royale over bus vs. MAX, but with some policing, it might be valuable.

  33. Chris –

    How about a “light rail vs. bus” thread, combined withstrict policing of other topics to “take it over there” whenever “certain posters” change the topic?

  34. How about a “light rail vs. bus” thread

    I think what is needed is an “anti-rail” thread since there isn’t anyone arguing against better bus service.

    it would be wonderful if just a bit of the creativity that goes into the planning of streetcars and such went into the most used form of transit.

    I agree.

  35. Any chance of opening the door wider for new threads, so a reader can start a thread without much formality?

    I realize that this might transform the blog into something more like an Internet forum, but (as far as I know) there is no forum on this subject in Portland. Being new (1 year) in town, I often have questions that I think would be pertinent, but no open forum to post them to.

    I dunno if the blog software enables non-contributors to start threads. If not, how does one become a contributor?

    Thanks in advance!


  36. I realize that this might transform the blog into something more like an Internet forum, but (as far as I know) there is no forum on this subject in Portland. Being new (1 year) in town, I often have questions that I think would be pertinent, but no open forum to post them to.
    I’m aware of one site that’s sorta like that, but you have to sign up and/or be a member of the social ‘networking’ community it’s on in order to start new threads.
    I thought about starting my own site/forum (outside of Portland Transport) specifically about riding public transit in the region, but haven’t because of concerns about time, cost (my guess is enough people would visit that free services would turn it away, and not enough would visit that would attract advertisers & pay for itself), and post quality.

  37. Could we discuss the feasibility of extending MAX or streetcar up alongside Cornelius Pass Rd., where the original Oregon Electric line used to be. It would create great opportunities for development given the number of people projected to move here within the next two decades.

    btw, I saw that on Urban Planning Overlord.

  38. Ed,

    The OE never truly went up Cornelius Pass – that railroad was called the United Railways, and went to North Plains, Banks, and eventually Vernonia.

    The OE did indeed control the United Railways as a subsidary for many years, and in fact the railroad remains pretty much as is (to Banks; beyond Banks is the “Banks-Vernonia Linear Park” (a rail-trail). Burlington Northern actually attempted to abandon the rail route in the early 1990s and even plated over the Cornelius Pass Tunnel after two trestles were severely damaged; Metro was trying to buy the land to use as a rail-trail. However the Portland & Western Railroad opted to buy the line, eliminating the abandonment process and Metro’s attempt to buy the right-of-way.

    The two trestles were replaced and the tunnel reopened.

    As to where the “original OE line” went, it roughly followed I-5 south out of downtown Portland to Multnomah Blvd., then west to Garden Home. Garden Home was a junction of the OE mainline southwest to Greton (crossing the SP), then on the current “Oregon Electric” to Tualatin, Wilsonville, Salem, Albany and Eugene; a second line (the Forest Grove Branch) travelled northwest along the “Oregon Electric Right-of-Way Park” to Beaverton, crossing the SP near the intersection of Lombard & Farmington, and then following the current MAX line west of Beaverton Central all the way to Hillsboro; and the existing Forest Grove Branch from Hillsboro to Forest Grove, terminating downtown near Pacific University.

    The OE used the United Railways to connect freight traffic with its parent the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway after the 1930s, when its own line through downtown was abandoned (along with that of the Southern Pacific). Without the United Railways, the OE would have been physically disconnected from its parent railroad, and thus effectively unable to handle freight traffic. Since passenger service ended in the early-to-mid 1930s, the railroad would have certainly died.

    As for use for a MAX line, there’s a ton of problems:

    1. There’s virtually no population density.

    2. The logical route to serve any population – the cutoff from Helvetia (Bower Junction) to Orenco has largely been wiped out due to development. A new subdivision is built where the wye was at Orenco; until about two years ago you could see the old grade. Today, only a line of trees marks the spot. Development further north has obliverated the grade, and a recent expansion of the Cornelius Pass/US 26 interchange wiped out the location of the grade. Only a short stretch from US 26 to the old crossing with Cornelius Pass Road remains intact; along with north of Helvetia.

    3. The line still hosts freight trains; where would they go? The next suitable railroad line is the one through Beaverton/Tigard/Lake Oswego/Milwaukie; and there would be massive complications in allowing P&W access to Union Pacific and BNSF’s rail lines (in general the labor unions vocally oppose such attempts, claiming allowing lower paid shortline railroad crews on the mainline tracks will contribute to a reduction of jobs).

    4. Adding more freight traffic on the above-mentioned lines would make restoring commuter rail traffic more difficult, and would cause operational problems to the Beaverton-Wilsonville Commuter Rail line (train congestion).

    Although I once saw a concept to build a MAX spur line on this route up to U.S. 26, with a large park-and-ride lot at the end (essentially for Banks and North Plains commuters to just jump off the freeway and catch a train). IMO, that wasn’t such a bad idea.

  39. Although I once saw a concept to build a MAX spur line on this route up to U.S. 26, with a large park-and-ride lot at the end (essentially for Banks and North Plains commuters to just jump off the freeway and catch a train). IMO, that wasn’t such a bad idea.

    I concur. This would serve the “true” purpose of MAX, in my opinion. Future commuter rail lines (or BRT) serving the region should be designed in this fashion, as well (big P&R lots near highway exits).

  40. Heavy rail? My guess is that the question is about 100 years too late. The same question is being asked for heavy rail from metro through McMinnville to Valley Junction. It won’t happen in our lifetime. It is mainly a function of cost, efficiency and population projections.

  41. Is heavy rail rapid transit in the metro area’s future?

    Isn’t the Washington County Commuter rail heavy rail? Whether it will reach a point where there is enough traffic to warrant multi-unit trains or not is a question. If it is extended to Salem there might be enough ridership to support that.

  42. I am 100% in support of commuter rail type lines versus MAX and Streetcar for an elect few and relatively small geographical area. I would like to see the commuter rail go south to Albany and west to Grand Ronde. I think I heard the year 2012 mentioned for completion of the Wilsonville – Salem one.



  43. Oh….

    That would never fly here.. There would need to be about 10x more population to support a NYC like system in the Portland area. I think one improvement would be to put the entire MAX and Streetcars underground throughout downtown so they don’t “gum up traffic” any more.

  44. Streetcars don’t make sense underground in most cases. MAX, on the other hand, needs to go subway in the core.

    I don’t think Portland will ever get heavy rail rapid transit, but I can’t imagine why we’d need it. MAX would do a fine job as a Metro system as long as they can speed things up in the core. Which means fewer stations and a subway,

  45. I just wanted to inform the Portland community about a new environmentaly friendly transportation product my company has designed and made in Portland: the Metroboard Electric Skateboard. A great way to get around town for short range alternative transportation. Please check out the website: for more info. Comments are welcome


    Pointing to statistics that show much of Gresham’s crime occurs near the MAX light-rail lines, Mayor Shane Bemis announced Friday that city police officers will begin riding the trains starting Wednesday.

    Law enforcement services on MAX are currently provided by TriMet officers, but Bemis said he consistently hears from constituents that they do not feel protected.

    “It’s time to take matters into our own hands,” he said. “We’re going to . . . protect our citizens so people feel safe riding the system.” He cited “TriMet’s failure to realize they have issues.”

    Discussion of commuter protection began at a Gresham public safety summit in March, Bemis said. City statistics show that 84 percent of gang crimes, 40 percent of fights and 42 percent of drug crimes occur within a quarter-mile of the tracks.

    “Not to mention vandalism, business burglaries and the fare inspections that aren’t happening,” he added.

  47. Does TriMet have any contingency plans when it comes to fuel shortages?

    Also, how would TriMet deal with the crush loads of people wanting to use transit when, for example, gas becomes very expensive?

  48. A problem has appeared with Transit Tracker. It has been there for at least a month. Basically, the system is not aware of certain late night trips. For instance, if you phone or surf to T.T. tonight to track the ~1:10 AM #4 trip at N. Vancouver & Ivy, it simply does not appear. As far as T.T. knows, the next trip is “scheduled at” ~5 AM Monday.

    You can sample trips from around the system that are on the road after 1 AM. 12-Sandy from SW 4th and Washington, #20 from SW Cedar Hills and Walker: Neither of these trips is trackable.

    I have tried elicit a fix or at least an acknowledgment from TriMet. They are usually very responsive no matter how minor the problem, but I can’t get any information from them this time.

    Yeah, maybe I’ve impressed them as a crank with my repeated e-mails. But I think this is an important problem! The T.T. system might be rendered useless if just a small portion of its information is consistently inaccurate; people will lose trust in the whole system. Further, riders who depend on it might be misled to believe they have to take a cab or wait four hours for the next trip.

    And I would hate it if TriMet came to resemble certain East Coast big city transit agencies, in which stuff like this never gets fixed because the agency acts apathetically, with no sense of accountability to the public.

    Can Portland Transport publicize this Transit Tracker issue, or put me in touch with someone at TriMet who will truly take action on it?

  49. Yes, after midnight TT just goes all funky. I’ve been trying to catch a bus downtown after midnight on a Friday, (when there are still a lot of lines running,) and TT will only tell you about the 5am ones…

  50. Chris, I e-mailed three times and called once. To protect the spammable, I am going to message you privately with more details, if that’s OK.

  51. The Transit Tracker developer writes: Sorry for the slow, nearly non-existent response. Thanks to Chris Smith’s help from your comment on his site I was made aware of the issue. I hope to be getting this sort of feedback asap from now on.

    The glitch is fixed. Hurrah Tri-Met! Hurrah Portland Transport!

  52. Please start a thread for serious discussion of the overall fare structure. Just eliminating Fareless Square doesn’t go far enough — it may solve one problem but create others. It’s timely right now to discuss the structure holistically, with reference to

    — commuters
    — central-core (Westside and Eastside) residents
    — casual users
    — brief visitors like convention-goers and tourists

    I’m working on such an overall discussion, and would like to post it in the right place. If you start a thread, I can follow up there.

    Mike Feldman

  53. I’d like to start a thread to specifically discuss the possibility of introducing hybrid, double-decked buses to Tri-Met’s fleet. Apparently, London has already ordered them (according to this article:

    Not only would they provide additional capacity per driver, they would lower emissions. Maybe there could also be more room for bikes, using hooks inside the bus?

  54. Given that most bus usage is commuter traffic, inbound in the morning, outbound at night….and, given that we’ve got these gigantic park-and-ride lots that stand empty and useless at night, and, given that, for a morning or evening commuter run, Trimet now spends as much mileage and almost as much time in non-revenue deadhead runs to the beinnings of morning commuter runs or to a garage from the ends of evening commuter runs…..and given that maintaining huge bus lots at the three garages can’t possibly be without costs of its own….why doesn’t Trimet use the park-and-ride lots to station its buses overnight, and just use the garages for, like, when a bus needs fixing? Has anyone ever looked into the economics of this….or is all this deadheading a guaranteed benefit of the operators’ union contracts?

  55. I think you’d have to provide overnight security for the buses at the park & ride lots … leave them sitting around unfenced and unsupervised and they’d become a target for tagging.

    Also, buses are often swept/vacuumed, washed and refueled after a run, and also mechanically inspected, so a lot of them are going to need to head back to the garage anyway.

    By the time you juggled the logistics and the security, you might not be saving much money.

    – Bob R.

  56. Let’s talk about the EPA putting a kibosh on States’ rights with their recent decision to not allow California emissions standards. I think its outrageous and totally unacceptable that the feds would be so obstructionist on California’s (and 16 other states’) lead and trailblazing in this effort. They should have incorporated the California standards in the recent energy bill legislation but I guess it was still a giant step in the right direction!

  57. Bob R.; (1) If bus-washing and vacuuming were to occur at the Park & Ride lot, Trimet wouldn’t have to pay extra for security;
    (2) an amount that Trimet would consider “not much” would support most of us lavishly….

  58. Elee –

    But at that point you’re paying to have bus-washers (and equipment) at the park & ride lot who duplicate services already offered at the garage. (Please also note there are already multiple garages, 2 on the eastside and 1 on the westside.)

    I don’t see what kind of major savings you’re going to find with this idea.

    For an overview of regular bus maintenance and cleaning operations, see TriMet’s Bus Vehicle and Fleet Facts page:

    TriMet’s Bus Maintenance Department works 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Each night when a bus returns to the garage it receives the following standard treatment:

    • refueling
    • fluid levels checked
    • interiors swept out
    • exteriors washed (except during freezing weather or when water conservation measures are in effect)

    – Bob R.

  59. There are EPA restrictions on where exactly you can and can’t refuel, (on a regular basis,) so they would need special containment equipment at the park and rides. Likewise for all the other fluids in the bus, and the soap from washing them should be kept out of the river…

    The other question is what to do with the driver, the garages are on good bus lines, but a lot of the park and rides are only served by the buses that would end up pulling in there, so drivers would all have to drive to work, (and hope the park and ride isn’t full. :-)

    I think they could eliminate a lot of the deadhead hours by running them all night, but that is just me.

  60. Thanks Bob R. and Matthew, I suppose someone at Trimet must have thought of this already….but it certainly seems there ought to be a way of reducing (1) the nonrevenue service time and mileage for deadheading to the beginning of every route, at the far edge of the service area, each mornimg, and (2) get some use out of all those acres of asphalt that sit idle outside dayshift work hours….

  61. How is the value of a ride analyzed. I realize that is a wide open question, but at some point the cost of a ride should reach a prohibitive point? My question centers around the study being conducted for the Yamhill County (McMinnville to Milwaukie) passenger rail.

    A figure of $250 million for the initial cost of the project would not be surprising. Yet, from the 1998 study (Yamhill County Commuter Rail Study), the projected ridership is 1,580 per year in 2015.

    How, where does a government body draw the line on what is an accepted cost per rider?

  62. I think Elee is on the right track, thinking about the expense that TriMet vehicles spend on non-revenue moves between Garages and start/end points.

    Does it make sense for TriMet to have three heavy garages and parking lots for its nearly 650 busses (namely – Merlo Garage for the westside, Center Street for the central city, and Powell Garage for the eastside)?

    Fueling facilities, supervisors’ offices, and so on doesn’t take that much room, and some busses do have to drive a considerable distance from these garages prior to starting a run. Maybe it would make more sense to develop several outlying points where busses spend the night – i.e. one in Hillsboro, one in Beaverton, one in Tigard, one in Oregon City/Clackamas, one in Gresham, along with Center Street and possibly one in Northeast Portland. Busses that need heavy repairs would be brought to a central garage (i.e. Center Street) but for daily operations would be based out of a different point, each of the outlying points basing only 50-100 busses each.

    It would be interesting to see this in a cost/benefit analysis. According to TriMet’s most recent ridership statistics, its bus fleet operates a total of 1,481,460 revenue hours – but a total of 1,967,016 vehicle hours. That means that 25% of a busses’ time is spent in non-revenue moves to/from the garage or between two unlinked routes.

    (MAX, in comparison, is slightly better at only 20% non-revenue hours.)

    It can be noted that TriMet does do one thing right – many Westside routes operate in conjunction with the 67-Jenkins/158th Avenue route. This is the line that directly serves Merlo Road. By doing this, a bus could leave Merlo, make a run on the 67 to PCC Rock Creek, back to Merlo, then to Beaverton, and then start a run on another route – while entirely “on route”. The bus can do the same in reverse – upon arrival to Beaverton TC, make a run on the 67 to Merlo, optionally to PCC Rock Creek and return to Merlo, and then enter the yard and end the day.

    I don’t know if TriMet does the same thing with the 9-Powell Route (to Powell Garage) or with the 17-SE Holgate or 70-12th Avenue routes to Center Street.


    TriMet just released FY2007 ridership statistics:

    Bus ridership numbers are as follows (comparisons are to FY2006):

    Vehicle Hours up .6%
    Revenue Hours up 1.5%
    Vehicle Miles down 2.1%
    Revenue Miles down 3.6%
    Passenger Miles down 7%
    Originating Rides down 0.6%
    Boarding Rides down 0.5%

    Passenger Miles are essentially at the same level as FY1999.
    Originating Rides are at the same level as FY2001.
    Boarding Rides are at the same level as FY2001.

    In most of these categories, this is the second year in a row that ridership is down on the bus service.

    The fact that vehicle hours are up despite the loss suggests that TriMet vehicles are spending more time on the road – and given my personal experience with busses that are continually late, it’s likely that TriMet is simply having a hard time keeping busses on schedule. I don’t believe all of this is simply attributed to “traffic”, but is also due to overcrowding (which results in busses having to slow down as well as longer bus stop times) and reliability issues. This statistic also results in higher labor costs, and in particular overtime costs.

    Traffic could be an issue, and the answer is not automatically “LIGHT RAIL!” but technologies and roadway improvements to help busses move through traffic; such as dedicated bus lanes, better bus stop designs, and more implementation of queue jumper lanes and Opticom links between busses and traffic signals.

  64. Can we have a discussion on the possible streetcar loop options in the Pearl District as part of the Eastside Streetcar Line? The Northrup vs. the Lovejoy (Hoyt St. turnaround)?
    And how would this line operate initially? As a seperate line that requires a transfer to Downtown in the Pearl?

  65. I second Erik Halstead’s notion of a thread on Trimet’s annual figures. To my these figures suggest that, regardless of how much Trimet spends on self-promotion, its buses will only attract the (numerically fairly constant) population that has no other choice. I submit that the commuting population on the whole is quite accurate and perceptive in making its transit choices. Those who attach a value much above minimum wage to their commuting time, quite accurately reject the buses as presently operated.

    BTW this puts a really cruel obstacle in the way of many hardworking citizens: If one has no car and wants to be a reliable worker, one has to allow absurd amounts of time for the daily Trimet lottery. God save those with children or parents to care for, or second jobs, or anything else that might compete with Trimet’s daily levy of hours-out-of-the-day.

  66. Al M—Excellent rant……except, if it’s an accurate description of reality, can it still be a “rant”? B/c unfortunately my friend… are just TELLING IT LIKE IT IS

  67. (awful quiet around here?)

    this came off my other site:

    Bus Travel Makes a Comeback in the U.S.

    All Things Considered, December 24, 2007 · Buses are back. A new study
    shows a significant increase in intercity and interstate bus travel for
    the first time in nearly 50 years.

    Nicer coaches, on-board movies and internet service are helping reshape
    the poor image that many travelers had of Greyhound and its

    High gasoline prices and airport delays are also helping to revive the
    once moribund intercity bus industry.

  68. “Traffic could be an issue, and the answer is not automatically “LIGHT RAIL!” but technologies and roadway improvements to help busses move through traffic; such as dedicated bus lanes, better bus stop designs, and more implementation of queue jumper lanes and Opticom links between busses and traffic signals.”

    >>>> The answer should have never been light rail in the first place here in Portland right from the beginning (1970’s).

    What we should have done are things like HOT lanes, POW busways, etc. We would have had a nice flexible transit system that would have attracted a greater number of passengers, increasing transit’s share of the market.

    Instead, we are now stuck with all-stop “snail rail,” necessitating longer travel times with additional transfers, and valuable real estate wasted on big park and ride lots.

  69. I still think the blue and red lines were well worth it. The yellow line will eventually prove its worth.

    If they had really been thinking, they would have put the max over or under downtown Portland.

    Green line is a waste, street car a perk for the rich, and lets not start on the $70mil escalator for the doctors and professors of OHSU.

  70. I still think the blue and red lines were well worth it. The yellow line will eventually prove its worth.

    If they had really been thinking, they would have put the max over or under downtown Portland.

    Green line is a waste, street car a perk for the rich, and lets not start on the $70mil escalator for the doctors and professors of OHSU.

  71. Because the blue line is connecting various cities.

    Red line serves the airport pretty efficiently.

    Yellow line, eventually, will connect Vancouver to Portland.

    But the green line connects what?

    Clackamas town center to downtown?

    Sorry, no comprendo.

    That’s one for the bus service at zero cost.

  72. Did anyone read the Portland Tribune yesterday? It had the courage to print a big guest editorial questioning the “need” for another freeway bridge over the Columbia River. Lots of good points there, that I wish I had seen before on this blog…, for example, why should Oregonians subsidize the auto dependency of Washington commuters…..and why should we be facilitating their car commuting, when they vote down/won’t work with out transit agencies/plans?

  73. “For Change, Reduce Trips,” right?

    It was written by Lenny Anderson, who frequently contributes to Portland Transport.

    I’ve met him in person before… he knows what he’s talking about.

  74. why should Oregonians subsidize the auto dependency of Washington commuters

    There is a VERY simple solution to this, one that doesn’t require any input by Washington residents:

    1. Pass a sales tax of at least 7.5%. That eliminates any “shopper’s incentive” to come to Oregon.

    2. Make Washington residents pay “resident” income tax, as opposed to “non-resident”. That way they are taxed at the same rate as someone who lives south of the river – which is far greater than north of the river.

    Of course this would likely require abolishing the property tax, and the sales tax would essentially be a city/county tax – which would greatly benefit Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties.

    It would, however, harm counties like Columbia, Yamhill and Polk Counties.

  75. “Did anyone read the Portland Tribune yesterday? It had the courage to print a big guest editorial questioning the “need” for another freeway bridge over the Columbia River.”

    This is my post on the trib regarding congestion ‘tax’.



  76. “Did anyone read the Portland Tribune yesterday? It had the courage to print a big guest editorial questioning the “need” for another freeway bridge over the Columbia River.”

    This is my post on the trib regarding congestion ‘tax’.



  77. Thanks Jason B., I gathered from the Trib that the writer is pretty informed.

    Sorry Al M, this time I can’t agree with you. Those are MY roads they’re clogging, and the roads didn’t build themselves for free. It’s also MY airshed they’re gassing; not only do I pay taxes for medicare for asthmatics, but I accept other increased costs i.e., my heating costs more if I can’t ignore the costs of my emissions. So why don’t Washington commuters pay their fare share?

  78. Cause Elee;


    Give raises to some bureaucrat?
    Get more ‘managers’ to study the problem?


  79. It’s also MY airshed they’re gassing

    Are you a PGE customer? If so, are you willing to pay a tax to cover PGE’s (and your) impact created by pollution from the Boardman Generating Plant to the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge and Washington’s Columbia Plateau?

    Are you willing to pay for the impact of pollution that is created in Portland, but drifts north across the Columbia River?

    And are you willing to pay a fee each time you touch the Washington state line, to cover any impact that you create on the state?

    Finally, since Washington subsidizes the Amtrak service between Portland and Seattle (and owns several of the trainsets), are you willing to pay an additional fare to ride Amtrak’s Cascades service simply because you are an Oregon resident?

  80. Erik asks questions of someone else, but just for fun I’d like to include my own answers.

    Are you a PGE customer?

    No. Pacific Power.

    If so, are you willing to pay a tax to cover PGE’s (and your) impact created by pollution from the Boardman Generating Plant to the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge and Washington’s Columbia Plateau?

    To the extent that a tax (or other regulatory structure) is implemented to reduce power plant pollution, I’m willing to pay my fair share. In fact, I already pay more for Pacific Power’s voluntary clean energy program (which is a mixed bag of solutions, but mild progress nonetheless.)

    Are you willing to pay for the impact of pollution that is created in Portland, but drifts north across the Columbia River?

    In a relatively equitable system, yes.

    And are you willing to pay a fee each time you touch the Washington state line, to cover any impact that you create on the state?

    Why don’t you describe this system in more detail … would there be a corresponding fee for people entering Oregon? How would your proposal be equitable?

    Finally, since Washington subsidizes the Amtrak service between Portland and Seattle (and owns several of the trainsets), are you willing to pay an additional fare to ride Amtrak’s Cascades service simply because you are an Oregon resident?

    Can you show that a disproportionate number of the users are not Washingtonians, in relation to the contribution? Perhaps the solution is not to tax people based on their place of residence but their point of origin. For example, charge more for northbound boardings out of Portland.

    Similarly, a toll on a new CRC crossing is not actually a toll on Washingtonians … it is a toll on all users of the bridge, regardless of where they reside.

  81. There was an article in yesterday’s Oregonian about municipalities offering incentives of various sorts to be “green”. I laughed when I saw one city gave incentives for “live close to your work”. My experience with Portland is that when I tried that I instead ended up being punished by paying outlandish rent and having to pay exorbitant fees to house my car. If they really want people to play that game, they need to make it worthwhile to do so. Portland is just an average place but they make it out to be some wonderful green utopian Mecca. It’s good but not wonderful like the NY Times would make you believe.

  82. Answers for Erik H:

    (1) I’m a PGE customer, so I pay my portion for the impacts of the PGE Boardman power plant. Remember, I said my heat (and in this instance, other electric conveniences) costs me more than it would if I could simply ignore the environmental costs? I also participate in my utility’s voluntary green power schemes;

    (2) I’m willing to pay for my drifting pollution, see #1 above, and also pay the costs of limiting/minimizing/mitigating the impact of my activities that generate drifting pollution. Like, for example, buying products that caused pollution in their making and transport, and, for example, paying the cost of minimizing/mitigating the impacts of hauling them away and disposing of them;

    (3) I’m willing to pay my portion to limit/mitigate/minimize air pollution in general, whether it drifts to Washington or not;

    (4) I already pay lots of fees, without ever (physically) touching Washington. Every time I buy a product that is made in, or transported across, Washington, some of my retail price goes to fees to maintain Washington’s infrastructure and minimize/mitigate environmental impacts;

    (5) If Washington places a toll on its roads, obviously I’ll pay the toll if I choose to drive there;

    (6) If part of my retail price for an Amtrak ticket goes into Washington fees or taxes, that’s fine too.

    Now that I’ve answered these questions, and the answers weren’t particularly surprising or interesting……were these supposed to be rhetorical questions? Were they supposed to make something obvious to me or others? I don’t get it. Somebody explain to me.

  83. I take issue with Terry Parker’s comment that each time I climb on a bicyle I am helping myself to a subsidy and robbing the government on needed revenue to maintain the roads.

    Most state funding for road projects comes from the general fund. (Funding for many bike, pedestrian or transit specific projects come from grants or pots of money that the federal government has earmarked for those uses alone.) And last I checked it is property and income tax that feeds the bulk of the general fund.

    As an employed bicyclist who owns a home I contribute roughly the same amount as car driving non-bicyclists in my similar tax bracket. Let’s see, this year I paid nearly $4000 in taxes to the State of Oregon and close to $7000 to the Federal Government. I also paid just over $2500 in property taxes this year.

    Of course this amount is pre-tax filing time and I anticipate a refund, but there is no deduction for driving less.

    While I have issues with our state gas tax as well, a few cents tax per gallon of gas is a fair means of distributing the burden. Those driving larger and heavier vehicles, with lower gas mileage pay slighly more per year for their usage based on a level of consumption, their impact on the system overall (the old republican idea that user pays).

    I drive about 2000 miles per year. I live close to work and frequent local businesses for my shopping and daily needs. I can easily bike to work, and walk for most errands in my neighborhood. By bicycling I directly reduce wear and tear on the roads, free up a little additional room for those who must drive, and I pay gas taxes and registration fees. How are my choices in budgeting my income like helping myself to a subsidy?

  84. so I pay my portion for the impacts of the PGE Boardman power plant

    No, you don’t.

    You want Clark County residents to pay for the “impact” to Oregon roads – you want them to pay a higher fee than what is assessed for Oregon drivers to pay for the use of the same road, using the same vehicle, etc.

    Does Washington take a determination of what the cost is that is created by the pollution caused by the Boardman Generating Plant, and then assess a fine to PGE to cover the costs of that pollution – the health care costs, the environmental impacts, etc.? No. You are **not** paying your full impact costs simply by being a PGE customer.

    (4) I already pay lots of fees, without ever (physically) touching Washington. Every time I buy a product that is made in, or transported across, Washington, some of my retail price goes to fees to maintain Washington’s infrastructure and minimize/mitigate environmental impacts;

    Hmmm. The same argument is true of Washington residents, so what is the argument for making them pay another fee when they have already paid?

    (6) If part of my retail price for an Amtrak ticket goes into Washington fees or taxes, that’s fine too.

    That’s not the point – the point is since the argument is for Oregon to charge a fee that is essentially a fee only for Washington residents to cross the bridge, how would you fee about WSDOT charging an “Oregon” fee only for Oregon residents who use WSDOT funded Amtrak trains?

    For example, if you rode a train from Portland to Seattle, an Oregon resident might pay $70.

    However, a Washington resident boarding in Vancouver on the exact same train/class of service to Seattle would only pay $35.

  85. Most state funding for road projects comes from the general fund.


    I suggest you review this website which shows in detail where ODOT’s revenue comes from, and where the money goes:

    As you can see on page 17 (per Acrobat), here is ODOT’s total revenue stream:

    Motor Fuels Taxes: $417.9M
    Federal Revenues: $357.9M (this is the federal gas tax)
    Weight-Mile Taxes: $265.1M
    Vehicle Taxes (registrations): $207.6M
    Drivers License Fees: $39.6M
    Other Transportation Taxes: $2.7M
    Charges for Services: $32.4M
    Other Sales Income: $10.7M
    Investment Income: $15.1M
    Business License Fees: $5.8M
    Rents: $6.1M
    Other Revenues: $8.0M

    There is no general fund dollars going to ODOT.

    In years past, ODOT did receive approximately $10M biennually, all of which went to support the Amtrak Cascades runs in Oregon. However the Legislature changed the funding so that the sale of customized license plates (which used to fund roadside litter pickup programs) now funds Amtrak Cascades. Therefore, ODOT receives no general funding from the State of Oregon.

  86. Can you show that a disproportionate number of the users are not Washingtonians, in relation to the contribution?

    Let’s see. The peak traffic flow is southbound in the AM, northbound in the PM.

    Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to show that most people drive from north to south in the morning (Washington to Oregon), and in the morning is when most people drive from home to work. Therefore, home must be in Washington and work must be in Oregon.

    Most people drive from work to home in the evening, and the peak travel pattern is northbound (south to north, Oregon to Washington) in the evening. SO again, work must be in Oregon and home must be in Washington.

    So it would show that such a fee on the Interstate Bridge would disproportionately affect Washington residents who work in Oregon.

    Therefore it would not be unreasonable for Washington to assess a similar “impact” fee that would target Oregon residents who enter Washington. Amtrak Cascades is a good place; as well as targeting everyone who walks off of one of the Horizon Shuttle flights between Portland and Seattle; or a “tollbooth” at the north end of any Columbia River bridge.

  87. it appears that the TVMs on WES will only accept debit/credit cards, unless there are conductors on board selling tickets which i have not heard of, i dont this is cashless system will work.

    You can purchase a ticket from the machine at the station (debit/credit card only), or from neighborhood ticket outlets including Safeway, Fred Meyer and Albertsons stores. Tickets and passes can also be ordered online in the TriMet Store.

  88. I’m more concerned about the schedule posted on that page. The trip takes 27 minutes each way, and schedule shows a 10 minute layover at Beaverton and a 26 minute layover at Wilsonville, so it will take 3 trains to service the corridor… However, (as far as I know,) the trains are two cars long and they can’t do 1 car operation because there isn’t a cab at each end nor is there is a place to turn around either, which means they need 6 cars, (three powered, three trailers,) at minimum. A spare for when they are doing maintenance on one of them is generally a good idea too.

    And I thought they only bought 5 cars…

    While trying to figure out if I was mistaken about that, I ran across something that said they were only planning on buying 4 cars:

  89., the low-cost bus line that has been making waves in the
    Midwest since 2006, will begin service in Memphis on March 28.

    What gets the line noticed — besides its midnight-blue buses — is
    its $1 advance-sale tickets, part of its long-term marketing strategy.

    “Booking in advance gets you fares as low as $1, but our top
    fares are still competitive with all transportation modes to major
    cities,” president and chief operating officer Dale Moser said in a
    conference call Thursday that announced expansions into Memphis,
    along with Columbia, Mo.; Madison, Wis.; and Champaign, Ill.

    Megabus offers four to eight $1 seats on each route. After those
    seats are sold, tickets go up in increments of $5 and $8, he said.

    Maximum fare between Memphis and Chicago will be $65. People buying
    two-week advance tickets can expect to pay $20 to $45, said company
    spokeswoman Amanda Mullin.

    In comparison, two-week advance tickets to Chicago were selling for
    $55 on Greyhound’s Web site Thursday.

    Megabus’s two daily routes to Chicago will depart from the MATA bus
    terminal at Auction and Main at 10 a.m. and 11p.m., arriving in
    Chicago about 10hours later, with no more than three or four stops.

    The no-frills carrier (one piece of checked baggage per customer,
    please) says it can offer low prices because all booking is done
    exclusively online.

    The company, a subsidiary of Coach USA, started in Scotland in 2003.
    It has expanded several times since, including service to six cities
    on the West Coast it serves from its Los Angeles hub.

    Joe Schwieterman, a professor at DePaul University, says intercity
    bus service is seeing a resurgence for the first time in decades —
    particularly between large cities.

    He credits Megabus for making bus travel “respectable for higher-
    income groups” because it avoids “the dingy bus stations and
    innumerable stops.”

    “Chicago and New York (have) become a hotbed of new service for a
    surprisingly young demographic,” he said. “Unlike a generation ago
    that felt stigmatized by riding the bus, college students and young
    urbanites see it as somewhat hip. They can bring their electronic
    communication and entertainment devices and avoid the hassle of

    Memphis presents a challenge because of Megabus’s 16 markets, it is
    the most distant from Chicago.

    “Evidence is mixed if travelers will sit on the bus a full eight
    hours,” Schwieterman said. “We’re seeing routes within 300 miles as
    having the greatest growth.”

    Memphis passengers will be able to connect through Chicago to any of
    the Midwest markets, but not to the West Coast cities.

    Locally, Megabus will compete with Greyhound and Delta Bus Lines,
    which operates in the Mississippi Delta with an interline Greyhound

    Moser played down the competition, saying the company’s biggest
    challenge “is getting people out of their cars,” he said.

    “Better than 55 percent of our customers say they left their car at
    home to take our service,” he said.

    Gas prices are playing an enormous role, as are longer waits at
    airports and the unpredictability of air travel.

    The problem, of course, is that buses don’t have the room that trains
    and planes have for moving about.

    “Come prepared for the monotony of sitting in a coach for the better
    part of the day,” Schwieterman said.

    “And bring your own food.”

    — Jane Roberts: 529-2512

  90. Red-light Cameras Increase Crashes, Florida Researchers Find

    ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2008) — Rather than improving motorist safety, red-light cameras significantly increase crashes and are a ticket to higher auto insurance premiums, researchers at the University of South Florida College of Public Health conclude. The effective remedy to red-light running uses engineering solutions to improve intersection safety, which is particularly important to Florida’s elderly drivers, the researchers recommend.

    “The rigorous studies clearly show red-light cameras don’t work,” said lead author Barbara Langland-Orban, professor and chair of health policy and management at the USF College of Public Health.

    “Instead, they increase crashes and injuries as drivers attempt to abruptly stop at camera intersections. If used in Florida, cameras could potentially create even worse outcomes due to the state’s high percent of elderly who are more likely to be injured or killed when a crash occurs.”

    Red-light cameras photograph violators who are then sent tickets in the mail. Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously agreed earlier this month to install the cameras at several major intersections in the county. The devices could be adopted by more cities and counties if Florida legislators pave the way by changing a state law this spring.

    The USF report highlights trends in red-light running in Florida, summarizes major studies, and analyzes the automobile insurance industry’s financial interest in cameras. Among the findings:

    * Traffic fatalities caused by red-light running are not increasing in Florida and account for less than 4 percent of the state’s yearly traffic deaths. In contrast, more than 22 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities occur at intersections for reasons other than red-light running.
    * The injury rate from red-light running crashes has dropped by a third in less than a decade, indicating red-light running crashes have been continually declining in Florida without the use of cameras.
    * Comprehensive studies from North Carolina, Virginia, and Ontario have all reported cameras are significantly associated with increases in crashes, as well as crashes involving injuries. The study by the Virginia Transportation Research Council also found that cameras were linked to increased crash costs.
    * Some studies that conclude cameras reduced crashes or injuries contained major “research design flaws,” such as incomplete data or inadequate analyses, and were conducted by researchers with links to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The IIHS, funded by automobile insurance companies, is the leading advocate for red-light cameras. Insurers can profit from red-light cameras, since their revenues will increase when higher premiums are charged due to the crash and citation increase, the researchers say.

    Langland-Orban said the findings have been known for some time. She cites a 2001 paper by the Office of the Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives, reporting that red-light cameras are “a hidden tax levied on motorists.” The report concluded cameras are associated with increased crashes, the timings at yellow lights are often set too short to increase tickets for red-light running, and most research concluding cameras are effective was conducted by one researcher from the IIHS. Since then, studies independent of the automobile insurance industry continue to find cameras are associated with large increases in crashes.

    Red-light running can be reduced by engineering improvements that address factors such as signal visibility and timings, wet roads and traffic flow, the USF researchers say.

    The researchers suggest local governments follow the state’s lead in designing roads and improving intersections to accommodate elderly drivers, which would ultimately benefit all drivers.

    The report ” Red-Light Running Cameras: Would Crashes, Injuries and Automobile Insurance Rates Increase If They Are Used in Florida?” was published in March 2008 in the Florida Public Health Review, the online journal of the college and the Florida Public Health Association. Etienne Pracht, PhD, and John Large, PhD, were the other authors of the USF public policy report.

    Adapted from materials provided by University of South Florida Health.

  91. I was pleased to see to day in the Tribune that Fred Hansen wrote a rebuttal to Eric Halstead’s opinion piece.

    I am especially happy to see that we have such a high number of miles between road call(18,000 on average fleet wide!)
    Also, I am looking forward to seeing the new busses when they arrive in June of THIS year. I am hoping that they purchased the redesigned ones from New Flyer…it would help with P.R.

  92. I’ve seen PGE’s. It is an amazing piece of technology, not because of the fuel economy or anything like that, but simply because it is quiet when the bucket is running. I imagine the operators love it, (not having to yell over the volume of the engine is probably a nice change for them,) but simply riding past on my bicycle I was impressed.


    Drive out of poverty with a car
    A good, reliable automobile can make the difference in getting up from the bottom, and some groups want to give a leg up.
    By Peter Valdes-Dapena, staff writer
    NEW YORK ( — If filling your tank with $3.60 a gallon gas is a serious economic hardship, ask yourself this: What if you didn’t have a tank to fill up?

    Wendy Mitchell of Middlebury, Vt. is a single mom who moved there from Florida in 2006 looking for better schools. Within months, she said, her Chevrolet Blazer blew a rod and, without a job or much savings, she was left without a car at the beginning of a rural New England winter.

    “I was totally devastated,” she said.

    Despite car-ownership costs, including insurance, repairs and fuel, the majority of even the poorest Americans own cars, according to U.S. Census data – and for good reason. In this country, life without one can be difficult at best and unmanageable at worst.

    Even cities with solid public transportation networks are set up to do one thing well: move people in and out of central business districts. “It takes a long time if you aren’t doing exactly that,” said Margy Waller, executive director of the policy research group Mobility Agenda.

    And these days, she pointed out, the best jobs usually aren’t in the center of the city.

    Cars and kids
    Employers cite transportation problems as the second-most common reason for losing entry-level workers, said Waller. The number one problem is child care.

    “By giving them a car, we take care of both,” said Martin Schwartz who runs Vehicles for Change, a non-profit group that provides donated used cars to carefully screened applicants in Maryland and Virginia. The cars aren’t free. They cost recipients about $900 to $1,200, but that’s still much less than retail value, and they come with a six-month warranty.

    Vehicles for Change is one of about 150 non-profits around the country that provide low-cost used cars to the needy, according to Opportunity Cars, a national network of such groups.

    Good News Garage is another group. Operating in four New England states, it found and fixed up a 1996 Honda Accord for Mitchell.

    “I cried that day,” Mitchell said of getting her car.

    It now takes her about 30 minutes instead of more than an hour, she said, to get to her $8 an hour part-time job at the Boys and Girls Club of America. And now she can do something with her kids, she said, other than leave them at home once she manages to get them there, which she used to do on foot or by hitching rides.

    A measurable impact
    The groups say their work really makes people’s lives better, and doesn’t just give them an easier way around. Good News Garage cites data from an informal survey of its clients conducted by a local graduate student.

    According to the survey, 61% of Vermonters who had received cars from Good News Garage said they reduced their dependence on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a federal aid program, as a direct result of having a car. More than half said they had stopped using TANF altogether.

    And 60 percent of Good News Garage customers said they had gotten a job because they had a car, while 83% said they were able to keep a job because of it.

    Lifting a burden – or adding a new one?
    Some urban experts say these programs seem like they’re helping needy individuals, but really they’re just saddling them with the added costs of car ownership.

    “The cost of urban sprawl has come to roost on working households and low-income households,” said Scott Bernstein of the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago. A better solution, he suggested, would be improving mass transit and giving businesses more incentives to move nearer to transit lines – or to provide their own commuting services.

    “I’m not saying anybody should denied something,” said Bernstein, “but lets face it, there’s nothing fictitious about the gas price crisis.” Another short-term solution, he said, is to provide shared cars rather than helping individuals to own cars.

    The CNT operates one such service in Chicago – iGo car sharing – that allows members to use a car for $6 to $8 an hour. There are similar not-for-profit services in Philadelphia, San Francisco and a few other U.S. and Canadian cities.

    But, for many individuals, there isn’t much alternative to simply owning a car, even in big cities, car-ownership advocates say.

    Philip Schools, a recovering drug addict, lives near Baltimore and works at a Home Depot. He said used to spend up to six hours a day simply getting to work and back on mass transit.

    Getting a used Buick from Vehicles for Change cut his commute to a half hour each way and has allowed him time, he said, to work on starting his own lawn maintenance business to earn more money.

    Almost as important, said Schools, it has given him a sense of personal responsibility while giving him an opportunity to build a credit history. “It’s not just about the vehicle,” he said, “It has other component parts.

  94. I created a few Portland transit focused widgets a while back, on both iGoogle and Netvibes. One is for Trimet buses and uses the Trimet API to get arrival information for up to five stops. Another is a bike/transit/drive directions widget (using Google Maps and which simplifies directions searches. And then there is the zipcar widget which uses an iframe around the zipcar mobile reservations site.
    The Netvibes widgets will work on several platforms, including iGoogle, Apple Dashboard, Opera, Windows Vista beta and Windows Live beta
    People are welcome to use and suggest enhancements.

    Take a look:

    iGoogle versions:

    Netvibes versions:

  95. Now that we have a better understanding of who will be leading the city, county, and region over the next several years, how about a thread covering transportation issues that might not be in the candidate-elects’ mindset, and/or how transportation issues affect other, more prominent portions of their campaign platform? (Or would something like this turn into another thread of fighting, bus vs. rail, or global warming vs. natural change in climate arguments that this site seems to have a lot of lately? Can anyone else agree to disagree and move on?)

  96. Chris,

    After reading through the posts regarding TriMet and Gas Prices, it occurred to me that many of your subscribers could benefit from an education on Impervious Surfaces. I was wondering if you would find it prudent to start a discussion on the main page.

    Thank you,

    Michelle Lasley

  97. I found your website and noticed how it offers a lot of great information about Portland Transportation. I think I have some more information that your users would benefit from. My name is Michelle and I work for a California based company called Beat the Traffic. We are trying to spread the word about our website and I think your users would really appreciate if you added a post about it or a link to it.

    Our website,, contains free up to the minute traffic information on easy to use maps. It features color coded road speeds and intuitive symbols representing the latest road construction, car accidents, closures, special events, and anything else drivers would want to know. Travel times and traffic forecasts are also available.

    We already have 29,000 unique users every month, but we are trying to get the word out to new areas as we continue to expand our coverage of cities across the US. Please help us spread the word while helping your users find this valuable tool by adding a link on your website. Check out our website and feel free to contact me with any questions.

    Thank you,

    Michelle Rodrigues

  98. I just found this on CNN:

    The House approved financial help Thursday for mass transit systems facing a surge in riders because of high gas prices…

    The House voted 322-98 to authorize $1.7 billion over the next two years to lower fares and expand operations as more riders flock to public transit. The transit measure, which must be considered by the Senate, marks the first time federal money would be used to support local mass transit operating costs.

    I wonder if TriMet will qualify for any of that?

  99. Interesting. APTA puts 2007 transit ridership at 10.3 billion boardings. If we assume 10.5 billion for the next two years, that’s 21 billion boardings. If the $1.7 billion 2-year appropriation is divvied out equally, that subsidizes transit agencies by about 8 cents per boarding, which is actually quite significant. (For example, in TriMet’s case, perhaps a 15 cent fare increase would have sufficed for the same level of service, instead of 25 cents, or service hours on crowded routes can now be expanded…)

  100. Locally, they’re busy trying to put together the funding for the EIS work. In any event, the EIS can’t practically start until 2009, because all the TriMet and Metro staff who do that kind of work are busy working on the Milwaukie line.

  101. Honestly I’d like to see a few of our “tax and spend” types push for some big mass transit packages to help finance new-build construction.

    Though, operational costs being covered allows for debts to be paid faster, reducing interest paid, so it also works.

    I’d love to hear a Presidential candidate mention high speed rail or some other major transportation plan in their platform.

  102. I think this would be worthy of a new thread:
    The article is titled “America’s Fastest Train Moves Ahead.”

    “Could America’s fastest train whisk us away from $4-a-gallon gas guzzlers?

    Thanks to a $45 million infusion from a transportation bill signed by President Bush in early June, there could someday be a magnetic levitating train, or “maglev,” soaring from Disneyland to Las Vegas at a maximum speed of 310 mph — 180 mph on average.”

  103. Al, the two recent road rage incidents are being thoroughly covered on other blogs, especially, so I didn’t feel the need to weigh in…

  104. I’m a recent new reader here, so apologies if I’m plowing any old ground with my suggestion.

    Some recent comments, by me and others, have made reference to the what I’ll call the rail/bus dilemma, for lack of a better name (if there *is* a better name for this in transit circles, I’d love to hear it). This dilemma refers to the notion, seemingly accepted as true and unavoidable by transportation planners, that rail will attract more riders than an equivalent bus service. By “equivalent” I mean similar amenities, similar schedules, similar transit times.

    The questions are:

    * Why is this so? Perceptions that rail/bus services AREN’T (and can’t) be equivalent, or that rail is inherently faster than bus?

    * Class-based issues–the perception that more “riff-raff” rides the bus, and so those with a choice avoid it; but that trains are nicer. (Of course, with the recent MAX attacks in Gresham, is the oft-repeated perception that MAX brings crime to communities–the transit/crime linkage is hardly new or unique to Portland. The Georgetown neighborhood in DC reportedly has no Metro stop, despite one of the lines going nearby, because the locals were afraid that all sorts of undesirables would infiltrate the neighborhood were it to get a subway stop).

    * Permanence of route is often cited as a reason; you never know when your bus line (especially one gasoline or diesel busses that need no trolley infrastructure) may go away; whereas rail ROWs represent significant capital infrastructure that isn’t so easily altered on a whim.

    * I’m sure that such a thread will entertain a few remarks about how the real purpose of rail is to drive up construction costs to the benefit of well-heeled political patrons–services that use existing infrastructure don’t result in multimillion dollar contracts for developers, and so forth. While such charges may have a grain of truth–it ain’t unique to Portland, or to transit. And such charges are often made without any specific evidence, and are awfully hard to rebut.

    * And finally–to what extent can, and should, planners attempt to counteract such notions? Erik H. complained that the streetcar is sleek and stylish, but that the Tri-Met bus fleet is ugly; should Tri-Met replace its bus fleet to look nicer?

  105. Scotty,

    I’d say that it’s more the long term operational costs that are normally mentioned as the bonus of rail. Overall, per passenger mile it’s pretty cheap once the construction costs are justified.

    A lot of people I know like the trains because their routes are easier to remember. Nothing sinister, but they go to the major population centers, destinations, and are easy to remember.

    2) It’s not just riff-raff, but for my parents when they visited, it was the predictability. They loved the streetcar because of the features that could be given to other modes, but haven’t yet.

    If every bus was a low floor, AC’d, with better predictability and clean we’d probably see better ridership. I live near several routes, and plan for the one that gets the new buses when possible.

    Erik makes good points about how TriMet should upgrade its buses. Personally I love the Streetcar and MAX, but I agree with him that TriMet should look at upgrading buses faster, adding more service, and other options that are much cheaper than MAX extensions.

    Keep building out the MAX, but I’d also like to see more efforts in making buses more appealing. The Buffalo (NY) Subway has a higher ridership per mile than the MAX, and they have some of the ugliest trains on the planet. Being a subway may help them in that regard.


  106. Here’s an article I saw today about an economic stimulus package by building infrastructure:

    This part in particular caught my eye:

    Oberstar said he had also recommended spending $4.07 billion on other transit projects, $250 million on the nation’s passenger rail system, Amtrak, and $675 million for aviation – primarily airport projects.

    $4 billion in federal money spread out 50 ways is $80 million each. I’m sure population would be factored in so we probably wouldn’t get $80m exactly, but I’m wondering what would be our highest priority transit programs (statewide) if we suddenly were given $80m federal dollars for transit only?

  107. The most recent Mercury has a story about the [temporary?] failure of Sam Adams’ major transportation tax plan. Man, I was looking forward to being able to say I pay my share of road fees as a non-driver.

  108. I would like a thread to discuss the many Amtrak pedestrian accidents which have resulted in death. There was one yesterday afternoon up in Washington somewhere that delayed the 507 train. If I recall, another one happened a few weeks ago and just Saturday a vagrant was killed at 12:30 AM – also by an Amtrak train. Imagine the horror the conductors must have felt when this happen. It’s not their fault but people really need to pay attention to what they are doing as pedestrians. I see rampant jaywalking in Portland downtown, people oblivious while listening to their iPods even around train tracks. Pedestrians need to take responsibility for their safety as they are no match for these large rigs.

  109. Here’s a stupid idea for making busses slightly more attractive to riders.

    It has nothing to do with (and is orthogonal to) the condition of the vehicles. It relates to the condition of the route facilities slightly.

    One common complaint about busses, in particular about busses which do not operate in an exclusive ROW, or require trolley wires for energy, is little indicates their route to anyone who doesn’t have the time to check the route map. This relates to the whole “lack of permanence” argument; though no route is truly permanent.

    Anyway, the idea:

    Mark bus routes with paint on the streets they travel. For each bus route, paint a solid blue (or some other color that doesn’t have a critical meaning to motorists–no yellow or white, obviously) stripe down the length of the route. For streets which contain more than one rote, make the stripe bigger (though don’t go overboard). Periodically add big white circles with the route number. Put a big blue square containing the route number(s) at bus stops.

    For example, SE Hawthorne would have two blue stripes, one in each direction, with periodic 14s in circles.

    If someone at Tri-Met truly and deeply loves trains, they can even draw the route markings in the shape of train tracks (two vertical stripes representing with the rails, with the occasional horizontal stripe representing railroad ties). :)

    I told you it was a stupid idea…

  110. No, it is a really good idea. Someone came to the North Portland Streetcar DWG meeting and said that everyone knew that there was a bus on Lombard so streetcar tracks wouldn’t actually increase ridership. 10 minutes later we were talking about development opportunities and the same person said “Look at all the development that has happened on Mississippi and they don’t even have a bus line.” and we all look at each other because there is a very good bus line on Mississippi…

  111. EngineerScotty, I love it. I think that’s something TriMet should try for at least one or two routes.

    I use the 15 as a “choice rider” quite a bit, but not daily, so sometimes I don’t realize exactly where it runs. The other day I was waiting for the streetcar (to take it to the 15 at 23rd) and saw the 15 drive by within half a block.


    I’d also like to see better route maps. The current ones are like trying to understand modern art. I’m sure it works for some, but most people are left saying, “I don’t get it.”

  112. EngineerScotty wrote: It has nothing to do with (and is orthogonal to) the condition of the vehicles. It relates to the condition of the route facilities slightly.

    Hmm, that’s odd, because I had FOUR passengers at my bus stop comment about an old, non-air conditioned bus. And I didn’t even say a single word. (Two of them actually didn’t board, because the bus was at crush load.)

    This relates to the whole “lack of permanence” argument; though no route is truly permanent.

    You mean like the Streetcar stop at S.W. 3rd and Main Street?

    Mark bus routes with paint on the streets they travel.

    Who is going to pay for this? The markings would have to be painted several times a year. What happens on a street that has numerous bus routes, like Barbur Boulevard between Naito Parkway and Capitol Highway?

    While even I will agree that confusing bus routes is a hinderance towards improving bus ridership, TriMet could easily restructure its network towards a true grid system, with easy and well maintained transfer points at intersections. There’s no reason why routes like the 71 are routed the way they are; or routes like the 19 that use alternating routes, and then zig-zag further east to Mt. Scott instead of staying on a common street. Routes like the 51 and 60 can be tricky for new residents and discourage ridership; I believe Al M. has video-blogged the problems with the 89 route where busses operate in the same direction, in opposite directions, and passengers are frequently spotted waiting on the wrong side of the street to catch the bus.

    Just as motor vehicles will often gravitate to the most direct, easiest to follow route, bus routes should be designed the same way. Yes, it might be faster to take the back roads, but it’s easier to take a route that requires fewer turns and changes in streets.

    But to suggest that paint will magically solve TriMet’s bus ridership problems…well…ride the bus with me some time. The only paint that TriMet needs, is the grafitti removed from the bus stop at P.S.U. that I made an official complaint about over a week ago – and TriMet has yet to clean it up.

  113. Erik,

    What I meant to say was, my proposal has nothing to do with the condition of the busses, etc.; not that the public’s perception of busses as nothing to do with the condition thereof.

    The latter claim, as you note, is obviously wrong.

    As for “who pays”–several times a year for repainting seems to frequent for such paint jobs; roadway lines generally have a lifespan far longer than that. If such a system were deployed in stages, budget could probably be found.

    As for route planning goes–there is of course a tension between routes that get you there fast, and routes that serve a lot of customers. I’ll agree that Tri-Met still seems to think that most of us work downtown; however downtown has several attributes (mainly difficult and/or expensive parking) that make transit there a more likely option.

    But in many cases, a big reason people don’t take transit is a lack of a viable route.

  114. Because it seems relevant given the CRC, truck, and various global warming and peak oil topics that show up: I’m sure many have seen this on CNN or the like, but if you haven’t, Paris Hilton gets in on US energy policy here.

    The sad part is that Paris Hilton of all people actually balances extremes into a reasonable idea to consider.

  115. The Portland Tribune comments on the I-5 HOV lane here, and enforcement thereof. The article cites Randall O’Toole quite a bit, who would prefer a “HOT” lane (in which single drivers who pay a toll are permitted).

    (An interesting question: Why is I-5 northbound out-of-town the only local freeway with a HOV lane? The Banfield had one many moons ago, IIRC; and until the rebuild of the viaduct over Columbia Boulevard is done, there isn’t room to put an inbound HOV lane). But the other freeways all now have at least three through lanes in each direction.

  116. EngineerScotty wrote: As for “who pays”–several times a year for repainting seems to frequent for such paint jobs; roadway lines generally have a lifespan far longer than that. If such a system were deployed in stages, budget could probably be found.

    On low usage streets (i.e. residential streets), a delineator may need replacement once every two or three years.

    On high usage streets (which are the streets generally preferred for bus routes), delineators may need to be replaced every year or less.

    Markings which are within the travel lane (i.e. crosswalks, stop bars, railroad crossing markings, turn lane markings) often require even more frequent replacement.

    A “bus line” marker would fall into that latter category. Because they would also require extensive masking, they are time consuming (and labor intensive) to install; and since you are suggesting multiple colors, that drives up the cost.

  117. Jack Bog has a discussion going regarding a Tribune article on Cityhall revisiting the taxi business that they have long ignored.


  118. We’ve just launched the website Where’s Lulu, which lists accessibility ratings for places around Portland, including public transit wheelchair accessibility. People can use the site to describe (and soon, upload photos depicting) street curb cuts, busline accessibility, etc. Might make an interesting post for this blog.

  119. Good news: Bike Accidents Decline As Ridership Rises

    Some interesting comments there as well with other possibilities, like that the new riders are more cautious than the hardcores that have been always riding.

    Bad news: 2 killed when freight, commuter trains collide near Los Angeles

    I’m sure someone will cite this as a reason not to build trains…

  120. The most recent edition of Trimet’s employee newsletter had the following announcement. I thought that it would be of interest to everyone here.

    Possible May 2009
    bus service changes

    You may see Customer Service staff
    handing out notices on your bus
    this month. They’re alerting riders
    to meetings about possible changes
    to downtown bus service after the
    Portland Mall reopens in May 2009.
    This is one step in TriMet’s multi-
    phase process to discuss and receive
    comments on this topic. Additional
    meetings will be held after a draft
    plan is developed.
    The meetings will take place at these
    Portland locations:

    9/30, 6-8 p.m.: Multnomah County
    Building, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

    10/8, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Portland
    State, 1825 SW Broadway, Room 296

    10/8, 6-8 p.m.: Grant Park Baptist
    Church, 2728 NE 34th Ave.

    10/9, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Boys and Girls
    Club, 5250 NE Martin Luther King Jr.

    Highlights of the changes under
    consideration include:

    Line 6 would no longer run in
    downtown Portland, but would
    extend to downtown Milwaukie
    along the existing Line 70 route.

    Line 10-NE 33rd Ave. would run
    between NE Portland and Lloyd
    Center with increased frequency.

    Line 10-NE Harold would become a
    cross-Mall route.

    Line 14 would either return to the
    Mall or become a cross-Mall route.

    Lines 17, 35, 36 and 54/56 would use
    Harrison both ways instead of Clay
    and Market.

    Other ways to submit comments:
    Email or
    phone 503-962-5806.

  121. Big thank you, Smooth Operator!

    The meeting times/locations are nowhere to be found on the TriMet website (at least as far as I know), even though I first heard of them at the Portland Mall Citizens Advisory Committee meeting earlier this month. The only other place I’ve seen any notice of these at all is a printed notice at some downtown bus stops, but they only list two of the meetings (and different ones on each notice/route).

    I even asked at Pioneer Square customer service on Sept. 16th (the first day I saw one of the notices)… they hadn’t heard anything about it!

  122. There was a preliminary presentation on this given to the last Streetcar CAC meeting as well… I don’t know when they plan to roll out their main public outreach process on this.

  123. When I posted this earlier I didn’t have time for any comments, so I will now

    Line 6 would no longer run in
    downtown Portland, but would
    extend to downtown Milwaukie
    along the existing Line 70 route.

    This makes me wonder if they plan on combining the two routes…

    Line 10-NE 33rd Ave. would run
    between NE Portland and Lloyd
    Center with increased frequency.

    Line 10-NE Harold would become a
    cross-Mall route.

    Line 14 would either return to the
    Mall or become a cross-Mall route.

    About time!! The second ave turn-a-round and using two bridges(Hawthorne in/Morrisson out) has been confusing for customers.

    Lines 17, 35, 36 and 54/56 would use
    Harrison both ways instead of Clay
    and Market.

    This seems to be adding to the downtown “transit grid” system. Trimet has shifted away from concentrating all of their onto the transit mall.

  124. The Smooth Operator Says:

    This seems to be adding to the downtown “transit grid” system. Trimet has shifted away from concentrating all of their onto the transit mall.

    This may be a result of a need to reduce the number of buses on 5th & 6th running in conjunction with MAX trains (and autos).

    Passengers on Line 14 would certainly be happier with a change in the route; transfers from the few stops on 2nd Avenue to any other route are pretty bad, not to mention that the bus doesn’t get near the busier portions of the CBD.

  125. The unfortunate routing of the #14 on 2nd was always temporary during construction. The question now, as the #14 returns to normal crossings of the Hawthorne Bridge in both directions, is whether the downtown portion will be cross-mall, or will return to running up and down the mall.

    Personally I’m leaning in favor of running on the mall… it seems like there’s little point in taking such a popular route all the way downtown and then having a huge portion of those users transfer to access the mall. The riders should definitely be surveyed, but I’m betting a majority of downtown arrivals would prefer a one-seat-ride along the mall.

  126. Bob R. Says:

    The unfortunate routing of the #14 on 2nd was always temporary during construction. The question now, as the #14 returns to normal crossings of the Hawthorne Bridge in both directions, is whether the downtown portion will be cross-mall, or will return to running up and down the mall.

    Define “always”. From an operational standpoint, there have been some planners who like it just the way it is.

    The problem with running the 14 down the Mall is this:

    That’s a LOT of trips every day, which means a lot of buses adding to the mix on the Transit Mall. Running it across the Mall allows better transfers without all the extra traffic.

    I’m not saying that’s the way it will happen, or that it’s the best solution for passengers, but it can’t be ignored, either.

  127. Define “always”.

    Well, I’m going from what TriMet staffers have said at various meetings, from the Mall CAC prior to relocation, to the last presentation at the streetcar CAC.

    There may indeed be planners within TriMet who like the #14 as it is today, but the official line has always been that this is a temporary relocation, and that TriMet doesn’t like running it on the Morrison any more than the passengers do, and that it will definitely return to a Hawthorne-bridge-only route and the only question remaining is whether to have a mall alignment or a cross-mall alignment downtown.

  128. This makes me wonder if they plan on combining the two routes…

    I’m sure the 70 riders would love that!

    I used to love that route and drove it many sign ups when I used to work at Center street.

    Trimet should publish a book:

    “How to ruin a good route in one easy step”

  129. TriMet just posted notices of the meetings on the main .org website and the Portland Mall website as well. Finally there’s official online notification of the meetings!

    And, there’s information on the changes they’re considering making.

    TSO: This makes me wonder if they plan on combining the two routes…
    Al: I’m sure the 70 riders would love that!
    That’s exactly what they’re considering! And what’s now line 70 would go Frequent Service no less! (IMO: that’s nice, but what about 76? 70 is nowhere on the list of routes for frequent service, at least as of the FY 08 TIP. I never heard whether or not the FY 09 TIP has been finalized or published.)

  130. The #70 is pretty close to a frequent service route already, it just needs a few more buses in the evenings/weekends, (it already runs 4 times an hour in the midday.) And while yes, they should do the #76 first, if it isn’t going to cost very much to make the #70 into part of 6 and therefore a frequent service route, then I really don’t see a reason not to… But even if it wasn’t frequent service, it is a great idea, people have been complaining about lack of North/South lines that don’t go into downtown, and here is one…

    My feeling about the #14, is that it should take over the downtown portion of the #6, i.e. run up to Goose Hollow and back. With the frequency of that bus, single seat rides into the mall isn’t all that important because the transfer times in both directions would be very short, and running to Goose Hollow would make crosstown, (i.e. West to East) travel realistic… (Neither of the options presented are that.)

  131. Jason McHuff Says:

    For those that aren’t aware, TriMet has released the yearly update to the Transit Investment Plan.

    And bookmarked the PDF!

  132. Instances of select words in the “investment plan” :

    Bus – 302 buses – 102
    MAX – 200
    WES – 26
    streetcar -67
    rail – 199
    bike – 32 bikes – 9
    pedestrian – 52
    development – 87
    TOD – 8
    density – 15
    downtown – 47
    city center- 7
    alternative – 24
    safety -22
    security – 27
    ticket machine – 0
    inspector – 0
    turnstile – 0
    express – 18; when talking about WES, MAX (which is not express), and Streetcar (which is the slowest of the 3) – 10; when talking about discontinuing express service in favor of MAX – 2

  133. Excellent article on pages C1/C4 of the Sunday Oregonian (Oct. 26th, 2008), “TriMet hopes you will ride, not park.” It’s probably on the OregonLive website, but I don’t use it because I don’t like it.

    Some excerpts relevant to discussions we’ve had here on Portland Transport lately:

    In emphasizing development near light-rail stops instead of parking, TriMet has fewer than half the ratio of park-and-ride spaces per rider than four comparable cities – Denver, Dallas, Salt Lake City and Sacramento.

    [TriMet Director of Project Planning Alan] Lehto said the agency doesn’t engage in social engineering, but TriMet clearly would rather commuters leave their cars at home and find another way to light-rail stations.

    John Charles, president of the Cascade Policy Institute in Portland, said the entire TriMet system is based on subsidies, so parking isn’t any different.

    The [Denver] RTD has fewer riders than TriMet, but more than twice as many park-and-ride spaces.
    “The automobile is our friend, is how our general manager puts it,” [Acting Assistant General Manager Bill] Van Meter said.

    Todd Litman, executive director of the Victoria [BC] Transport Policy Institute, said 20 minutes is the ideal transit trip. A trip of 30 minutes or more becomes a burden. […] A trip of an hour or more is unreasonable[…].

    I find the last comment I quoted very interesting, as I spent probably 4 hours total on Friday going from SE Portland to PCC-Rock Creek, then from there to PCC-Cascade, then back to SE Portland. Oddly enough, days like Friday happen for me every now and then.

  134. There’s an interesting article on the NY Times today about how we got into this current credit mess, tying a Wisconsin school district to NY’s MTA.

    That’s a link to it, and it shows how the current economic crisis is intertwined on many levels of government.

    I’m not sure if it directly affects any Portland transportation projects, but I’d guess if it hasn’t yet, it will.

  135. In Los Angeles, voters approved Measure R by 67% to 33% – a $40 billion-over-30-year project to expand subway, light rail, commuter rail, busways, and local/limited bus service throughout Los Angeles County.

    In the Seattle area, voters passed (barely) Sound Transit’s Proposition 1, $17.9 billion plan to expand express buses, light rail, and commuter rail throughout the Puget Sound region.

    Asking for money for huge packages of transit projects is nothing new. Four years ago, Denver voters approved the $4.7 billion FasTracks package for light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit.

    If they can do it, we can do it.

    Is it really that far-fetched to ask Tri-Met area voters to approve a major light rail, commuter rail, interurban trolley (Portland-Lake Oswego) and bus rapid transit package? What’s the wish list? If Tri-Met were to go to voters with a big-multi-project transit proposal, what should be included?

    Also, Tri-Met needs to stop getting gun-shy about asking voters for money. Tri-Met district voters rejected ONE light rail fudning plan (downtown to Clackamas TC) 10 years by a narrow margin, in an election when it was competing with a number of other ballot measures. But that was after they voted “yes” on three successive light rail projects (Westside light rail in 1990, South/North in 1994, and the voter referral of South/North state funding in 1996. Light rail is popular and has a history of support. There’s no reason a comprehensive regional transit plan couldn’t pass, as long as it served all areas.

  136. From CNN: Report: Road projects could spur 1.8 million jobs

    America’s roads and bridges need critical repairs that would total $64 billion, and construction could begin within six months if the federal government makes the funds available, according to a new report.

    The report, by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, surveyed all 50 states and found 5,148 road and bridge projects that are considered “ready to go.”

  137. The only bloke who has been lucky enough to land a cushy job guaranteed for at least four years, with the best personal security in the world and all expenses paid (including bathroom tissue and diapers for his kids), in the present tight job market, seems to be Barack Obama!

  138. The only bloke who has been lucky enough to land a cushy job guaranteed for at least four years, with the best personal security in the world and all expenses paid (including bathroom tissue and diapers for his kids), in the present tight job market, seems to be Barack Obama!


    TriMet pumped millions of dollars into a shaky Colorado company in recent months, keeping it alive despite mismanagement so it could finish the agency’s new commuter rail cars.

    The agency handed $5.5 million to the nearly bankrupt Colorado Railcar Manufacturing on top of $17 million awarded to the company for four specialized cars. TriMet expected to easily reclaim $3 million of the extra payments, but a court fight jeopardizes that hope.

    Later in the article, The Oregonian reports that the WES project has now cost TriMet and area taxpayers to the tune of $166 million, which is over the “final” budget of $117.5 million, and way over the $80 million preliminary cost when the project was first announced.

    He crafted a take-it-or-leave-it deal for Rader: TriMet gets control of your company or we cancel the contract now.

    He had backing for the unprecedented move all up the line, including from Hansen, the agency’s general manager.

    TriMet takes control:

    His bleak report: Colorado Railcar needed money immediately to cover paychecks. The next day, TriMet wired $545,000.

    Colorado Railcar would need an additional $5 million to keep going. That was on top of the $17 million TriMet was under contract to pay.

    Trapped by circumstances, TriMet saw no choice but to pay.

    TriMet cinched up control of Colorado Railcar’s spending, knocking Rader’s children off the company payroll. The agency paid for power, phone service and factory rent.

    TriMet cinched up control of Colorado Railcar’s spending, knocking Rader’s children off the company payroll. The agency paid for power, phone service and factory rent.

  140. Can we discuss the need for owl service and why TriMet is the largest agency in the country without owl service? According to wikipedia, owl service was discontinued in 1983. Its surprising that it offered owl service at a time when transit was hardly used and yet now with transit service heavily used it offers no owl service.

    This is a timely subject with the temporary owl MAX service during this freezing weather.

  141. Besides the cost of additional service and possibly premium pay for overnight runs, I’ve heard one argument against owl service is that homeless people would ride it. My idea to solve that problem is to charge per ride and not accept transfers. Passes could possibly be sold through employers to employees who often need the service.

  142. I know BART in the Bay Area also makes the similar claims against owl service.

    But what about the argument in favor of it that it would reduce drunk driving by offering service after the bars and clubs close?

    It would only need be a handful of lines… MAX Blue Line with a Red Line Gateway-Airport shuttle (for early morning flights) and a few frequent service bus lines like the 14 or 15 on the Eastside, 4 or 6 in North Portland, 4 or 9 on the Eastside, 12, 33, 72.

  143. Many parts of the area served by BART have owl service, it is just that it is provided by buses. The argument against BART owl service is maintenance: they do maintenance at night, and that doesn’t work when you have trains going through… New York has owl service on their rail system, but they have express service during rush hour, so much of their system is 3 and 4 tracked…

    TriMet starts the MAX maintenance window at about 10:30pm, and it doesn’t close until about 5am, but the last train pulls in after 1am, and they start back up at 3:30am. The trick is that those trains are only running every half hour, so if you are riding on those trains, it is possible to get delayed, (by a few minutes, you can still normally make the transfers,) and/or, go down the wrong side of the tracks (while other trains are delayed.) Of course, more maintenance probably happens when the trains actually stop running, but my point is that it possible…

    The reason I’ve heard why we don’t have owl service is money/demand. While Portland has really good transit service, it is also a rather small city, so a lot of things are closed at night, which means that not that many people actually want to ride the system then. I’ve been on buses at midnight where I was the only person on them, so I can see why TriMet may be unwilling to put their limited operating hours into running owl service. That said, on certain routes, (streetcar, 4F,) I expect that owl service could be popular, and should be explored.

  144. I just saw a thread on a discussion forum that I read indicating that Colorado Railcar will be shutting down completely on December 31st. I don’t know what this will do to the WES DMU situation but it is most likely a serious problem. The URL of that Discussion Forum is

  145. What about the new commuter rail-based system that Wilsonville’s SMART started yesterday? As someone who works down there, do you have an opinion on it, Chris? My issue is that the Salem bus only goes to the rail station and no longer loops through town. This means people will have to transfer and that a 1-transfer Portland-Salem trip is no longer possible.

    Also, was that you getting on the 96 at Commerce Circle on Friday at about 5:00-5:15 PM? I was across 95th getting a picture with both a Salem-Keizer and the TriMet bus (was the last day to get it).

  146. No, that wasn’t me on Friday :-)

    I think the way SMART has re-arranged their routes to center on the rail station as a hub makes a tremendous amount of sense. It’s unfortunate that the 96 has not been re-routed to visit that hub.

    Not much personal impact on me, as I tend to use the SMART bus from the Barbur Transit Center which goes directly to Xerox.

  147. I was thrilled to see in today’s Metro section of the Oregonian that Metro had endorsed a list (JPACT) of transit projects to apply for federal funding including:

    The CRC 1.5 B
    Sellwood Bridge 100 M
    New busses 92.4 M
    1-5/1-205 interchange 14.4 M
    LRT to Milwaukie 850 M
    Gresham TC parking garage 5 M
    Drive less Save More marketing campaign 4.5 M
    French Prairie Bridge Ped/Bike Bridge 12.6 M

  148. Smooth Op: Nice list, I think they’re mostly projects that would benefit the areas around them. Not sure what all of them are though, like the French Prairie Bridge.

    Also, has anyone used Google Maps today? They have a new Transit View that seems to show the transit routes around Portland. I wonder if they’ll ever include Transit Tracker?

    I do like it though, it’s interesting seeing the areas that really seem lacking any bus service.

  149. I wonder if they’ll ever include Transit Tracker

    I think the problem is that Transit Tracker is a TriMet-specific thing with a with a TriMet-specific interface, and Google probably only wants to deal with the standard Google Transit data. As for the transit layer, I do think its pretty cool and wish that more agencies geocoded their routes (Google Transit only requires that stops be geocoded).

  150. Jason McHuff Says:

    I think the problem is that Transit Tracker is a TriMet-specific thing with a with a TriMet-specific interface, and Google probably only wants to deal with the standard Google Transit data. As for the transit layer, I do think its pretty cool and wish that more agencies geocoded their routes (Google Transit only requires that stops be geocoded).

    Google doesn’t include TransitTracker because they haven’t chosen to do so, not because of any incompatibility. Their preference has been that the data be pushed to them instead of using the web service to pull it — which makes no sense, because TriMet would have to push data from every stop at every polling (massive amounts of data) and real-time data just doesn’t work that way.

    Geocoding of stops is not a standard, or at least hasn’t been. I was amazed to learn how many transit properties have only a vague idea of the location of any of their stops: “Oh, it’s somewhere around the intersection of 1st & Main.”

    And then there was the Austin transit agency that had a consultant put together a system for them with 16-digit ID numbers. Fun!

  151. not because of any incompatibility

    What I meant (thought) was that if Google wanted to include real-time data, they might have to deal with each individual agency providing it in their own format. Versus with static scheduling data, they can tell the transit agencies to deal with their unique data formats themselves by requiring them to put the data into a standard format. (Its a lot easier to convert data when its a one-time thing, vs having to build a system that does it automatically in real-time.)

    And besides, there’s not that many agencies that provide real-time data or, for that matter, even have it themselves.

    Geocoding of stops is not a standard

    Well there really isn’t a standard for any transit data. There may very well be agencies that have their schedules, stop locations, etc. in a simple spreadsheet. But what I meant was that for agencies that have submitted route pattern data (shapes.txt) to Google, the transit layer will show the actual routes. Versus other places only have the stops.

    16-digit ID numbers

    “The ID number for 1st & Main is one zero zero two three five nine eight zero seven six four two nine five seven. Once again…”

  152. …ends up speeding traffic flow.

    In certain situations. I don’t know that MLK/Grand would be a good place to try this, but I’m sure there are a few streets it could work well on, maybe NW 12th or NW 13th in the Pearl, but those streets almost have that feeling now anyway.

    Liability and ice would be my two big concerns. If a stop light’s removed and two cars collide, I’d hope the laws in the US wouldn’t allow them to sue Portland for creating an unsafe condition.

    In the recent ice and snow I saw enough cars stopped by curbs that would have otherwise hit buildings, people, or trees. There is a bit of a safety aspect to having them.

  153. Has anyone noticed Google Earth now has historical maps? Portland in 1970 vs 1952 vs now is quite interesting. Harbor Drive can be seen, the construction of I-405, the areas I-5 would displace in North Portland, the Lloyd Center with only one (or no) high-rises, the Rose Quarter without the Rose Garden, SoWa when it was industrial, the Pearl as a railroad yard, or even Vancouver’s waterfront and SR-14 in 1990.

    It’s quite a great time trip, I hope they find more sources. I’d love to watch Hillsboro or Gresham grow.

  154. TriMet has just announced that it provided 2.4% more rides last month than a year ago. This is quite a bit lower than the 13.3% increase reported for last July. What appears to be really happening is that is that we’ve wrung about as much ridership increase as possible from last year’s fuel price surge and that we can start looking forward to actual drops in the numbers.

    Of course, TriMet wasn’t in the habit of promptly reporting monthly figures before ridership climbed last April. We might have to start asking again.

  155. Tim –

    Just in case you don’t know already, Google Earth is different from Google Maps… you can’t get to everything via the Google Maps web site… for the really cool stuff you have to download/install Google Earth.

  156. Just a general question that recently occurred to me: has any transit authority ever considered fares by the mile, not by time?

    Say for example I want to take the bus 2 miles, spend 3 hours at that location, then take it 2 miles home. With TriMet I’d be looking at $4 for this trip (two 2-zone tickets) – so I’d just drive (which would be far cheaper) or walk, perhaps.

    But what if I were charged say 20 cents/mile instead? That would seem more fair, and if I had a car, I’d be more likely to use transit more often. As it is, it’s often not cost effective to use the bus for short trips in this way if you already own a car.

    I think we now have the technology to do this, with GPS technology and the ability for little radio devices to track when you get on and off a bus or train. (Yeah, I know it wouldn’t be cheap.) You could buy something like a card with prepaid cell phone minutes, which would expire after some months, but “miles” would automatically be deducted from your card whenever you get on and off the bus.

    But it seems to me that one potential segment for transit use that is being ignored is people who own cars but could choose to take a bus or train – but won’t if driving is cheaper. Charging by the mile might encourage more of that.

    Has such a system ever been considered?

  157. That is pretty much how BART fares work.*

    TriMet looked into the general concept about a decade ago. It was a fairly significant capital cost to setup, (design it/test it, outfit all the vehicles, train the users/operators/technicians,) and they only had enough money at the time to work on developing Transit Tracker or that, and they developed Transit Tracker instead. They are apparently looking into it again.

    *There is a minimum fare on BART, and a surcharge on crossing the bay, (but doing it in a car costs extra too.) Of course, whether or not you’ll ever see a 40 cent fare on TriMet is another question. There are many system costs that are not per the mile, (an express bus to downtown, for instance, is full when it pulls into downtown. Very few people ride it part way to downtown and get off before downtown. As such, the number of seats on the bus, and therefor the number of buses that need to be run, isn’t dependent on where the rider got on, but the fact that the rider got on in the first place,) and so I could see a minimum charge for a trip. The idea would be more that people that live near Sunset TC and travel to Hillsboro would pay more than people that live near Sunset TC and travel to the Zoo, since the Zoo is actually much closer. (Right now, going to Hillsboro is cheaper.)

  158. TriMet’s representative that came to the last Portland Streetcar CAC meeting to discuss Fareless Square, was asked about distanced-based fares, and indicated that TriMet was interested in looking at Salt Lake City’s system, which apparently has a lower implementation cost than earlier systems.

  159. Are we getting into fairness v. complexity?

    Ultra simple = one fare for all rides a la USPS where a letter from Nome to a ranch outside Crawford, TX costs as little as mailing a birthday card to the next door neighbor.

    Ultra fair = lots of zones or mileage/time breaks with different fares for honored citizens, etc.

    We ain’t gonna win this one.

  160. I agree, complexity is bad. Any sort of distance-based transit would need to be fairly simple. Maybe you charge more (per mile) at rush hour like some transit agencies do – and that would cover most express buses as well.

  161. Andrew Hall Says: I agree, complexity is bad. Any sort of distance-based transit would need to be fairly simple. Maybe you charge more (per mile) at rush hour like some transit agencies do – and that would cover most express buses as well.

    It might also be tricky to communicate to riders. The current system can be confusing, but at least there’s a possibility of showing someone that it will cost $X to travel from here to there before they get on a bus. You can communicate it in something like the trip planner, but how do you stick that on the side of a farebox? Do you really know how long your bus ride is?

  162. Jeff F: It might also be tricky to communicate to riders. The current system can be confusing, but at least there’s a possibility of showing someone that it will cost $X to travel from here to there before they get on a bus. You can communicate it in something like the trip planner, but how do you stick that on the side of a farebox? Do you really know how long your bus ride is?

    Occasional riders on a mileage system could still buy a one-ride ticket that is more than they really need. Maybe they buy a ticket for $2 when they require only $1 – just like now when riders who only need to ride for 15 minutes are paying for an hour. People who ride regularly but only occasionally (like me) might buy a pass with 100 miles on it, which I use here and there (until they expire in a few months I suppose).

    I think the prepaid cell phone minutes are a good model. You can buy them in larger chunks and they are cheaper per minute. Heavy TriMet users might buy passes with a lot of miles per month but they are cheaper that way and don’t expire right away. Occasional users like me might buy 50 miles a month passes. A one-ride $2 ticket may give you 25 miles that expire in 2 hours, making it much like today’s tickets.

  163. For what it is worth, I have a BART card in my wallet with about $5 on it, and I haven’t been in SF in more than 3 years. (But I admit that I’m weird.) So I’m not sure that people not knowing the exact fare is a deal breaker…

  164. Matthew Says: For what it is worth, I have a BART card in my wallet with about $5 on it, and I haven’t been in SF in more than 3 years. (But I admit that I’m weird.) So I’m not sure that people not knowing the exact fare is a deal breaker…

    Doesn’t BART have a display near the ticket machines that tells you the cost from your current platform to each other platform? Been awhile since I rode BART and I was preoccupied with the backwards machine: put in $20 and then tell it how much to take back from the 20 rather than how much to put on the card. Almost dropped $15 for a ride. . .

    And everything about BART is simpler because it’s just a few interconnected straight lines. Distance from A to B is known and fixed. Distance from 122nd and Halsey to some place in Sherwood, not so much.

  165. I agree that technology could enable a complex fare structure.

    Perhaps a smart cellphone based system along the lines that Andrew Hall posted earlier might come into general use. Ideally it could be left in one’s purse or pocket while boarding and leaving the vehicle, but still register the start and end of the ride. A rider might even be able to check the device in transit to see how much it’s cost so far, how much credit is left, etc.

    If a transit based EFT protocol were standardized, it should be possible to use the same device on multiple systems. Imagine taking MAX to PDX, flying to SFO, taking BART to the city, and then MUNI to the final destination without buying separate transit tickets. There’s nothing involved that isn’t being done somewhere in the world (think Japan, Europe) right now.

    For those without a cellphone, an electronic smart card should be available which would provide many of the same functions, but it probably couldn’t be read by the user without a machine. Even here technology is advancing so that it might be possible to have an inexpensive card with its own electronic display.

  166. With RFID technology, bus passes and tickets could become almost disposable. You wouldn’t even need to swipe them, and they wouldn’t have to have displays, either. You could register your card and keep the same one forever (in theory), check your balance/add money to it on your cell phone or laptop or if you are buying a one-time ticket just throw it away or recycle it.

    I suppose it is possible that these transit cards could become interchangeable between transit systems, but I wonder if that is really so important and worth the effort and overhead of keeping track of balances, etc. Do lots of people really use a lot of different transit systems regularly? I’m sure some people travel from PDX to SFO and use BART and TriMet regularly but how many?

  167. I guess my vision is sort of like a smart credit card.

    It just doesn’t seem like there has to be an awful lot of overhead, just a universal standard. Let’s say that all we needed in such a standard was transit operator, route number, starting point, ending point, and cost. Once the operators agreed on the standards then the actual computer operations could be done anywhere by anybody, or more importantly, different groups of “anybody’s”. It might end up being significantly cheaper than if each individual operator set up its own system.

    Certainly most people aren’t regularly using multiple systems, but a lot do. At the extreme may be New York where the MTA includes a variety of different services with totally different fare structures. And that doesn’t even include the PATH network into New Jersey. The numbers of regular commuters who use two or more systems on a daily basis there alone must be at least in the hundreds of thousands if not millions.

    Even here are probably a few who regularly use both TriMet and either CTRAN or SMART. This isn’t to say that we should have a universal system just for a minority (regular multiple systems users) of a minority (transit users) but rather that it may very well work out that such a system might be the logical and most efficient way to go.

  168. Even here are probably a few who regularly use both TriMet and either CTRAN or SMART.
    The closest we get around here is C-TRAN’s $105/mo. Express Pass, which is valid on all C-TRAN and TriMet service.

    If I’m not mistaken, the single largest issue is fare reciprocity, because when one uses a C-TRAN pass on TriMet service, TriMet bills C-TRAN for the revenue. Same thing when a TriMet pass is used on C-TRAN service, C-TRAN bills TriMet. If there’s no reciprocity, each system loses money. If the other systems passes are used too frequently on another’s service, once again each system loses money.

  169. I’m sure some people travel from PDX to SFO and use BART and TriMet regularly but how many?

    I just got back from flying in from OAK, which I took AirBART to from the BART. I also used the subway/streetcars, and the 71 bus in San Fran.

    I wish I could have used the same pass I’d use on TriMet, but that’s not currently possible. That and the 77 that I needed to get to the airport never seemed to show up, so I drove instead, so either way it really stopped mattering if they were interchangeable.

  170. A video of Wednesday’s TriMet Board of Directors’ meeting is now on YouTube:

    You can also see the WES Grand Opening speeches here:

    Credit goes to Al M. for loaning the camera and uploading the videos.

    AirBART to from the BART

    Its actually much cheaper to take AC Transit Line 50, considering that you can get a BART-to-bus discount and since the AirBART fare has gone up, though not as easy since it doesn’t have the colorful bus shelters.

  171. Al, that’s a nationwide program. If your employer pays for your transit pass, it should now be pretty much fully tax-free. In the past, you might have been taxed on a portion of that benefit.

  172. Well, I guess that’s something, I was hoping the feds would pay for annual passes but I guess that’s just pie in the sky.

  173. Thanks Al! I love living in a city where finding my stolen car online is news. It’s so much better than high speed chases and shootings.

    It was found in Vancouver, so to tie it all back to a new CRC, maybe they’d have noticed sooner when the toll transponder was used after it was reported stolen.

    At the same time, I don’t want to be tracked that easily. Then again, the local Fox station just aired me and my name and face, and my car’s plate is all over the blog.

    Hmmmm… Privacy seems to be pointless anyway. At least, if you’re me. Plus, there’s 36 other Dave Hogan’s in Oregon. 500+ in the US. The more you know and all.

    I’m not a lot of the first few pages on Google of Dave Hogan. (I don’t raise, the dead, for example. No joke.)

  174. Thanks for that, Al… I didn’t make it down there for the testing because, well A) I forgot, and B) I was at the planning meeting/open house for the Eastside MAX station areas held at the same time.

  175. Dave, my grandfather’s car was stolen in Reno, NV about 15 years ago and they found it because of the produce checkpoint that CA has at all their entry points. Your point on the electronic tolling of CRC and stolen cars is very interesting. Most likely folks would catch on and stop taking stolen cars to Vancouver via the I-5 of I-205 bridges but not everyone is that smart. Congrats on getting the car back.

  176. Chirs, nice to see you at the PSU seminar today. Just want to point out that the Cedar Mill Shuttle (what you referred to as a jitney example) is still running, though one of the service cut proposals is to turn it into a fixed route. And there is no provision for people to self-group trips, but its only really used by commuters.

    The problem with it is that the transit union requires that the drivers that do it get the same wages/benefits as a regular bus operator, so there’s no labor cost savings. And the vans may not hold up as long as a full-sized bus would, requiring them to get replaced sooner.

    But if you’re interested in it, Al got one of the drivers to video blog.

  177. One of the interesting anomolies on the MAX system (or adjoining it), is apparently going away.

    Westside MAX–or the bit of it between Beaverton and Hillsboro–was built, of course, on the right of way formerly occupied by the Beaverton/Forest Grove branch line. The branch still exists (as a heavy rail line) between Hillsboro and Forest Grove, as does a few sections of the line in Beaverton in the Beaverton Creek area. The section of tracks connecting the former branch to the TV Highway line are still there, and used by the W&P as a switching yard.

    And until recently, so was a small spur off of this spur, which doubled back alongside the MAX, to serve one industrial customer in the Beaverton Creek area. Map here.

    This spur is interesting because it is the only place I’m aware of on the MAX system, where heavy rails run THROUGH a MAX station (or next to it)–but the Beaverton Creek station has the rails there. Also, the gates at the grade crossing on SW 153rd protects both the MAX crossing, and the freight crossing.

    But no more–the rails on this spur have been torn up; at least where the spur crosses SW Millikan. The (notoriously bumpy) grade crossing on Millikan is still there, but the rails and ties on either side are now gone.

    It’s interesting, though, that Google Maps still identifies numerous abandoned rail lines in the Portland area as active rail lines.

  178. Car free in Portland? I hear about it, but now I’m going to try it.

    Can anyone comment on it. As I posted above, my car was stolen, found, biohazard, stolen engine in trunk, I don’t want to buy another. I’m going to try carless for a bit. Let’s see what Portland can do for me.

    I’ve found a new job I’m going to try, partially so I can ditch my drive to Vancouver. You call this a paradise? I might wish for a lawnmower.

    What tips can someone trying to go carless in Portland try? I don’t want rattlesnake for dinner.

  179. I don’t see a recent post about TriMet funding the bike “garages”, but I find it very interesting that the first one is going to be built at Beaverton TC, which TriMet’s Bike Locker Availability page says has bike lockers available. Why do we need the “garage” if all of the existing lockers aren’t full? (And why aren’t they? With MAX, WES, an OHSU express bus and many other buses I would expect them to be.)

    the grade crossing on SW 153rd

    I’ve been meaning ask, does MAX have to blow its horn there? I think one of the issues with the Milwaukie MAX project is that the FRA requires horns to be used when adjacent to a freight railroad line. Overall, its sad to hear that the line is being ripped out, because it means less businesses are directly served by rail, and because I was able to watch them work the line from my cube at Stream (just south of Millikan). And I believe that keeping that section of the freight line increased the costs of Westside MAX.

    It’s interesting, though, that Google Maps still identifies numerous abandoned rail lines in the Portland area as active rail lines.

    Even if it shows the rail lines going through buildings that have been built on former rail lines. Specifically, look around the Pearl District. Overall, I think its surprising that Google has such old data on their maps.

  180. Thanks Chris, I’ll check it out. I never owned a car in college, I was 22 when I first regularly drove so I’m sure I can do it, but I know getting to the airport will be a hassle with the Phantom 77 buses.

  181. I think the removed railspur near 153rd served one business at most, and perhaps even that wasn’t needed. It isn’t like an entire branch line going away.

    I hope the ROW is used for something useful.

  182. Dave –

    I find “car free” is pretty easy, but then I live near the 82nd Avenue MAX station, so I have easy access to two (soon three) MAX lines plus the #72. I work downtown, which makes the daily commute really easy. Most of my friends live along a MAX or frequent service bus line, so that makes visiting easy. I do most of my grocery shopping downtown or at Gateway, and most of my entertainment choices (restaurants and theaters and such) are either downtown or in walking/easy biking distance of my Montavilla home.

    I have no idea if your situation is comparable at all. I’m sure car-free would be a lot harder if I wasn’t on top of a fairly busy transit hub. Do you live close to MAX or a frequent bus line? Do you have an easy bus commute to work? (Don’t worry if it’s a long commute; just bring a book. I use long bus/MAX rides for reading time.)

    In terms of groceries, it means that instead of big weekly shopping trips, just keep a canvas shopping back handy and make it a routine to stop off at a grocery store to pick up a few things on the way home from work.

    Invest in a bicycle and wet-weather gear if you live in a neighborhood where the stores and restaurants are not in easy walking distance but not all that far away either.

    Also, if there’s a Zipcar living in your neighborhood, buy a membership. It’ll help on those rare occasions when you actually need a car.

    Additional caveat: I’m single and childless. If you have kids to shuttle around, I suspect “car-free” becomes dramatically more complicated.

  183. (Should’ve probably mentioned this earlier but…) If anyone is interested, it is Ride TriMet Day today at Lewis & Clark College. They are trying to convince TriMet to provide direct downtown-L&C service in exchange for ending their private Pioneer Express shuttle and giving the money to TriMet.

  184. OPen up a forum on the I5 to 99W Connector. It is nothing but an initiative for urban sprawl and lots more roadway. Doesn’t solve intended congestion and adds lots more carbon footprint. CHeck out its website for more lurid details!

  185. Anonymous blogger defends Chris Smith on BODJANSKI’s blog!

    I wonder who it could be?

    Who are you to criticize Chris Smith?
    So what he likes streetcars?
    On the list of government evils this is on the bottom!

    Posted by c smith | March 28, 2009 2:15 PM

  186. The Lake Oswego streetcar extension just gets curiouser and curiouser.

    What’s the big hurry? We already own the ROW and corridor ridership is nowhere near the projections in the original alternatives analysis. One undiscussed outcome of this will be that there would not be the federal scrutiny involved if the FTA were footing part of the DEIS bill.

    Why is Clackamas County putting in such a heavy share? Its portion of the ROW is small with very little potential for development. Besides, the number of county residents living along the ROW who really want the streetcar is about the same as the number of elephants living in a perfect vacuum.

  187. I don’t know how we missed this one:

    Attitudes and Support for Public Transit in Oregon
    The [ODOT] Public Transit Division retained Cogan Owens Cogan, LLC to conduct interviews with transit providers, key stakeholders, and citizens in eight diverse communities around the state to better understand transit needs and support for public transportation in urban and rural areas of Oregon.

    Although I haven’t personally read through all of it, a lot of what’s being said is along the lines of what we discuss here: there isn’t enough money to go around, many view transit as a necessity but it doesn’t work for them, and intercity connections in Oregon are generally abysmal.

  188. Why do streetcars have bridge plates? Its not like any of the platforms are curved (and most MAX platforms aren’t either), and I don’t think the horizontal gap is that much. I believe the light rail system in Minneapolis doesn’t have them and I think the doors on their vehicles are pretty standard.

    Bridge plates are much better than lifts, but especially since the doors are required to be closed, it takes time to extend and retract them. Its worse when the ramp needs to be extended after the streetcar is already (un)loading passengers.

  189. Apparently bridge plates are cheaper than constant-height suspension systems for electric rail vehicles. As wheels wear, and loads change, there is enough vertical variation that bridge plates are deemed necessary. Subways have constant-height suspension systems, and it is possible to build light rail vehicles and streetcars with them. I question the decision to go with bridge plates on either Max or streetcar, but that is what we have now.

  190. Hello. I need some Transit experts look this over for me and give suggestions. I am currently intrigued by this blog and read it often. Please have them email me all comments at Thanks! Camjohn.

    Run 7-Day between Raleigh Hills and Multnomah Village to maintain service between frequent service lines 54 and 56 and tourist destinations like Alpenrose Dairy, SWCC and Gabriel Park. Discontinue All Service on Vermont Past Capitol HWY, on 45th ave north of Vermont and on SW Cameron Street, as well as the Maplewood Loop. Buses will run in line 55’s terminus at the Laurelwood Park and Ride, on Beaverton-Hillsdale HWY, Shattuck Rd, Alpenrose Dairy, Vermont St, SW 45th, Garden Home, Capitol, Vermont and back to Raleigh Hills. Service Will run 60 Minutes 7-Days, Except Weekday-Rush Hour, where it will run half-hourly.
    Increase Rush-Hour Service between Lombard TC and St. Johns from 10-15 minutes to 5-10 minutes.
    8-NE 15th ave
    End at Concordia University via Dekum, 27th, Lombard and 33rd. A New Route Will Serve Jubitz.
    Combine Line 9-Broadway and Line 73-NE 33rd ave. Buses Will Run on Broadway-Weidler, NE 33rd ave and Dekum to Concordia University. No Service on 24th, Regents, 29th and 27th due to dangerous turns and narrow streets. A New Route will serve Sunderland.
    Service on 102nd ave.
    Choose One of These Options for the Future Of 102nd ave service.
    1.Run line 15 on 102nd ave past Gateway 30 minute frequency. Streamline through Parkrose TC by moving stop behind line 12 to King City-Sherwood, running via Sandy, 92nd, Prescott and 102nd ave. Probable 15 minute service to Parkrose in Rush Hour.
    2.Run line 87 on 102nd ave after Airport Way service, providing 102nd ave with rush-hour service. Buses would loop around via 25-Glisan-Rockwood Route, looping 181st, Airport Way, 102nd, and Glisan.
    3.Run Line 22 all the way to Parkrose, at same 15 stop on Sandy Blvd, 92nd, Prescott, and 102nd back to Shaver.
    4.End Line 15 at line 27 Adventist Hospital Stop At Market and 100th. Line 15 would run on Cherry Blossom, Market, Adventist Hospital (Layover Here), and 96th back to Main St. Max. Run Line 27 On Cherry Blossom and 102nd to Gateway. Can Be Combined with options 2 and 3.
    5.Leave 15 services the way it is, no service changes.
    6.Follow Service Cuts, Run Line 15 to Parkrose, line 22 on 102nd to Shaver.
    Run Via 141st, Fremont and 122nd instead of Rose Parkway Loop due to dangerous turns.
    Discontinue All Service Changes on This Route, Run same service as currently.
    Discontinue All Service on Rockwood and Howe Streets, Run Via Logus, 43rd, King, 34th and Harrison Westbound and on Harvey between 40th and 32nd ave.
    Run to Rose Quarter TC instead Of Emanuel Hospital.
    36-South Shore and 37-Lake Grove
    Loop Together In New Route, 37-Tualitan/Lake Oswego. Run Lake Grove Route to Tualitan Only and South Shore to Lake Oswego TC only, with Layover at Lake Oswego. Run every 45 minutes, since there is no 2 way service. Express trips to Portland from Lake Oswego Served by New Route.
    Run Line 41 as a Lift Bus over the Sellwood Bridge as a shuttle between Johns Landing and Milwaukie TC. Stop Only at Johns Landing, Tacoma at 7th, 9th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 22nd, and Milwaukie TC. Align with Line 35 times to provide quicker Portland-Sellwood Service and Lake Oswego without having to go through Portland.
    43-Taylors Ferry Rd
    Run Service Between Johns Landing-SW Macadam and Nevada & SW 10th and Jefferson only during Peak Hours.
    47 Baseline-Evergreen and 48 Cornell
    Run As A Loop Between Tanasbourne Town Center and Hillsboro TC 6 or 7-Day.
    Run to Washington Children’s Park, Japanese Gardens and Rose Gardens on Weekdays only.
    56-Scholls Ferry Rd
    Run To Nimbus Instead Of Line 43.
    Run as Express Route between Sunset TC and Willow Creek-SW 185th ave TC.
    63-Washington Park
    Run Weekends Only As Washington Park Shuttle Year-Round.
    66-Marquam Hill-Hollywood TC
    Run To PSU at SW Mill Street, via SW 6th/5th, Market/Clay, 1st ave.
    72-Killingsworth-82nd ave
    Reduce Rush-Hour Service On 82nd ave due to the availability of MAX service nearby from every 3-5 minutes to 10-12 minutes.
    Run to Rose Quarter TC, discontinuing all service on Lovejoy Street. Run To Portland In Rush Hour, with 2 Limited Trips and 2 Express Trips Via I-84 to Troutdale.
    81-SW 257th ave
    Increase Service to 30 minutes and Provide 60 minute service on Weekends. Loop Around Cherry Park, Sandy, Harlow, Columbia River HWY, 257th and Back To Gresham.
    60-Leahy Rd, 80-Kane-Troutdale, 84-Kelso/Boring
    Routes Discontinued Due to Either Low Ridership and/or the availability of service nearby.
    85-Swan Island
    Run via Ensign and Fathom Loop Instead of End of Basin St Cul de Sac.
    93-Lake Oswego Express
    Run on Macadam and Riverside in line 36’s place. Maintain service on Hood and Kelly streets, with no stops between Macadam and Hamilton and Lake Oswego TC except at Macadam and Boundary and Nevada, Riverside and Palatine Hill, Military and All stops past State St and Terwilliger Blvd. End At State and Wilbur st.
    95 Sunderland Express via Jubitz
    Line 95 will run express on I-5, to Jubitz and Sunderland via Lombard, MLK, Gertz, Middlefield, 6th, Marine, 33rd dr, Sunderland, 33rd dr, Riverside, 21st, Columbia, 33rd ave, and Dekum to meet with lines 8, 9, and 75 at 27th and Dekum. Buses will run both ways during rush hour every 20 minutes.
    152 Milwaukie
    Streamline Route and Increase Service to 30 minutes and add weekend service. Minor Route Changes, such as the discontinuation of CCI service and mo longer stopping on Marketplace Parking Lot, instead stopping at 37th north of International and Oak and 212-224.
    Next Bus Shipment
    I suggest the next shipment be partially dedicated to new 30 foot buses to replace the 1600 series, and half to stock any future improvements that are not these, and some for lines 95 and 152.

  191. I figured out a way to get paid for traveling to Seattle or other places in Washington:
    1. Ride the free Lucky Eagle Casino Oregon shuttle
    2. Win the jackpot at the casino
    3. Take one of their other shuttles to your destination

    However, one issue is that they prohibit luggage, which I find odd since they do have a hotel. Though you might be able to bring a big backpack.

    And even if you don’t win the jackpot, as long as you have the extra time, you can use the money you’d spend on other bus services to have fun and help the Chehalis tribe

  192. But Sam did take the opportunity to have a press event.

    Well, leave it to Sam to do that, I think I can say Especially in a time when he needs any distraction he can get. (And things like that are what make he think he could be a great politician if he didn’t have so many issues).

  193. The average speed of the Portland Street Car is only 5mph. This is totally unacceptable! Similar systems in Europe opeerate as fast as 15mph.

    What’s going on here? What can be done to fix this?

  194. Topic idea related to a comment I made on an old thread:

    For those espousing the idea of living car free, what’s your recommendation for dealing not with regular city trips, but for getting out and enjoying the NW’s outdoor recreation?

    By that I don’t mean taking public transit to Cannon Beach. What about getting to campsites or trailheads in the middle of nowhere, often well off the paved road network? I’m a former Oregonian and still spend my vacations there, and to do hiking, rockhounding, and nature photography I spend a lot of time banging down dirt and gravel roads in my parents’ 4×4. Renting isn’t an option; neither the traditional firms nor Zipcar/Flexcar will let you take vehicles off paved roads, and for good reason — it’s not at all unlikely I’d return it with some dings or scratches.

    Even getting away from gasoline would be tough. From Burns to the top of Steens Mtn and back is a 220 mile r/t with no services, 75mi of which is on gravel or dirt (i.e., you want something beefier than a Prius) and with nearly 6000′ of elevation gain. That’s well outside the performance of pure electric cars expected soon (though fine for a hybrid 4×4).

    I’m sure I’m not the only one with this issue. Lots of people moving to Portland are doing so for the recreational opportunities available in Oregon. Taking a bus is fine for skiing on Mt. Hood or going to a popular beach town — I’m all for expanding those options. Even with much more robust public transit though, lots of people will be looking for opportunities hard to cover with transit — getting to trailheads for hiking or Nordic skiing, fishing holes, campsites other than the biggest state parks, travelling with fishing, camping, rafting, etc gear.

    I just consulted William Sullivan’s 100 Hikes in NW Oregon, for example, and of 87 hikes outside urbanized Portland, 39 out of 87 would not be accessible without a privately-owned car or truck (take out the Gorge, where most hikes start from US 30 or WA 14, and more than half are inaccessible).

    I’m not an auto fanatic. I spent years car free in Boston for grad school and was fine: I couldn’t get outdoors as much as I wanted, but at least in New England the paved road network is so dense that rental cars get you everwhere. Even so, people in Boston may commute w/o a car but almost everyone still owns one they use for major shopping trips, weekend getaways, etc. “Car-free” statistics there are inflated by students who are car free by economic necessity.

    So, just curious what the recommendation is for Portlanders who buy the carfree goal but who want to take advantage of Oregon outdoors?

  195. For those espousing the idea of living car free, what’s your recommendation for dealing not with regular city trips, but for getting out and enjoying the NW’s outdoor recreation?

    It sounds like you’re asking more about living 4×4 free, since I wasn’t taking my Civic off-roading either. I’ve always just hitched a ride with someone else if I really want to get out in the middle of nowhere, but mostly I just stick to recreational activities around the city unless someone suggests driving elsewhere.

  196. @formerPDXer. You have a couple of options if you don’t want to own a car, 1) ZipCar, 2) Rent a car (many offer 4x4s). I think most folks who go “Car-Free” simply don’t own cars. There is a general recognition amongst those who don’t own cars (by the way I’m not one of them) that they do still need them from time to time, but just not everyday and don’t want to bother with the hassle of ownership.

    If a 4×4 is a necessity than car-free might not be for you, but you can still strive to drive less if you want. The difference is that you still have the carrying costs (registration fess, insurance, etc.) associated with ownership even if you only drive it on the weekends.

  197. Carrying costs is an important concern to note. Many analyses concerning the cost of car ownership and usage compare the options of a) owning a car, and using it for most trips, including commuting; or b) not owning a car at all. But many people already have cars in their garage, and the (economic) benefit of driving the car to work vs leaving it parked in the garage is far less.

    (Of course, if you have more than one driver in your household; commuting might make it possible to own a single vehicle rather than two, in which case the choice is better).

    Aaron mentions a few minor carrying costs (registration and insurance); but he neglects the most important one–depreciation. One of the drawbacks with constantly-improving auto technology is that a significant fraction of depreciation is tied to the calendar, not to the odometer–a 2001 auto with low mileage is typically priced closer to the 2001 auto with high mileage than the 2007 auto with low mileage. Even if the car is parked in the garage, you are still losing money on it–even if the IRS only recognizes (and permits deductions of) depreciation based on mileage. The exception, of course, if you car is sufficiently old that it is mostly depreciated.

    If you are a single guy who is an outdoor enthusiast–owning a 4×4 is probably the most practical option, even if you leave it in the garage Monday through Friday. But keep in mind, that owning such a vehicle for recreational purposes mainly is expensive.

  198. Thanks for the replies. I guess my concern is that carfree advocates sometimes seem to have a vision of life that is so thoroughly urban that it doesn’t account for the high share of Oregonians who are avid outdoorspeople, whether that be kiteboarding or elk hunting. You might have a development that’s close-in, mixed-use, transit/ped friendly and is attractive to young professionals who almost never drive in town… but will turn them off if you fail to include parking for the SUV they own for getting off the beaten path on weekends.

    A problem with renting or Zipcar is that no one lets you take vehicles off regular paved roads — I’d still happily take a rental a few hundred yards down an access road, but I’d be hesitant to take a shiny Hertz SUV up to Cloud Cap, let alone Harney County back roads.

  199. I always thought the Barbur Boulevard corridor would be a great place to experiment with BRT. Unlike most inbound highways, it has great connections to the transit mall, it’s got a steep enough grade that rubber tires might be advantageous; and a spur route running west on Beaverton-Hillsdale and then moving over to TV Highway from Beaverton to Hillsboro would be also useful.

    Not that I’m opposed to MAX here (I’m not), but just sayin’…

    If they do ever do this project, this would be an excellent excuse to move the Washington Square TC to the front side of the mall; where the old movie theater was. Where it is now, between Target and JCPenney, is kinda inconvenient for pretty much everybody.

  200. The bus between Tillamook and Portland runs twice a day, once on Sundays. Most people take it the whole way, but it will drop off and pick up passengers pretty much anywhere along the route. There are a lot of trailheads along the highway in the state forest. Not quite as “out there” as Harney County, I’m afraid, but it is an option.

    I bet most other rural public transport will do the same.

  201. Anyone know anything about why this happened or who benefits?

    I’d assume that since it’s pretty much illegal under federal law to toll existing IHS infrastructure he’s attempting to prevent the problems that would come up if we don’t have the new bridge complete before the tolling deadline came into play.

  202. The Governor states his reasons in the veto letter. It has nothing to do with the unsubstantiated claim that tolling either bridge would be “illegal.” The bill did not require any illegal action.

    Regarding motives, the sponsors obviously thought that if they could get tolls in place, this would force the project forward. I think Kulongoski calculated that instead it might force the project off a cliff. I think it is a calculated risk either way, and it is not clear if the opponents benefit one way or the other.

  203. In other news, the new Seattle/Tukwila LRT line is now open. Eventually the line will run between U-Dub on the north and Sea-Tac Airport on the south; but right now is only open between downtown Seattle and Tukwila.

    One difference between it and MAX is that the Seattle LRT line avoids close-to-traffic surface alignments, and thus acts more like mass transit than does MAX. (It also doesn’t have the short-block problem, and can run in up to four-car trainsets).

  204. I’m surprised there hasn’t (yet) been mention of this morning’s article in The Oregonian on high-speed rail between Portland and Eugene–specifically, a proposal to rebuild the OE line and use that (including possible electrification), rather than continuing to use the UP line, or construction of a third line.

    Of course, the OE line would bring some challenges:

    * Right now, it doesn’t directly connect to Portland–a switchback is required in the Durham area. If the “Teton Wye” were constructed, OTOH. According to one commentor, the current Tualating crossing(s) are not up to snuff.

    * Right now, the OE line does not serve the Amtrak stations in Salem and Eugene; use of this line for high speed rail would require either relocating the stations or construction of new railspurs allowing trains to use the existing stations.

    * Much of the line is substandard, and would require rebuilding (though rebuilding on an existing railbed, even if all of the trackwork is replaced, is still far cheaper than construction of a brand new line); and much improvements to signal infrastructure and crossing improvements would be required.

    * The comments seemed to be mostly of two flavors–“rail is wasteful socialism, build more roads”, or “screw this–build a bullet train instead”. Par for the course, I guess.

    Still, it might make sense.

  205. Correction–right now the OE line doesn’t serve the Amtrak stations in Salem or Albany, not Eugene.

  206. It seems half the comments over there were left by people who just skimmed the article, and didn’t notice the $2.1 bil proposal was a joint proposal covering the line from the US/Canadian border to Eugene, not just the Oregon state costs.

  207. Dave H – on the Oregonlive comments – you’re totally right. The comments section there is crazy. A lot of people don’t read clearly and then spout off with no analysis and A LOT OF CAPS BECAUSE THEY ARE UPSET, etc…. It’s pretty annoying, but kind of funny. And kind of scary to think that there are some rather odd (even off-balanced) people running around our area.

  208. Watching Paul Romer’s presentation, Charter Cities, made me think of the effect of the urban growth boundary on Portland.

    Certainly its not the identical mechanism as Romer’s bounded parcel of land granted special administrative zoning, but it does have a resemblance. In fact, as the Portland metro area is more and more frequently held up as a national model for active transportation (among other things) perhaps there is room for Portland to more intentionally engage the role of charter city on a broader range of fronts.

  209. Whats the story behind the indoor TriMet bus layover/loop on the first floor of the Park & Ride garage at the Clackamas Town Center Transit Center?

    Is it just to lay over buses or do riders board buses there? Why indoor?

    I like it.

  210. Whats the story behind the indoor TriMet bus layover/loop on the first floor of the Park & Ride garage at the Clackamas Town Center Transit Center? Is it just to lay over buses or do riders board buses there? Why indoor?

    Yes. Both. Most of the buses serving CTC will go to the garage for a layover. Passengers must deboard just by the stairs/elevator to MAX; boarding will be at a location at the garage exit, which is covered (although not strictly “indoors”). From there, the buses serve the Mall stop near the movie theaters and then leave CTC.

  211. I liked to old, grand Clackamas Town Center where each bus line had its own stop. However, I don’t think having only one stop will be a problem, since most of the lines aren’t that frequent.

  212. I’d love to see an interview with whoever designed the shelters on the new bus mall. The combination of a flat roof with clear glass panels means they’ll either need regular cleaning or they’re going to be filthy almost immediately. It’s not even fall yet and leaves are already collecting on the top of them, it’s only a matter of time before all sorts of other detritus collect up there. Could it be that the designers never considered the fact that they’d look awful if they weren’t regularly cleaned?

  213. The new TIP is out. TriMet’s site shows on its “reports” page the TIP for FY 2009, but if you click on it you’ll get to the download page for the 2010 edition.

    Of the various interesting things, one that struck a particularly humorous note was the productivity page in the appendix. It shows WES as being 7th in productivity, behind the three MAX lines and the 8 Jackson Park, 72, and 9 Powell. Of course, if you divide the services by their hourly costs, WES comes in dead last at the equivalent of about five boarding rides per hour on a bus.

    But why quibble about niggling details? Let WES have its moment of glory no matter misleading this particular statistic!

  214. Earl Blumenauer is making some bigger headlines for pushing for an over $150 million federal pilot program for a VMT tax. People seemed to have noticed his campaign contributors and Oregon businesses have a lot to gain from this, while raising the same privacy concerns that Oregonians seem to have had since we completed our test a few years back. is the Slashdot article, and I have a blog post (shameless plug) at .

  215. i agree doug about the shelters. flat roofs, no/few sides, poor rain/snow/wind weather protection, magnifies the summer sun, and then theres the big free standing panes of glass, any guesses how long theyll last before they are broken or tagged? leave it to architects to redesign something that works into an expensive unfunctional inferior replacement. to design a shelter like these makes me think the designer has never seen a bus shelter outside an architecture magazine.

    it took about 8 months to install all the new shelters and took a team of workers about a week for each one… just to install and align the glass roof.

    the shelters are really my only complaint about the I-205/Mall project.

    The TIP also mentioned powell blvd as BRT

  216. Chris touched on this a couple of months ago when he talked about his commute to Wilsonville, but I thought I’d bring it up again. As we see more non-traditional vehicles like scooters and eclectic-assist bikes, do we need to rethink the concept of a bike lanes and auto lanes on major thoroughfares like Barbur. I’m seeing more and more vehicles traveling in the bike lane because they either don’t feel safe mixing with cars or because they can’t keep up. Thoughts? Any articles out there discussing it?

  217. A piece in today’s O mentioned double tracking the streetcar alignment between River Parkway and the aerial tram.

    Anybody know if the plan is to keep the ROW exclusive and/or how many new stations would be going in the roughly .6 mile stretch? It would seem that the projected 24 minute trip time from PSU to downtown Lake O is venturing further into fantasy land.

  218. I have not seen any detailed designs, but I imagine there would be at least one stop in that stretch. Part of the motivation for moving the existing rails (besides the fact that they will be well below the grade of the reconstructed Moody) is to get out of the way of the Light Rail alignment.

  219. Thanks for bringing this up.

    I really think the LO streetcar should switch onto the LRT tracks as soon as it can on its voyage from LO to Portland. I saw some detailed maps of the Milwaukie MAX route at an open house and saw no provisions for a connection between the LO streetcar and MAX in SoWa (only a connection for eastside streetcar and MAX). Even a non-revenue connection makes sense. But IMO it is ridiculous to have a regional rail line make lots of closely spaced local stops in the central city especially when they will be 2 routes from sowa to downtown, a slow in-traffic one and a faster separated-from-traffic one with a fraction of the stops.

    I’d love to see a map of the Moody plan showing the new rail routes and street pattern. I’m having a hard time picturing this whole area with the changes? Would this raised with earth or concrete structure? I knew there was going to have to be some radical changes to allow for gradual grade approaches to the Trimet bridge but I have no idea how it would be done.

  220. The Tribune I just grabbed has an article about the Riverview bike thing too. I can see why they’d consider it, it would be nice if they could find an alternative but some bicyclists (just like drivers or anyone else) are jerks. If there are too many jerks cutting through, it makes sense to cut things off.

  221. Please share your opinions!
    I get a “File Not Found” link when I try to open the link.
    Other problem is, TriMet is in the middle of reducing/eliminating service due to the depression. Now is probably the worst time to be talking about improving service.

  222. Earlier today I came back home from a trip to Spokane, Washington.

    Something’s definitely wrong with the transit picture in Portland when Spokane Transit runs, among other buses, RTSs with more comfortable rides than TriMet 1400s (I know the 1400s are Gilligs, so a different manufacturer, but still…), 60-foot articulated buses, and even 20-year-old Flixibles that are directly comparable to the TriMet 1700s and 1800s, except theirs are air-conditioned, have nicer seats, AND free wi-fi. I didn’t have anything internet-capable with me, I wasn’t able to try it out.

    I will say that compared to TriMet, their system leaves much to be desired, in terms of service reliability, usability, and span, however the bus comparison was amazing. And, yes, I know that they looked at light rail in their area and decided not to bother! (Their all-day passes are also $2.50, which work system-wide, no crazy zones or other restrictions.)

    Oh, and I caught a glimpse of one of the Community Transit (Snohomish County) double-decker buses while changing buses in Seattle.

    It’s nuts that since everyone goes ga-ga for trains that what’s used by a vast majority of the population and region are practically ignored.

  223. I just got back from San Diego. They have an extensive light rail system, but it doesn’t run to the airport. They had a 30-foot low-floor bus that ran a shuttle route from the airport to the “trolley” station. It even had a spot for luggage!

    From what I saw, they mainly run three car train sets down there, but I unlike MAX most of theirs are like the original 100 series trains and have lifts rather than ramps for wheel chair access. I know they have low-floor designed trains but didn’t see one in service and they didn’t pair them up like TriMet does so as to always have a low fair car in each train set.

    My biggest issue was there fare system. Bus was $2.25, trolley was $2.50 but if you wanted to transfer between bus and trolley you had to buy a $5.00 all day pass and the $5.00 pass wasn’t valid on all of their routes.

    I think they just merged a number of formerly independent independent entities (one for bus, one for trolley, one for regional transport) in to a single organization so they may still be working out some of these kinks. Overall, I thought the system worked well, but a light rail line spur to the airport would sure boost transit ridership to/from the airport to places like the convention center.

    The disparity between the number of people who rode on the shuttle bus v. the number of people who hopped on the MAX with me when I returned to Portland was very noticeable to say the least.

  224. My understanding is that San Diego needs to rebuild their older platforms to accommodate the new trains with the ramps. In addition, I believe they have at least considered a line to the airport.

  225. Something I found kind of ironic — the San Diego Trolley doesn’t serve the airport, but it runs right next to the airport. However, it’s on the wrong side to serve the terminal.

    Until 1967, the original San Diego Airport terminal was located next to Pacific Highway (I-5). The new terminal was built on the other side of the airport. If the terminal had been expanded instead of moved across the airport, there would have been an airport LRT station since the mid 1990s — as well as direct airport access to and from the freeway.

    And yeah, I’ve used the airport shuttle bus. It runs frequently and is a really quick ride to downtown. But sometimes I’ve been the only person on it.

  226. An interesting (although I think flawed) discussion of Portland, and other “new urbanist” cities (Seattle, Denver, Austin, etc) is to be found at the New Geography blog. The upshot of the argument: The aforementioned cities are “mostly white” (which in the comments, is clarified somewhat to mean “lacking a large population of poor African-Americans”), and the migration of hipsters and such to Portland and its brethren is an example of “white flight”, not much different from the mass exodus to the suburbs that occurred in many Midwestern cities many moons ago.

    While the article itself is flawed (the cities examined, while having smaller-than-average populations of African Americans, have larger-than-average populations of other non-white ethnic groups; further, no attempt is made to investigate why people move to Portland), some of the discussion in the commentary is interesting. (A few blatant racists post there as well, unfortunately). But one point does stand out–the “new urbanist” cities, by and large, don’t have large ghettos to deal with. While Portland has blighted areas like Rockwood, nothing here is comparable to giant slums such as East St. Louis or Compton or inner-city Detroit. Many commenters assert that walkable neighborhoods simply aren’t possible in places where you’re more likely than not to get mugged, and LRT and other transit infrastructure can’t be afforded by jurisdictions where huge swaths of the population are poor, unemployed, and frequently unemployable.

    A few responses by other bloggers can be found here and here.

  227. Thanks for the news, Aaron! I have heard from the contest organizers that this video is among the prize winners, and I’ve sent my contact info as requested. I’m still waiting to hear the official word as to which prize, so I haven’t posted any news here yet. When I hear back with the details I’ll post an update to the original thread with the videos.

    (Dump the Pump was actually a competition held by APTA, not TriMet, and anyone nationwide was invited to enter. Thanks also to our own Dave H. who helped out a lot with one of the shoots, although not the “Romance” one which apparently has placed / won a prize.)


    The PreJ

    Hello and welcome to TBIP part two! And this time, we’re going big, real big. We have 3 times as many routes, much more in improvements and hardly a cut to be found! Plus, the best part, much more money to be saved! Well, let’s get started!

    The subject for this one came out of my later ideas, some of which I made up on the spot. This time I explain some Ideas the old-fashioned way, some with charts, some with lists, and all with maps. And look for random TriMet pictures of mine thrown in around the document!

    A few notes, first off. One, I have had confusion about the money amounts from people. I have absolutely no idea how to determine ridership (if you have any tips, they would be extremely appreciated.) All money figures are in saved or gained gas costs, estimated by The miles a trip the bus runs (or in route changes, how many routes are being gained or lost), the number of new trips added on or taken away (or in route changes, the number of daily trips) and the number of days a year it runs, gains or loses (depending on the type of improvement) all multiplied together (i.e. 3 extra miles X 40 daily trips X 265 days a year equals 31,800, or the number of miles added or saved a year. Then, we divide this by the Miles per gallon I was told the buses get (5mpg) which would equal 6,360, and then multiply it by $3.00, which I am pretty sure is the normal diesel price per gallon (at least it usually is at my Chevron up the street.) This gets us $19,080, or the total cost or savings.

    Second, I have gotten a lot of feedback, 95% positive. Email me at if you would like any examples.

    So enjoy, this will benefit everyone involved. And remember; make sure you read this from the viewpoint of a rider and a businessperson!


    Line 10-SE 72nd Avenue

    This may be my best route Idea yet. With line 19 serving a revamped 10/19 combination, line 10 is an empty number that I shall refill.

    SE 72nd avenue seems like no big deal, right? I mean, that’s only a mile or two of service. But just wait. And while you are waiting, think about it. Arleta and Brentwood-Darlington are among SE Portland’s most poverty-stricken routes. Take the intersection of SE Flavel and 72nd. There are a lot of commercial buildings, but only a handful is actually open, and all they really are is trashy mini- marts. This area needs to become the next New Columbia. And what better way to start it by creating a line that goes everywhere you need it to?
    Line 10 starts at Lents Town Center, which is really an area of focus this issue, with three new lines (10, 26 and 74) ending at Lents Town Center, enough to make it a Transit Center with current lines 14, 19 and 21. It would head north with lines 26 and 74, passing popular youth destinations like Lents Park, Wattles Boys and Girls Club and Portland Youth Builders. Marshall HS is also about 1/3 mile away from Holgate and 88th Avenue. A shelter at SE 92nd and Schiller would be useful.
    The bus follows SE Holgate Boulevard to 65th and 67th avenues. But what’s with Holgate? Eastport Plaza, that’s one. Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree (A common destination for low-income residents), a Dentist and a PGE bill-paying center are all located within the area. There is a lot more, but these are main attractions for those in poverty. You can also catch popular workhorse bus line 72 to 82nd avenue (and Foster Fred Meyer) north and South. It goes north to places like PCC-Southeast, Montavilla Community Center and 82nd Avenue MAX Station.
    At 79th avenue is the only Multnomah County Library this bus serves. The Holgate Library is extremely popular for its small size. It should attract a number of visits from line 10. The bus would turn south on 67th avenue instead of 72nd avenue to serve a shopping center that seems to have been designed for low-income families. Said shopping center holds another Dollar Tree for people grabbing basic household items, a Save-A-Lot, which is an extremely cheap grocery store that out-prices store like Fred Meyer by 50 dollars for a large cart (They even have the displays and receipts to prove it!), and Laundromat for those who lack a washer and dryer. Build a shelter eastbound at Foster and 67th ave.
    The bus would use Foster until 72nd avenue, and turn on 72nd avenue, serving this until Harney and Luther. At Harold is the Arleta Neighborhood Center. You have to admit, for a reputationally low-income neighborhood, this is a nice central area. Here at Harold is the famous Mt. Scott Community Center, who, by the way, is one of your best customers. This community center has a lot of travel and people who use bus (including myself) to get here. They buy hundreds, if not thousands of tickets annually for their day trips, camps and all kinds of other activities. The least you could do is build another bus here. It will return some profit. Line 19-Woodstock/Gilbert connects here, and serves 72nd avenue to Duke, passing Woodstock.

    All along 72nd avenue are houses. Mostly small, mostly beat up, and then we get to Flavel and 72nd. This is where the low income “ghetto” shows the most. There is a large boarded up grocery store, a building that goes through restaurants like they’re made of water, and a couple of extremely expensive mini-marts is all that people without cars and who hate the two transfer quality of line 71, which goes nearly nowhere that they need to go and therefore have to transfer. What they should do is replace a mini-mart on the NE corner with a fast-food station for a quick meal, the boarded up grocery store with a Safeway or Save-a-lot, and put a thrift store where the restaurant building is. And that’s just a start! All of this is completely unrelated, but I really needed to get that out. You see, I used to live here, and I have relatives here, so I know how bad it is.
    Figure 1: Line 14 At Hawthorne Fred Meyer, recently renovated massively
    How do we get over to 82nd avenue? We could follow line 71 on Bell and King, but that would bypass nearly everywhere people would go South of Flavel on 82nd avenue. We could try Flavel, but that would nearly completely bypass Brentwood-Darlington, so forget about that. We could try Johnson Creek, which is perfect EXCEPT that it is impossible to turn a forty-foot bus from one narrow downhill street to another. So my ideas are SE Luther Road, which as fast and an easier turn, but has no sidewalks whatsoever, so we could only stop at the Bike Path between 72nd and 82nd avenue; and Harney, which is very wide and sidewalk-equipped, not to mention serves more residential areas, but it is slow with speed bumps and has a sharp uphill curve at the end. So my idea is to use both one-way, but pick and choose. Just don’t use Flavel or King as that messes up the route.
    Along 82nd avenue south of Luther is where we have hundreds and hundreds of stores. Let me name a few popular ones-

    Fred Meyer-SE Lindy
    Trader Joes, Walgreens, Home Depot- SE Johnson Creek
    Best Buy-SE Overland
    Wal-Mart-SE Otty
    Burlington Coat Factory-SE King
    Goodwill, TJ MAXX, Ross, Winco-SE Causey
    Clackamas Town Center-SE Driveway 3

    The bus ends at Clackamas Town Center- or Does It? There is a bus that is short and about the same frequency out of all 12 lines and MAX there- line 155. Think about it. Line 155 serves a hospital, Happy Valley, and a ton of stores and doctor’s offices. And it’s only 15 minutes long!

    This route would have the potential for more than 25 BR/VH, even though line 71’s might decrease by a couple. This is because it provides a one-seat ride, usually only 5-10 minutes each way, and runs from 5:21am-8:41pm, every 20-30 minutes. A round trip to Save-A-Lot from SE 72nd and Flavel would be about 20-25 minutes long, almost the same as a car! It’s a local route innovation. And it only costs $90,000. Let me name a few routes that cost $90,000-24 Fremont, 31-King Road, 89-Tanasbourne, and 99-McLoughlin Express. So, you see, this route costs as much as 2 short 7-day routes (one of which is about to become frequent) and 2 5-day, infrequent routes (one of which runs 15 times a day. Line 10 would run 70-75 times a day.)

    Why Line 79 should run on Molalla Avenue and to Clackamas Community College instead of line 32

    Subject79-Clackamas/Oregon City32-Oatfield
    FrequenciesEvery 30 Minutes, 7 Days a Week, 5:00am-11:00pmEvery Hour, 6 Days A Week, 5:30am-6:30pm
    Where They GoGladstone, Johnson City, Clackamas, Happy ValleyGladstone, Oak Grove, Milwaukie, Portland (Like Lines 33/99?)
    How Much They Serve MAXEvery 30 Minutes, 7 Days A Week, 5:00am-11:00pmEvery 30 minutes, 4:00pm-6:00pm, 5 days a week
    Ability To Create FrequenciesLines 79 and 33 could create Frequent Service to CCC by leaving 15 minutes apartLine 32 would not be able to do this, as it runs 6-days, every hour, 11 hours a day
    Tier On Frequent Service Chart In The FY 2010 TIPTier 3Not On the Chart
    Connections Unique From Line 33-McLoughlin70

    This would cost $25,000.

    Lines 4-Fessenden/Division, 6-Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard and 75-39th/Lombard

    I am continuing the grand tradition of splitting routes for better schedule times. Now it gets a little tricky. Line 75 is frequent service all the way, and a lot of the service relies on the other. I propose the line 75-39th ave/42nd ave end at Lombard TC around Kenton. Line 6-Martin Luther King Junior Blvd/Lombard can serve Lombard and MLK at a length of 1 hour, connecting it to Portland’s city center along Jefferson/Columbia.

    The great part is that when you solve line 75, you open up a solution for line 4. Line 4-Mississippi/Jantzen Beach can run its current route to Lombard TC, and then run on Denver, I-5 and Jantzen Beach. It would be 10-15 minutes faster than taking line 6, at a speed of 30 minutes from Portland. We End this route at PSU and Line 5-Division at Union Station. Run another new route, line 2-Fessenden between Lombard TC and St. Johns. Line 2 would feed its westbound riders into Yellow Line MAX, boosting ridership on that. Plus, if you want to boost frequency on JUST Fessenden, it’s simpler than running 4mer (get it) line 4s into Lombard TC and to Portland as well.

    The Best Part-It’s Free!

    Figure 2: MAX Green line at a Preview ride in August

    This Month’s candidates for frequent service are lines 9-Broadway/NE 33rd avenue, 21-122nd ave and 76-Hall Boulevard.

    Line 9 would cost about $15,000 to make it officially frequent. It is already frequent on Weekdays and Saturdays, and runs every thirty minutes on Sunday. Boosting it up would cost very little and would technically add line 9, in all its Broadway District, Kennedy Theater, U.S. Grant, Lloyd District glory to the frequent service lists and maps.

    Line 21-122nd avenue, formerly line 71, definitely has the capacity for frequency. Its 20 minute service carries a full bus every time. Increasing it would cost another $15 Grand and would add a ton of new services, such as Gilbert, Midland Library and Parkrose HS to the frequency list.

    But the best is probably line 76 Hall Boulevard, which would be renamed from Beaverton-Tualitan. For $40,000, Tualitan City Hall, Tualitan Library, Tualitan Fred Meyer, WES Station, Park and Ride, Tigard City Hall, Tigard HS, Tigard Library, Washington Square, Hall/Nimbus Business Center, Beaverton Library and City Hall to frequent Service, as well as connect Beaverton, Progress, Tigard, Durham and Tualitan together in good timing.

    All this would together cost $70,000, and would add 25 miles to the Frequent Service Chart. If you were to perchance follow my other paper that would mean you would now have 230 miles of frequent service, or $305 dollars a mile. Not to be anti-rail, but one mile of rail is $240,000,000 nowadays, or for this frequent service, would be $55,000,000,000. (Fifty five billion!)
    Figure 3: Line 72 at Adidas Village
    Just goes to show you, stick with bus in some areas. It’ll pay off in the long run. Like, at 1/780,000th the cost.

    Lines 15-Belmont-NW 23rd Avenue, 17-Holgate/NW 21st, 18-Hillside

    Let’s continue with the big profits. Line 15 and 17 are both often-used routes in the Nob Hill area, but let’s address a problem a 5 year old could figure out- they’re only 2 blocks apart! 15-NW 23rd ave, 17-NW 21st ave! True, a Nob hill block is 2 ½ blocks long, but that’s still only 5 blocks apart! Everett/Glisan is about 5 blocks apart from Burnside, Burnside, C, D, Everett, F, and Glisan! I think line 17 should run between Montgomery Park and Sauvie Island, except rush hour. Obviously, we need a new number, and this number is 69-St. Helens Rd.

    Line 15 would resume regular route, with 15 new daytime weekday trips between 5th/Salmon and Montgomery Park. Line 18 can serve Everett-Glisan to Hillside and get some purpose. You could increase service on the loop to every 30 minutes. Line 58-NW St. Helens Rd would, as stated above, run to Montgomery Park only. Except rush hour, where it would use Nicolai and Front to run to Davis, 6th and 5th, and down to PSU to connect downtown with Linnton, NW Industrial, and Sauvie Island. This would make trips between Linnton and Portland about 10-15 minutes shorter. I told a driver my idea and she was thrilled at the prospect of not having to navigate the tight corners of Everett and 21st. As for 31st/Industrial service, for now we have to, because of sewer problems. You wouldn’t have to tell me twice. But it should be a part of the rush-hour service still, to connect itself to Portland, because no one living downtown needs to go to the refineries in NW in the evening, I believe, except late workers, which is why express trips should run both ways. But they will be 10 minutes faster than running on NW 21st avenue, with 10 minutes to Montgomery Park, 25 minutes to St. Johns and 35 to Linnton.

    The profit? For 12-minute day service on line 15, purpose on one of the most chronically lowest ridership route and fast express service to St. Johns and others, we save $140,000!

    Lines 5-Division, 14-Hawthorne and 94-Sherwood/Pacific HWY Express

    Allow me to go off-topic a little and talk about line 15-Belmont. You see, this bus ran at 5-minute rush-hour headway, but the thing is, not too many people past 60th avenue, and hardly any past 92nd avenue were on board past these two streets. Most people crowded the bus between downtown and 60th avenue, and a good handful, though not as good past 92nd, and maybe 4 or 5 (especially with MAX Figure 4: Line 12-Barbur and MAX Blue Line Meeting at Pioneer Place over Some Water

    Green Line, Blue and Red Lines at Gateway and Main Streets), past 92nd avenue. So TriMet ran headway of 5 minutes, with one bus every 15 minutes looping around 62nd avenue, Stark and up to Powell Garage or to start the cycle again back downtown. One of the two buses every 5 or 10 minutes that went past 60th avenue ended at 92nd avenue, right before I-205, where the same happened. Then, the last of the three buses passed 92nd every 15 minutes to Gateway TC. This saved them money and layover space at Gateway TC.

    Lines 5, 14 and 94 are affected by MAX and WES and don’t need to run to Gresham TC, Lents, or Sherwood every 5 minutes. In fact, buses on line 94 rarely have that many people on them past Tigard TC. So, for example, run 3 lines 94’s- one to Barbur Park and Ride, one to Tigard, and one to Sherwood, each every 15 minutes, to provide a service similar to line 15. This would save $35,000.

    Line 4 would run 1 of every 2 rush hour trips to 92nd avenue, and then hop on I-205 back to Portland or the Garage on Powell. All other trips would run to Gresham, providing 15-minute service to Gresham and 7 minute headway to I-205 MAX., saving $17,000.

    Line 14 would run to 50th and Powell, but here’s the thing- the best way to get to the Garage is along Powell, so we would create Hawthorne-Powell Blvd Trips, so these could be a totally different express route that stops at 7th ave, 12th ave, 20th ave, 31st ave, 39th avenue, 50th/Clay, Division, Powell and 52nd, 61st, 72nd, 82nd and 92nd avenue. It would take stress of the two busiest East-West Corridors in the system and be the first SE Portland Express line, line 93-Hawthorne/Powell Blvd Express. This would also save $12,000 for a grand total of $64,000.

    Lines 31-King Road, 62-Murray Boulevard, 80/81-Gresham/ Troutdale, and 155-Sunnyside

    These routes are semi-popular. They all have ridership of 20-30 BR/VH and all serve important corridors. Let’s review these lines.
    Figure 5: Streetcar at 18th and Lovejoy
    Lines 80-81 are most famous for serving the area between Gresham and Troutdale, and are the only ones to do so. Line 80 runs on Saturdays and Sundays, although it has about 7 less BR/VH, and serves much less popular area than line 81. Line 80 serves 80 people a day between SE Kane and Stark and SE Buxton and Columbia River HWY, but 30 of these are at two stops-Buxton and Col. River HWY and S Troutdale and Stark. The rest have mostly 1 or 2 boardings a day. Line 81, on the other hand, is much more popular. It has 175 boardings between SW 257th and Stark and W Columbia River HWY, and 4 of the 10 stops it serves has more than 10 people a day, in comparison to line 80’s 2 stops. So it would be safe to say that running weekend service on line 81 instead of 80 would not only be smarter, it would save a little bit, only $1,500, but that’s still a profit, no matter how tiny!
    Figure 6: MAX Yellow Line on the mall for the first day at Union Station

    However, what I really want to do is increase the amount of service on this route duo. To every 40 minutes on each on weekdays, making it every 20 minutes as a duo, and to increase weekend service on line 81 from every 60 minutes to every 40. This would cost $21,000. With the thousand saved this would become $20,000 or $19,500.

    This increase of service would be what I am trying to accomplish with the other 3 lines. Line 31 serves the fastest and most frequent connection between Clackamas and Milwaukie TC, with a 17 minute length, which is pretty short as buses go. I would up service from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes on Weekdays and Saturdays, and every 30 minutes instead of 60 on Sundays. This would cost $22,000.

    You see, I am following a division route. The number of minutes in an hour (60) divided by the number of trips (say, 4) makes the frequency of the bus (60 divided by 4 is 15.) 60 divided by 1 is 60, divided by 2 is 30, divided by 3 is 20, divided by 4 is 15, divided by 5 is 12, divided by 6 is 10, and so on. With hourly buses, all you need to do to double service is add 1 trip and hour!

    Line 62 is a more difficult egg to crack. On weekdays, just add 1 trip an hour except rush hour to make it every 20 minutes. Which is good, as it serves the Cedar Hills Crossing, Millikan Way, Tektronix, Nike, Sunset Neighborhood, Science Park, all the new development along Scholl’s Ferry and on the South side of Murray Blvd, Washington Square, Nimbus and is close to some of the stores on Cascade Boulevard. On weekends however, service would increase to every 30 minutes. How would this work with the current of 40 minutes? It’s a doozy, but with 40 minutes, we have 3 trips every 2 hours. With every 30 minutes, we have 4 trips an hour, so just add 1 trip every 2 hours! The whole cost would be $45,000.

    Now, with line 155, we have an extremely rapidly growing area along SE Sunnyside called Happy Valley. But you knew that. The route runs every 35 minutes on weekdays and every 45 on weekends, so how do we boost this to every 20 on weekdays and every 30 on weekends? Line 155 runs 12 times every 7 hours. With every 20 minutes, the bus would run 21 times every 7 hours, so we would be adding 18 or so trips on weekdays per direction. On weekends, 45 go into 3 hours 4 times. The number 30 goes into 3 hours 6 times. So In the entire 15-hour lapse of this route, we would be adding a total of 10 trips a direction. This would cost $20,000. This altogether would cost a total of $107,000. This costs more than my recent Frequent Service proposal, when you think about it. You’ll also notice, this is all in the suburbs.

    Lines 10-Harold and 19-Woodstock

    Lines 10 and 19 are my next route combination, but unlike lines 8 and 70, which met at the end of each route, lines 10 and 19 break off a part of their route close to current or the new route and create one totally new route, 19-28th/Woodstock.

    Think of it this way-It follows line 10 until SE 28th and Steele, passing Ladd, Clinton, Cleveland HS, and Fred Meyer Corporation, and then continues down 28th avenue to Woodstock, and serves the Rex Loop in Rush Hour, then would replicate line 19 to 52nd and Woodstock, passing Woodstock, a transfer to line 75 and Reed College. As for Union Manor, the line 70 trips that do not serve 13th and Tacoma could serve Union Manor and even out the schedules at the end of the Sellwood Loop.

    The route would not turn on SE 52nd, however, it would continue on Woodstock until SE 67th avenue. Why Woodstock? Why not pick Harold or Duke like what is already there? Easy! Woodstock is 5 blocks away from both Duke and Harold, so, technically, it is serving them both! And you may be wondering why the heck I am turning this bus around on SE 67th instead of, say, 82nd? Simple. We still owe it to our best customers, Mt. Scott Community Center, to give them direct Portland Service, because walking a ways in large groups can be tricky.

    To serve Woodmere Elementary better, the bus would serve SE Duke to 92nd instead of Woodstock for a few reasons-
    1. As stated, to serve Woodmere Elementary School,
    2. Because the merge from Woodstock to Foster is extremely hard, and
    3. Don’t worry, Harold and Woodstock are still covered, Harold by Foster, Woodstock by Duke!
    Figure 7: Four Buses (2 Gilligs, 2 New Flyers) make their way down 5th avenue in June
    Line 19 would use 92nd to Foster/Woodstock and End at Lents, and old plans to operate a loop through Lents via 92nd, Harold, 136th, Foster, 112th, Mt. Scott Blvd, 92nd and back to Lents would be resurrected. This would run 6-day, every 30 or 60 minutes.

    There are a lot of benefits- It would save about 9 miles worth of buses since two routes combined and saved 9 miles, the loop, line 11-Gilbert, would make sure riders to areas West of 92nd from Lents would not have to crawl through that 20-minute long Foster-136th-Harold loop-around (including me) It would also be faster than using Milwaukie and going through PSU, about 15 minutes faster, to get to Woodstock Town Center and Reed College, with a time of about 20 minutes to get there compared to 30-35 minutes. It would provide better connections to Reed College and Cleveland HS, it would provide access to the bus mall, and increase service North of Woodstock and since line 19 serves Glisan, it would also make line 19 a speedy Inner-ish NE to Inner-ish SE connector, from 28th/Glisan to SE 26th and Powell in a tidy 25 minutes. The best part- we get great savings, about $183,000 in savings!

    Line 19-Glisan and 20-Burnside/Stark

    This is another money-saving combination. Lines 19-Glisan and 20-Burnside are (let’s all say this together) 5 blocks apart, or, within the preferred walking distance of most people. But, here’s the catch. I’m not going to delete service altogether on this corridor. Burnside is popular between the River and 47th, and Glisan between 47th and Gateway. So, run line 20-Burnside/Stark between NW 23rd avenue and NE 47th avenue on E Burnside, then turn North onto 47th, into Irving with a stop in front of the Hospital Door, and onto 53rd, Glisan and North on 99th, into Gateway TC (where line 20 connects with MAX Green and Red lines for the first time on the east side. This has been wanted by a lot of riders) and onto Pacific and 102nd, and back on its regular route. Then, line 49-Barnes/Cedar Mill would run via SW 18th, Jefferson, 5th/6th, Burnside, Sandy and Glisan until 47th, and then it would use Burnside until 102nd, where it would turn into Gateway TC. This would become line 49-Glisan/Cedar Hills Blvd. It would run every 30 minutes Weekdays between 6am-10pm and every 60 minutes on weekends between 8am and 8pm. This would save a total of $70,000, and still maintain decent service on the less popular portions of the road.

    Line 3-St. Johns Loop

    There are a good lot of places in Outer North Portland, mainly Saint Johns, that have earned their share of recognition and ridership- Pier Park, Cathedral Park, Portland Observatory, New Columbia, Roosevelt HS, St. Johns itself, Fred Meyer, University Of Portland, and Rivergate. But it is impossible to get a one-seat ride from some of these places to others, i.e. you can’t get a one-seat ride from New Columbia to University Of Portland. On Average, it would take about 20-30 minutes. I have a new route that would connect all of these.

    It would start off at Safeway, with lines 4 and 44, and would continue on Richmond to Crawford to serve the community garden and Cathedral Park, one of my personal favorites, at N Salem and N Pittsburgh, respectively. This would be a heck of a lot easier than hiking up and down ½ miles from N Philadelphia and Lombard, which drops into a hard slope to hike.

    From here, the bus would make its way to the largest stop in St. Johns, N Philadelphia and Lombard, via Baltimore and Ivanhoe, turning onto N Philadelphia and stopping there. Then the bus would follow Lombard past Pier Park and Rivergate to N Columbia. This is good because there are a lot of transit-dependent people in St. Johns, and walking ½ + miles or using line 16 rush-hours only for the many new apartment complexes and houses along N Columbia ain’t exactly gonna fly, So line 3 would be a perfect way to serve these areas better. It would serve Columbia to N Portsmouth, with a predictably busy stop at N Portsmouth and Fessenden. The bus would follow N Portsmouth, all the while adding new service, to University of Portland at N Willamette Boulevard. The bus would then follow N Willamette to Ida Avenue, passing Fred Meyer at Lombard and Roosevelt HS at Smith. The bus would use Smith and Charleston to get back to St. Johns.

    Two sets of stops would be used, but line 3 would go one direction until 1:30pm and another until its end at 11:30pm. Probably in the morning it will go Safeway-Cathedral Park-Pier Park-Columbia-Portsmouth-UOP-Fred Meyer-Safeway, and vice versa after 1:30 pm. The total cost of this route is so remarkably low-about $35,000! With these savings it’s like a nickel!

    MAX Red Line and Green Line

    Wow. Surprise, Surprise, huh? I usually never work on MAX, but I just had an idea too good to pass up- what you should do is switch these two out. Run the green line to Beaverton TC, and the Red one to PSU!

    Figure 8: Line 58 arrives in new 2900 New Flyer at 5th and Jefferson

    Why the switch? First off, it’s free, after you add Green stickers to the Westside Stations, and Red ones to the Mall. There is a $2,000,000,000 Light Rail Line Far off into the future that calls for a Clackamas-Washington Square connection, but can be easily done by running the Green line to Beaverton and transferring to WES or line 76, which would be a two-seat ride, occasionally with another Train, in about 1 hour and 15 minutes, in comparison to using MAX and line 56, which would be 1 hr and 30 minutes, but with much more time on the better MAX. Align line 76’s times to leave 3 minutes after MAX Green Line arrives, and it will be that much faster!

    Now there is another benefit better than saving 2 billion dollars- MAX Red Line would get a big boost in ridership, because where are people heading from the Airport? Beaverton? Pretty unlikely, what’s out THERE? Washington Park? Odds are, but that’s just a five minute transfer away at Gateway. But 75% of them, I’ll bet (this is random guesswork with a cup of common sense) are heading to the famous Downtown area! Pioneer Square! PSU, because they’re transfer students! Keller Auditorium! Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall! Maybe Union Station, to catch a train away from here! All those hotels on SW Broadway, 1 or 2 blocks away! It’s a lot more likely than Beaverton.

    So, let’s review. Red Line gets more ridership, Green line nearly completes a Tier 2 Metro LRT Corridor that would have been built when I have a full beard and 3 kids and a wife, and you also can save $2,000,000,000! If you want to connect places from Washington Square to, say, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Tigard, all you have to do is boost frequency on lines 78 and 31! They’re already there!

    Lines 17-Holgate and 44-Capitol HWY

    You know what we need? A SE-SW bus. One that connects popular places in town to each other, places people want to go. Lines 17 and 44, you are recruited.
    You see, we were going to use lines 9-Powell and 12-Barbur, but these are too Popular Downtown and many people would miss them. Also, these are much too long and would render many bus riders late. You see lines 17 and 44, you are much more popular in your neighborhoods than Downtown, yet many people in SE are in downtown to get to SW.

    Line 17, your partner, NW 21st avenue, was short lined and recommissioned to Montgomery Park, and Line 44, you have many Frequency Differences than your partner, Mocks Crest, which runs every 35 minutes. You are both Frequent Service Routes and Line 44; you are more popular than lines 12, 54 and 56.
    Figure 9: Line 57 outside of Hillsboro Civic Center

    Line 44, you serve PCC-Sylvania, Barbur Transit Center, Multnomah Village, the Jewish District of Hillsdale, Hillsdale, and South Downtown, by PSU. Line 17, you have a higher BR/VH than 40, like line 44, and you serve Brooklyn, Center Garage, A Number of Transit-Dependent Neighborhoods like Arleta and Lents, Eastport Plaza, and now, with line 26, our new recruit, taking over Holgate east of I-205, you will be rerouted to our new Transit Center at Lents.
    You may be asking yourself, how will we able to morph into one route without going Downtown? And I answer, who said anything about skipping Downtown? We just won’t go too far north, is all. I reckon we’ll run up on 1st, Harrison, and stop by the new MAX station at Mill and Montgomery, 2 blocks north. This will connect riders to the rest of the mall downtown and the other MAX lines. Then, you shall continue on 5th and 6th avenues, depending on your direction, Southbound to follow line 44’s route.
    You will be doing us a great service. Not only will you be carrying more routes, you will be saving us $20,000 a year by no longer going Downtown.
    You shall have a new name and a number. No longer shall you be lines 17 and lines 44, you shall be line 74, after our fallen comrade, 74-Lloyd District/Southeast, and become line 74-Holgate/Capitol. Well, what are you waiting for? Your city needs you! Get started!

    Man, was that fun to write!!

    Line 72-Killingsworth/82nd Avenue.

    My favorite bus driver, Janet, used to refer to this as the Jerry Springer Bus. There’s always drama. But not anymore, it seems. Everyone who said “As soon as the Green Line Opens, I’ll never have to take the 72 again!” (And I think they may have jumped for joy, too) are fulfilling their promise. So line 72s still run back-to-back-to-back-to-back like a TV marathon, with a fraction of the people in them than before. So I say, why not run them less? Save a few buses. Run them every 10 minutes instead of 3. Save about $110,000, while you’re at it. It’ll get more people to jump for joy onto a MAX Green Line, which is designed for line 72’s loads.

    Route Combinations
    I am about to eliminate a number from the bus system-78. You see, there’s no use for it being on Hall Boulevard, because what it was doing was helping with the boost of frequency along Hall Boulevard, but as you can see, we have made line 76 frequent. Between Tigard TC and Lake Oswego, we can maintain the route, just with a different name and number, Line 42.
    This route, if you followed last paper, would run between Tigard TC and Sherwood. But it is only about 20-30 minutes long. An extra 20-30 minutes between Tigard TC. Why not combine the two for free?
    You see, it’s perfect. It creates the essence of a commuter regional route (Lake Oswego-Sherwood) that line 78 had, they both run the same frequencies and both terminate at the same Transit Center (Tigard TC)
    Figure 1: Line 96, Off-Duty at SW Salmon and Broadway

    What other routes are like this? Let’s try lines 25-Glisan and 82-Eastman/182nd Avenue. They both run the same frequency, they both run to Rockwood TC, but the average transfer time between the two is anywhere between 20 minutes and 40, depending on which way you are heading. Combining these routes not only connects new areas, it saves transfers that double trip times! The new route would be a length of 45 minutes and would layover at Gateway TC and Gresham TC.
    Line 58 runs between 5th and Jefferson and Beaverton TC is a time faster than MAX-20 minutes. Line 88 is a local Beaverton-Aloha route that seems to take the longest way possible between Willow Creek and Beaverton TC, with a time of 40 minutes. This would be a beautiful combination, as it would be the first bus to connect Portland with Aloha, Intel Campus in Reedville, Willow Creek, Cooper Mountain and North Murrayhill with a time of 1 hour. A layover at 5th and Jefferson and Willow Creek would have to be set up. What you could do is reroute line 58 to SW 3rd and Madison with line 6 somehow where there is a lot of curb space and only one other bus in the way.
    Lines 31 and 155 used to have different frequency times until I just added about 10 and 15 trips to 4-5 routes. So, with lengths of 15 minutes each, why not combine the two? In rush hour, Happy Valley and downtown Portland would be connected, and Milwaukie and Happy Valley would be connected all day, every day! The route would be 35 minutes long, so layover would only be needed at 157th and Misty, where shoppers could have more time to shop.
    Lastly, line 65-Terwilliger. Get this: if you were to combine lines 65 and 68, ran it every 20 minutes and eliminated express service (except that it only runs in rush-hour) you would maintain both routes and create new connections, such as Lair Hill and PSU.
    Well, this may be the easiest idea to incorporate. It costs nothing, little to no reroutes and can be done just by replacing names, stickers and aligning schedule times!

    Line 46-North Hillsboro

    Line 46 serves North Hillsboro, to no one’s surprise (I hope.) But what would we name it if it served South Hillsboro as well? Hillsboro Shuttle? You see, that’s what I want to do.
    Let’s look at Hillsboro’s SE River Road. Hillsboro’s, not Oak Grove’s. This road is close to TV HWY, but has no way to get there except Minter Bridge, which calls for some long hikes from Hillsboro’s High School. Line 46 would serve this for about $7,000, and this would have another benefit.
    I mean, where is this line gonna layover now? Not Hillsboro because that would mess up people heading to, say, Hillsboro’s Main Library. Say, that’s it!
    You see, people have either 5 minutes or an hour and 5 minutes to get their books and go on the computer. I would love to see someone accomplish that. But since I doubt it, I say we layover here for 20 extra minutes, so that way speed runs to grab books and look for some, too, have 25 minutes, and you have an hour and 25 minutes for those who need to go online, too. It’s your classic “two birds, one stone” scenario.

    Line 25-148th Avenue/Airport Way.

    This is another great route idea. I’ll make it quick, though and give you the route idea and 10 reasons it should run.
    Here are ten reasons this route would be good for Portland.


    It would help provide that Sandy/Powell corridor we need, and a North/South Corridor between 122nd and 181st avenue.
    2.It would connect the extremely large Cascade Station (all of it, not just the ends) to East County, so they have a place to shop.
    3.It would give daytime and weekend service to all the Hotels and Restaurants and Industrial areas along Airport Way, as well as connect them to MAX.
    4.Since line 74 would not run past I-205, Holgate would be open to line 26, which runs a little less, saving $75,000 off the $153,000 bill, shortening it to $78,000.
    5.It would give another reason to make Lents an official Transit Center, with 7 buses and MAX.
    6.It would link Powell, Sandy and all the buses and MAX in between to each other in less than 15 minutes, much less than line 21’s 25 minutes, and without all the traffic.
    7.It would resurrect parts of line 86, including ITT-Tech.
    8.It would provide service to the North Corner of Powell Butte Park at 148th and Center.
    9.Airport Way/148th is wide, sidewalk-equipped, and built for high traffic. However, they really don’t have high-traffic, so travel is fast.
    10.There are three MAX crossings, One in NE, one on E Burnside, one in SE, so everyone has a quick option.

    Convinced Yet?

    This issue, we crammed more into 15 pages, and therefore, we made more than the first issue. We made $175,000! Now let’s look at the 10 year profit, which is easily $1,750,000. If anything will offset any future cuts, this will.

    Route Name Edit Type Cost Or Savings Starts At Ends At
    2-Fessenden Splitting N/A Lombard TC St. Johns
    3-St. Johns New Costs $35,000 St. Johns St. Johns via UOP
    4-Mississippi/ Jantzen Beach Splitting N/A PSU Jantzen Beach
    5-Division Splitting/Rush Hour Shortening Saves $17,000 Union Station Gresham TC or 92nd Avenue
    6-MLK Jr Blvd/ Lombard Combining N/A SW 18th/Jefferson Goose Hollow St. Johns Pier Park
    9-Brodway/NE 33rd Avenue Frequent Service Costs $15,000 98th Avenue or Gresham TC Concordia University
    10-SE 72nd Avenue New Costs $90,000 Lents Town Center Clackamas Town Center
    11 Gilbert Loop New Part of Line 19 Deal Lents Town Center Lents Town Center Via 136th Avenue
    15-NW 23rd Avenue, 17-NW 21st Avenue,
    18-Everett/Hillside 15-Added Trips
    17-Shortlined, Re#
    18-Extended Route, Service Hrs Saves $140,000 17- Montgomery Park
    18-Portland Mall 17-Sauvie Island
    18-Maclaey and Burnside
    31-King Road-Sunnyside, 62-Murray Blvd,
    81-Kane/257th, Added Service Improved to every 20 minutesCosts $107,000Portland Mall or Milwaukie TCHappy Valley Town Center
    20-Burnside/StarkReroutedSaves $70,000To NW 23rd AvenueTo Gresham TC
    19-28th/ Woodstock Recombined with former line 10 Saves $183,000 Gateway TC Lents Town Center
    21-122nd Avenue Frequent Service Costs $15,000 Parkrose TC Lents Town Center
    82-Glisan/ 182nd AveCombinedN/AGateway TCGresham TC
    25-Airport Way/
    148th Avenue New Costs $75,000 Parkrose TC Lents Town Center
    32-Oatfield Short lining Part Of Line 79 Deal Portland Mall or Milwaukie TC Oregon City TC
    46-Hillsboro Shuttle Extension of Route Costs $7,000 Hillsboro Library SE River and Witch Hazel Road
    72 Killingsworth/ 82nd Avenue Cuts to Rush Hour Service Saves $110,000 Swan Island Clackamas Town Center
    74-Capitol HWY/ Holgate Blvd Combination Saves $20,000 PCC-Sylvania Lents Town Center
    75-39th ave/
    42nd ave Short lining in Splitting N/A Lombard TC/ Kenton Loop Milwaukie TC
    65-TerwilligerCombinedN/ASW 18th/ Jefferson SW Terwilliger and Troy
    58-Canyon/ 198thCombinedN/APortland MallWillow Creek TC
    42-Kerr Pkwy/ Pacific HWYCombinedN/ASherwoodLake Oswego
    79- SE 82nd Drive/ Molalla Avenue Recombination Costs $25,000 Clackamas Town Center Clackamas Community College
    93-Hawthorne/ Powell Express New Route Created out of line 14 trips, saves $13,000 Pioneer Courthouse Square SE Powell Boulevard MAX Station
    94-Sherwood/ Pacific Highway Rush Hour Shortening Saves $35,000 Portland Mall Barbur TC
    Tigard TC

    I think I made youse people an offer youse can’t refuse.
    Figure 10: In Conclusion, a ground view looking up at line 4 at 5th and Salmon, my favorite Bus photo-taking spot.

    And in conclusion, consider it. One of the public’s biggest problems with TriMet is that while we have 4 Rail Projects in the works, we can hardly seem to throw a couple thousand to line 46! (I’m throwing seven!) People think you have a rail bias, and seem to treat people who ride the bus as second-class. And boy, oh, boy, does that bring up quite the arguments on Transit Blogs! So, I am offering, technically to pay you $180,000 a year to improve bus service, so that way the bias would be eliminated. Voila! You get the public to support you again. More people will ride. And in this economy, we could use $180,000!

    Did you read this envisioning yourself riding this bus? Are you taking the view of the rider? If not, I would recommend you start over if you want a good grade in politics. It’s a pleasure to type another one of these again.

    Cameron Johnson.

  229. Forgot to add, there are some sentences “Figure #: Line # at #” Ignore these. These are for pictures that were in the original paper.

  230. I’m sure that Al will have something to say about this…

    TriMet has fired the MAX operator who apparently ignored the call button when a young child recently was separated from his parents at a MAX stop, and left on the train. After an investigation, TriMet determined that there was no mechanical failure in the notification system, and that the driver engaged in misconduct by failing to respond.

    The driver was not named by Tri-Met, but he was a 20 year veteran of the agency.

  231. Scotty, as a TriMet customer I’m pretty pissed off to find out that it was a driver ignoring the call button. The bus drivers I’ve met all seem so helpful and professional I can’t imagine one of them ignoring a father in this situation, and I don’t know that I’d want this person continuing to drive for TriMet under any conditions if they ignored an intercom with those circumstances.

  232. I was at a rehearsal for a theater performance I will be filming for the performer. And after that I was back at home, nursing the same cold I haven’t been able to shake for 3 weeks now.

  233. I think the promoters of this event dropped the ball, frankly. I hadn’t heard anything about it for at least a month.

  234. Sorry about the cold Bob. I’ve only had one for about 4-5 days now and I’m miserable, so I can’t imagine how 3 weeks must be.

    Take it easy and get some rest!

  235. Haha! Jon I was just about to post the same article!

    I’ve been thinking about this problem ever since i had an intuitive revulsion to the burnside- couch couplet. Now I’ve come to think that -most- of the streets downtown should return to two way travel, and have their stoplights replaced with stopsigns (speed control, and so left turns don’t clog the whole system). I think this is an important step towards a stronger city.

  236. Not sure a bidirectional no-passing zone is the most appropriate or safest treatment for downtown areas that actually have an economy (note that Fort Vancouver doesn’t, so of course there’s no traffic, thus no need for one-way streets; this won’t change until Washington gets a clue and abolishes the sales tax). How is one supposed to legally pass a cyclist or an illegally double-parked vehicle in a no-passing-zone?

  237. Paul,I think a dotted yellow line would be fine. A “no passing zone” would, indeed, be unhelpful. Regarding your comment about “areas that actually have an economy”, if you read the article Jon has posted above you’ll see that this is a move in favor of the economy.

  238. Despite what Fort Vancouver is saying, I don’t believe that bidirectional streets will stimulate their economy in the slightest. If anything, it’s a sign that FV is continuing to die, as they no longer have the traffic volume to necessitate a one-way system.

  239. Another thing I’m surprised hasn’t been commented on: The Cascade Policy Institute, generally not friends of transit, have issued a white paper calling for–tolling the roadways in the Portland metro area, as part of a congestion-reduction scheme.

  240. With this post going on since late December 2006, and this is post #372, maybe it’s time for ‘Open Topics Thread 2010 Edition?!’

    Also, thanks to Al, we’re getting the early tip on TriMet Service Cuts 2010 Edition:
    Going to take a wild guess that 17-minute service will become 30-minute service… :(

  241. Seattle Transit Blog has a nice little bus-vs-rail thread here for those who are interested…. the lead does make some interesting and useful points.

  242. Not directly transit-related, but this thread on Daily KOS (an unabashedly left-wing, Democratic Party blog for those unfamiliar) focuses on everyone’s favorite local rag, The Oregonian. Apparently, the new publisher of the paper (a fellow named N. Christian Anderson III) is a hard-core conservative, and is shifting the editorial position of the paper swiftly to the right, as witnessed by the paper’s about-face on (and hysterical ranting about) Measures 66 and 67. Early this year, when the Legislature passed the tax increases, the paper was supportive, now the Oregonian is opposed.

    To keep this on topic, one wonders how this will this will affect the O‘s coverage of land-use and transit. The paper has in the past been supportive of TriMet and light-rail (though also supportive of road expansion as well), one wonders if we’ll now see editorials calling for the removal of MAX from the CRC, or the scrubbing of the Orange Line or streetcar expansion?

  243. Did anyone see this? Smart Growth America crunched the numbers and found that spending federal money on public transportation projects created twice as many jobs as spending the money on highway projects, per dollar spent.

    If anyone in DC is paying attention, that’s a good reason to steer federal funding to transit projects that are shovel-ready, or really close to it, before spreading the money around to highways.

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