REMINDER: Streetcar Party! Friday, August 17th

We’ve been having Streetcar extension opening parties on a more-or-less annual basis for a few years. But the next one is probably 3 or 4 years away (at OMSI). So all the more reason not to miss this one:

11AM – Friday August 17th
SW Lowell and Bond

– Refreshments!

– Entertainment by 3 Leg Torso and Valerie Day!

– Speeches! (come anyway)

Free Streetcar Rides Fri-Sun!

Free Tram rides Sat, Sun!

19 Comments

19 Responses to REMINDER: Streetcar Party! Friday, August 17th

  1. Wells
    August 6, 2007 at 12:20 pm Link

    At Westside MAX inauguration celebration, I was lucky to get there just late enough to only have to listen to the last three speakers, including President Al Gore, who was great in 1998, not wooden at all like we were told on TV. I’m going to ask Santa Claus for a Time Machine this year’s Santa Claus Day, so I can go back and warn everyone that Bush sucks.

  2. Anthony
    August 6, 2007 at 4:40 pm Link

    I thought streetcar rides were always free?

  3. Chris Smith
    August 6, 2007 at 5:11 pm Link

    I’ll assume that was a serious question, not sarcasm.

    Streetcar is free in Fareless Square (much of the route), but a TriMet 1-2 Zone fare outside. So anything North of Glisan Street, plus the Gibbs stop (and all of the new Lowell extension) are not free. We have random fare inspection to make sure that riders do in fact buy tickets and experience a pretty high level of compliance.

  4. Bob R.
    August 6, 2007 at 7:17 pm Link

    Anthony –

    43% of the streetcar stops (including the Lowell extension) are completely outside fareless square.

    – Bob R.

  5. Erik Halstead
    August 6, 2007 at 8:55 pm Link

    We have random fare inspection to make sure that riders do in fact buy tickets and experience a pretty high level of compliance.

    Chris,

    1. How often are Fare Inspectors deployed on Streetcar, vs. MAX?

    2. What is the level of compliance, vs. MAX? Versus busses?

    3. Since Streetcar was widely reported to have a high level of fare evasion, has Streetcar’s farebox recovery improved by deployment of additional fare collection resources? And who has paid for the fare collectors, the City or TriMet?

  6. Chris Smith
    August 6, 2007 at 9:09 pm Link

    1) A few times per week on Streetcar, I don’t know on MAX.

    2) 80-90% compliance on Streetcar

    3) Yes, fare collections have improved (although the effect is somewhat swamped by a big increase in fare collection since we went to the all-day Streetcar fare). Streetcar (City) pays for the inspectors, since Streetcar gets the fare revenue.

    Please keep in mind that this is a delicate balance. Relatively little revenue comes from the farebox (less than $100K/year). Many passengers have TriMet transfers or passes (or Streetcar passes). So it would be very easy for us to spend more on inspections that we could possibly earn back.

    The economics will change considerably when we open up the east side.

  7. Jason Barbour
    August 6, 2007 at 11:03 pm Link

    – Speeches! (come anyway)

    Who’s speaking? Is it supposed to be a surprise or one of those TBA-day of event issues? Sometimes there’s someone really worth listening to at these things.

  8. Chris Smith
    August 6, 2007 at 11:11 pm Link

    You may assume any elected official who had anything to do with it will speak, and any institution that has a financial stake (e.g. OHSU).

    Actually, I hear the Governor may be coming (as in we get $2.1M from Connect Oregon I).

  9. zilfondel
    August 8, 2007 at 3:40 pm Link

    You guys should just put a dozen kegs on each streetcar and drive around having a party!

    You could call it a ‘brewer’s festival’ and would likely have a hundred thousand people in downtown riding the streetcars.

  10. paul
    August 9, 2007 at 12:33 pm Link

    Free Tram rides. Cool.

    Back to the proposal I made to Sam Adams last year: every Portland citizen should get one free tram ride annually. We are footing the bill, after all.

  11. Lenny Anderson
    August 9, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link

    Are the meters on South Waterfront generating much revenue? Is that the source of the City’s share of operating costs of the Tram? Its free every day if you have a TriMet monthly pass or Streetcar annual pass.

  12. Jason Barbour
    August 10, 2007 at 9:30 pm Link

    Go early! (I just received this in an e-mail):
    Signing Ceremony / Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project – 8/17/07

    Friday, Aug. 17th at 10:15am
    Portland Streetcar Lowell extension opening will immediately follow this event.

    Please join us for a speacial signing ceremony! Governor Ted Kulongoski will sign HB 5036 into law which commits $250 million in lottery funds to help fudn the 6.5 mile Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project. Key legislative leaders will also help celebrate this major boost for the project.

    Event Location:
    Held at the cul-de-sac at the end of SW River Parkway near SW Moody, which is one of the Willamette River Crossing options being studied as part of the project.

  13. J
    August 11, 2007 at 1:59 pm Link

    It would be great if they were offering free rides (or at least increased service) on the Willamette Shore Trolley to give people a taste of what a Lake Oswego Streetcar extension would look like. Afterall the WST terminus is only a block south of the new streetcar terminus.

  14. Erik Halstead
    August 11, 2007 at 10:36 pm Link

    It would be great if they were offering free rides (or at least increased service) on the Willamette Shore Trolley

    The money raised from the Willamette Shores Trolley go to support the Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society and their efforts to restore other trolleys at their museum in Brooks.

    Are you suggesting that a non-profit volunteer preservation group just walk away from the money, or that someone (I presume TriMet would step in, and take the money out of the bus operating budget) pay the OERHS the operating costs for the weekend? With only one car in operation, a LOT of would-be riders would have to be turned away; and as I rode the trolley a few weeks ago, the trolley was well patronized even at $10 a round trip, and even though a TriMet bus (at $4.50 for an all day pass, or $4.00 for a round-trip, or $2.00 if one simply did the trip and back before the transfer expired) could make the trip in half the time). It would be nice to ride it for free but as my economics teacher taught me there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

  15. Matthew
    August 11, 2007 at 11:05 pm Link

    “I rode the trolley a few weeks ago, the trolley was well patronized even at $10 a round trip, and even though a TriMet bus (at $4.50 for an all day pass, or $4.00 for a round-trip, or $2.00 if one simply did the trip and back before the transfer expired) could make the trip in half the time).”

    You willingly paid extra to ride a train, even though the bus was both faster and cheaper?

    Wow. Just wow. I hope the train had AC.

  16. Logan 5
    August 17, 2007 at 12:21 pm Link

    Chris, does that 80% compliance figure include the mass evacuation that happens when a fare checker shows up on the streetcar right after the end of fareless square? That’s always an entertaining show. Once, on a busy Friday, I saw the load drop to four people in twenty seconds.

  17. Chris Smith
    August 17, 2007 at 1:55 pm Link

    I’ve seen that effect as well, but I’ve also seen lots of times where such an exodus did not occur when the fare checker came on board.

  18. J
    August 18, 2007 at 12:18 pm Link

    erik, you could say the same argument about any transit system non-profit, for-profit or public that gives free rides away including the free rides today on the streetcar and the tram.

    I’m well aware that the Willamette Shore Trolley is part of the Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society, I’m not suggesting that they put it upon themselves to offer free rides. ideally it would be one of the companies that sponsored the streetcar opening party yesterday that would sponsor free rides on the WST. the WST offers charter tours at an hourly rate and it would essentially be just that for a whole day. the WST isnt exactly a large operation and its all volunteers too so i dont think we are talking about huge costs here. anyhow it didnt happen.

  19. Erik Halstead
    August 19, 2007 at 5:17 pm Link

    J,

    If you want to recruit those companies to help underwrite a free weekend of rides on the Willamette Shores Trolley I bet a LOT of people want to hear from you.

    Get those contacts, and then call the Willamette Shores Trolley Lake Oswego depot at (503) 697-7436.

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