Toward a Better Bus System


Based on a suggestion in our open thread for suggesting topics, here’s an attempt to refocus the Bus vs. LRT debate we seem to have here constantly.

Taking MAX out of the equation (you can either assume we stop building more MAX or that we have enough money to both buses and MAX), how would we improve bus service?

  • How and where would we improve existing service?
  • Where would we put new service?

Remember, no beating up on MAX :-)


112 responses to “Toward a Better Bus System”

  1. Improve crosstown connectivity. Think Cornelius Pass Road, 20th/21st Ave, 148th or 162nd Ave.

    Move to a proof-of-payment system on certain routes at certain times to speed service. Maybe even on all the frequent service lines. Provide adequate fare inspectors and possibly raise fines to ensure compliance. Vancouver, BC recently did this on one of its B-line express routes, an overloaded behemoth of a service that runs articulated buses at 4-5 minute headways off-peak, 2-3 minutes at rush hour, mostly because of capacity constraints. But it significantly improves boarding times and relieves the crush at the front door.

    Incrementally upgrade key routes to improve speed and comfort. Queue jumper lanes, more priority signalling, curb extensions, shelters, lights, etc. Basically, what TriMet has been doing in a lot of places, just more of it.

    More information. Schedules and route maps at every stop, countdown timers at transfer points (WHERE ARE THEY?), system maps at transfer points.

  2. Improve crosstown connectivity. Think Cornelius Pass Road, 20th/21st Ave, 148th or 162nd Ave.

    Move to a proof-of-payment system on certain routes at certain times to speed service. Maybe even on all the frequent service lines. Provide adequate fare inspectors and possibly raise fines to ensure compliance. Vancouver, BC recently did this on one of its B-line express routes, an overloaded behemoth of a service that runs articulated buses at 4-5 minute headways off-peak, 2-3 minutes at rush hour, mostly because of capacity constraints. But it significantly improves boarding times and relieves the crush at the front door.

    Incrementally upgrade key routes to improve speed and comfort. Queue jumper lanes, more priority signalling, curb extensions, shelters, lights, etc. Basically, what TriMet has been doing in a lot of places, just more of it.

    More information. Schedules and route maps at every stop, countdown timers at transfer points (WHERE ARE THEY?), system maps at transfer points.

  3. I don’t know how cost-effective this would be, but maybe have some smaller buses on routes that wind through the suburbs crossing over frequent service routes several times. For example, in Oak Grove, a bus or smaller shuttle (for maneuverability on narrower, winding roads) that runs on Park Ave from River Road to Oatfield, then over to Courtney Rd and down to Laurie or Fair Oaks and over to Oak Grove Blvd, back to Oatfield, then to Concord and down to River Road again, etc. I’ve said before that lots of people who might otherwise take the bus don’t because they don’t want to walk a quarter mile, or in the ‘burbs, sometimes even further, and sometimes up steep grades. This can be a big enough deterrent that people will just drive (and not to the nearest park & ride lot). As long as the shuttle route winds across a frequent service route (33-McLoughlin in this example) frequently enough, the shuttle time from close to home to high-quality transit service will be quick enough to induce enough turnover so as not to fill all twelve seats (or however many seats those small shuttles have).

    In that particular area where I grew up, there are a lot of “neighborhood arterials” that aren’t served, many due to geographical constraints (narrow and winding): Aldercrest, Hill Rd, Rupert/Arista, River Forest Dr, Concord, Jennings, Naef, Thiessen, etc. Obviously it wouldn’t be cost-effective to run even the 34-River Rd sized buses down these roads (even if they’d fit), because ridership would be too low to justify it. But if the smaller shuttles were on fixed routes and ran hourly/semi-hourly (maybe even dial-a-bus?) and had you up to McLoughlin in under ten minutes… Just wondering aloud, I guess.

  4. Express connections between major transit centers. Here’s one example, which assumes HOT lanes on the freeways that buses can use to keep moving quickly:

    Oregon City TC to Gateway via I-205, with one stop at Clackamas TC. Then follow I-84 over the Marquam Bridge to a stop at the south end of the transit mall at PSU, then out 26 and 217 to stop at Beaverton Transit Center (use a dedicated exit ramp and bus approach). From there, south on 217 to Tigard TC, then I-5 south to Tualatin, then along I-205 to Oregon City.

    Four to six buses per hour depending on demand, traveling both ways on the loop. This would make Tri-Met a more viable option for long-distance travelers: those living in Clackamas County and working in Washington County, for example.

    A second possibility: Gresham TC to Gateway to Beaverton to Hillsboro TC.

  5. I remember a few months back that a TriMet bus driver told me about TriMet’s queue-jumping capabilities. I think he mentioned EVERY bus has the capability to change traffic lights to green lights as it approaches. I asked why I haven’t seen it used much and he said that certain cities within the TriMet boundaries don’t want them using it. That ought to change. There are places where it is allowed, but to not allow its use inside a city limits really defeats the purpose of it. TriMet ought to lobby the holdouts and Metro so this capability could greatly speed up ALL bus lines.

    (MAX also has this capability, but I notice that in Downtown, it isn’t being used. That really slows things down, especially between PGE Park and the Galleria/Library stations)

  6. Oh forgot to add:

    Transit trackers at every major bus stop or transfer point (this doesn’t mean the podunk sign-only stops, just stops with a high number of boardings), put schedules back on all stops. That was nice when they were doing that. Why did they stop? It only requires the use of a printer, sciscors, and scotch tape at the least.

    Get some articulated buses for the heavier-ridden freq. service routes, especially the #12.

    Better service on the westside: get north/south lines up to Frequent Service standards. East/West is covered well by MAX, but I see no N/S mid-Washington County line anytime soon.

  7. TriMet should think of purchasing dual mode buses for use on the transit mall. They can use the overhead wires while on the mall and when they leave the mall they can switch back to the diesel engine.

    They should start using articulated trolleybuses on the frequent service routes.

    Also, they need to look into buying hybrid buses, and buses powered by other fuels (natural gas for example) since they would be less noisy.

  8. Trolleybusses are a nightmare. I like the quiet and the low emissions, but it’s no fun to be sitting on a bus in the middle of an intersection for three minutes while the driver hops out to get the arms back up on the wires, and I’m sure it’s not fun to sit through a few light cycles in rush hour traffic waiting for the mess to clear. The busses have to slow to a crawl at wire junctions. Busses can’t pass each other. And the overhead wires are pretty ugly, especially on curves.

  9. Yeah, I lived in Seattle for a few years and I didn’t have any great love for the trolleybuses. As for the dual mode buses, maybe the technology has improved since 1992 (I hope it has) but back then, the two systems made the buses so heavy they were damaging the roads. The local papers reported that King County Metro was going to great lengths to find ways to reduce the weight of the buses. Plus, I remember some irritating delays when the arms didn’t extend to the wires properly at the tunnel entrance.

    Tri-Met should add articulated hybrid buses to the fleet. Maybe even some EmX-type vehicles on busy routes. Bring Streetcar-like service to high-use routes: long extended platforms every four to six blocks, with multiple doors for fast boarding, and spot-checks by fare inspectors to enforce payment.

    I’d also like to see double-decker buses on busy routes if they can be built low enough to clear MAX and Streetcar wires.

  10. This url http://thomaslockehobbs.com/2005/curitiba.html has some nice photos of the Curitiba bus system.
    Probably one of the best world wide and a model for the BRT idea. It is also mostly private and operates without any subsidies ( I’m sure someone will argue that point ).

    Trimet needs to look at bidding out some, or all of its services and just work at co-ordinating the routes.

    MW

  11. Crosstown buses are a good idea, but we they do not have much clout. Up here, King County Metro has good examples of East-West routes in North Seattle, at N45, N85, and N105th Streets, including Trolleybus Route 44. The South End of the city does not hav emuch crosstown without going Downtown service. 10 years ago, we there was one good route via Spokane Street, but we lost it 7 years ago thanks to I-695. It was the 50-West Seattle Junction-Columbia City, terminating at the Ranier Playfield. Although Metro now has a fleet of 30ft buses that could be deployed on it if they brought it back, this route being so short, would be accused of being empty all the time.

  12. Metro has worked on reducing the obtrusiveness of the overhead wires since they inherited the system. The new system uses more substations, eliminating one of the worst visual problems, feeder cables. Now if only they could cut back on the number of junctions where the only reason they turn is for deadhead moves to the base(maybe combine a few). If they just cross each other, the visual problems are not that bad. In curves, yes they do look very ugly. I once overheard an instructor telling a trainee the route, said that is called speed wire, probably to prevent to keep the wire stable.

    Over the past few years, instead of expanding the trolleybus network so the purchase of new buses would be justified, they recycled the old ones. Sure they saved money, but they are 10 years behind the newest trolleybuses in Boston(the new ones have those left-side doors that the ones they replaced there had), Philadelphia, and Vancouver, B.C are low floor. Metro’s ‘new’ trolleybuses are high floors, as for the 40ft buses they replaced them with GIllig Phantom-bodied buses, while the MAN Articulateds were replaced with converted BREDAs.

    As for Double Deckers, they are showing their worth in Las Vegas on CAT’s Duece, and they are being replaced after only 2 years. A new order will better accomodate the 32000 riders a day that ply the route on Las Vegas Boulevard(AKA The Strip), with an extra stairwell. The older buses be put on other routes that could use them(height-permitting). I rode those buses in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, and they were impressive. The problem is, if they are on the Deuce, there is no way they are going over 10MPH, they are just too popular. They do add extra buses to the schedule so a full bus can skip stops except for discharging passengers.

  13. Get some articulated buses for the heavier-ridden freq. service routes, especially the #12.

    …and for the #15, #14, #72, etc. Portland REALLY needs to get some articulated busses for these routes if they aren’t going to increase frequency enough to handle peak demands. Otherwise we’d have to put in place one of those things we arent’ talking about on this blog entry… :)

    As for the light queueing, it seems, with MAX, and with the busses, that sometimes it won’t give them priority period. At a certain phase of the light changing, they don’t get their “input” to be immediate and end up waiting for a full cycle anyway.

    In Tacoma the Streetcar there has undoubted control of priority, which I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to see in Portland for busses, and the other modes. Minutes, and on long routes, hours could be saved during the course of the day in route travel time, drivers on route, etc. If Tri-met got better more demand driven control over these features transit could really get more competitive with auto travel times, at least a little bit more competitive.

  14. Crosstown service is part of a much bigger problem, Blake – one that I don’t think buses will ever be able to serve:

    There is practically no easy way – for anyone – to get from SE to NE, except on 28th (which deadends at Broadway). 20th/21st does, except that its a very low-capacity 2 land residential street with low speed limits. Thus, walking/cycling/driving/bus/streetcar/max would all be piss-poor slow service. Only MLK and 82nd offer a speedy, direct connection for the hundreds of thousands of people who live in the older established residential neighborhoods of Portland.

    I don’t want to go into it here, but about the only way you could offer service would be grade separated (like a subway or elevated structure).

  15. I’m in the camp of those who prefer shorter buses, (and more of them), rather than longer articulated buses. Frequent service is better than infrequent high-capacity service. New Flyer makes a 35′ low-floor model which actually handles better (ride-wise) than the 45′ model. Tri-Met’s ‘short bus’ fleet probably should look at eventual replacement with 35′ New Flyers.

    Trolleybuses have several advantages when hill-climbs are routine, such as in Seattle. I have for so long advocated that Seattle’s trolleybus lines be rearranged to run more like single-route streetcar lines, (to minimize turns, spurs, multi-route junctions, bypasses), that I feel like a pariah. No Seattle media will publicize, no agency formally review “The Seattle Circulator Plan”.

    I think the timing of buses to run in trio’s (“17,19,20” on East Burnside, “9,17,19” to Brooklyn, etc) should have their timing staggered at 5 minute intervals.

    The #70 bus crosses e/w lines #8,9,10, 12,14,15,17,19,20,77), yet still runs at 15min intervals. The #70 could convert to a 10min trolleybus line between Lloyd District and Brooklyn after you-know-what is built to Milwaukie, and after Powell Blvd (Hwy 26) is ‘lowered’ into a trench below Milwaukie Ave. “Where’s the traffic?” Brooklyn will develop nicely with these two projects.

  16. Maybe TriMet could add bus lines based on where people want to go and where they are coming from. They should have all the data they need based on queries to their online trip planner.

  17. What is the top speed on those electric “trolley buses?” How much energy do they consume in comparison to a diesel engine?

    Other then the wires (which are a complete eyesore) they seem to have a lot of advantages.

  18. Trolleybuses not only take less ‘fuel’ energy than a standard diesel bus, the energy they dispense is not DIRECTLY in your face clouded with cancerous particulates and deafening, repetitive, repetitive, repetitive roar!

    Diesel buses have been obsolete from the very beginning, knowingly I’m sure, by diesel bus manufacturers (GM) who make more money selling cars and see all forms of mass transit and travel (other than driving) as a threat to their profits and accordingly manufacture buses that are as uncomfortable, rattly, and as polluting as they can most cheaply purvey to municipalities who likewise cater to motorists, their dealers, and parking garage cash cow czars! Lord help us, they’ve sent us off to fight another war for oil.

  19. Wow wells, who asked for the conspiracy theory rant? Especially ones that have been thoroughly debunked on many occasions. War for oil? When did that take place?

    I guess I will need to repeat my question. What is the top speed of a “trolley bus,” and how does their energy consumption compare with diesel buses?

  20. I recently saw SDOT put up a speed trap that at a tight curve on Ranier Ave with a radar gun and a display, and saw a 7 go through at around 20MPH(but it was slowing for a stop). Ranier Ave is a 30-35MPH street from Dearborn Street to Renton, where it becomes grade-seperated WA SR167.(The trolleybuses turn back at Ranier Beach). I do not know if they use regenerative braking, but it would work great on frequent routes like the 7.

    I for one am mixed on the idea of Double-Articulated buses on the streets of any Pacific Northwest City, mainly because it might help get the Trucking Industry to get restrictions on multiple trailer rigs lifted, as pushback. Also, the safety concerns of an 80-85ft long bus on our Interstates might be too much.

  21. Well Anthony, sorry about the rant, but maybe you shouldn’t encourage me to get started on wars for oil; too numerous and the Iraq War most blatant.

    All one needs is a little common sense to conclude that because trolleybuses weigh less, their energy consumption is also less than a standard diesel bus. Electric motors have a more ideal torque characteristic that is in several ways more efficient especially for frequent accellerating from stops. Diesel buses pollute most heavily while accellerating from stops. It’s a no-brainer that standard diesel buses pollute heavily, roar and rattle noisily, uncomfortably.

    Diesel hybrid/electric buses get better fuel economy and have reduced emissions than a standard diesel bus. Trolleybuses being lighter are logically even more fuel efficient and of course non-polluting where it counts, in the immediate pedestrian-breathing environment.

  22. I’ve suggested in the past that we could “test” future Streetcar routes by installing overhead wire and running 60′ articulated trolley buses with streetcar-like operation (built-out curb stops every 4-6 blocks, multiple doors for fast low-floor boarding, ticket machines on the platforms). If ridership ever gets high enough to justify it, put down tracks and run 120 foot streetcars on the route. In the short-term. If ridership doesn’t grow enough to support a streetcar, we still have fast, comfortable, frequent, quiet bus service on major corridors.

  23. Trolley buses can go as fast as diesel buses but like most city buses, they rarely operate near their top speed because of traffic and all the stops. Trolley buses also put power back into the electrical system when they brake (regenerative braking). Trolleys are well suited to places with abundant hydro power supply which would make Portland ideal.

    Also new trolley buses dont have the issue of de-wiring in the middle of the street. They have small batteries onboard to pull to the side and for detours and also have new technology so the operators dont have to get out and put the poles back on the wires like on old trolley buses.

    I would love to see trolley buses in Portland on the main transit oriented neighborhood routes (Hawthorne, Belmont, Sandy, 23rd etc). I think they actually make a lot more sense than streetcars on these streets.

    Rail is great and I definately think Portland should continue with rail expansion but I would like to see TriMet do more with buses particularly express buses as fast alternatives for on busy local routes, commuter buses for suburbs, electric trolley buses on trunk lines, bus rapid transit in certain corridors, articulated buses on trunk lines, etc. There are certain routes where rail clearly make sense and there are certain routes where buses clearly make sense.

  24. Well I have the following suggestions for a “better” bus system:

    *More limited service– buses that don’t make any stops for 1/2 or more of their route.

    *EXPRESS service– suburb to suburb and to downtown, regardless if a MAX line runs on the same route.

    *Articulated Buses– Trimet and unions hate them because they take less drivers to move more people, but for some of the routes I have ridden on, they would be a welcome addition.

  25. On the Dual-Mode Trolleybuses, I sometimes wonder if it would be a good idea to try again, but just not use AnsaldoBreda as a manufacturer. The unreliability of their buses that Metro used, led to the order being cut short. Although I doubt the info in this Wikipedia article, they say the original plan was for 600 of them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Transit_%28King_County%29#Bus_Tunnel

    Now with many of the tunnel routes being Peak Hour, Peak-flow routes, 600 of those buses would have probably meant more such routes. A waste in my opinion, as that leads to another question? Where were they going to be parked outside of Peak Hours? Metro has 7 bases already.

    [link]http://www.tbus.org.uk/vuchic.htm[/link]

    Also, Skoda designs were used for new trolleybuses in Dayton, Ohio and San Francisco. The newer designs Skoda has had since then are low-floor. Might have been an interesting package offer that Skoda could make to prospective buyers in North America for streetcars and trolleybuses. Oh, well.

    http://www.tbus.org.uk/news2005.htm

    http://www.skoda.cz/skoda-electric/products/trolleybusses

    http://www.skoda.cz/en/skoda-holding/products/c31699

  26. Limited service is crucial, and would go a long way to improving both speed and capacity by splitting out short-hopper trips and longer commutes.

    Articulated buses on key routes makes a lot of sense, as does proof-of-payment boarding on the articulated equipment.

    Trimet must give up the fallacy that life begins and ends on 5th and 6th avenue. Crosstown connectivity is notably bad considering the layout of the east side.

  27. Aaron– that is much of the problem with the bus/transit system here in Portland– it is too downtown centric!

    It seems that the planning folks in Portland and for Trimet assume that downtown is the only destination– either that or its a conspiracy to get more people downtown.

    I would propose a transit system that local routes are funded and ran by separate counties or cities– of course you could keep the uniform “look” of trimet, but the routes would be much better planned [look at the transit system in the Phoenix area for an example, each city runs or contracts out its local routes].

  28. I second the crosstown suggestions.

    For example a good line would be from St. Vincents area at Barnes Rd / US 26 / OR 217 interchange down to Kruse Way / Lake Oswego area. Along 217 make it “express” stopping only at major stops, and then run it along Meadows drive instead of Kruse – since most of the offices are along Meadows just south of Kruse.

    But some major lines connecting the outer burbs are needed. Hillsboro -> Beaverton -> Tigard -> Tualatin -> West Linn -> Oregon City -> Clackamas -> Gresham -> Troutdale type of loop. Again, possibly “express” type service for the cross town stuff.

    Also, I agree with the small shuttle type “feeder” routes that drive through the suburban areas to get people to the bus routes. Because the neighborhoods are not conducive to bus service.

    But again, more crosstown service. Maybe some north south routes that go all the way north south… Like something on McLaughlin, MLK/Grand, MLK – that could connect Oregon City to Delta Park. As it is now they all turn at Hawthorne and go downtown. We need some routes that don’t go downtown in the central eastside. And go farther than Lloyd Center. :)

  29. Got me thinking, and I remembered something Pierce Transit in Tacoma is trying out to areas of Pierce County that don’t work out with regular fixed route service. They call it Bus Plus, and it is a hybrid of regular and demand response services. With routes in Mid Pierce County, Orting, the Key Loop(the sometimes forgotten part of the county, west of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge), and NE Tacoma.

    http://www.piercetransit.org/schedules/midco/midcounty.htm

    http://www.piercetransit.org/schedules/61/61.htm

    Bus Plus uses small buses, but in the case of Orting, they could use bigger ones on a certain day that I hope never comes. That is when the volcano in Orting’s back yard erupts.(I hope it never happens myself).

    One thing about the American Transit Bus design, would riders accept the tradeoff of more doors to speed boarding and deboarding that would cost seats on the bus?

  30. My few cents, Well I think trolley buses from a enviromental point of view is great, if dual-mode buses can be lighter, maybe just trolleybus use on key routes on the central eastside close in and on the mall (15, 12/19/20 to 12th or 19&20 to 28th, 14/4, 6 etc.) and select routes on the NE (4/44, 6, 8, 9, 10, 75 etc.).

    But one of my main complaints about portland’s tranist system is late night service, 1:30 is unacceptable as the last bus of the night, I feel it is hurting our nightlife industry here in portland (on top of olcc crazy idiotic and demented regulations) so that few young people can hang out till last call, since tri-met has gotten so close why not just on bus at 2 or 2:30? there are some buses leaving downtown as early as 3 from my understanding, at least have the max run 24 hours (i know there are maintence issues involved in that one). it pisses me off that i have to stress about getting on time to the bus stop every single night i go out and don’t have a) a place to crash downtown or b) a ride home. I have been telling people that portland can act so cosmopolitian sometimes but have the most old-school small town rules

  31. “at least have the max run 24 hours (i know there are maintence issues involved in that one)”

    There isn’t really. Maintenance starts at 10:30pm or so, and they hold and single track trains around the section they are working on. I often times catch the midnight train from Beaverton to Downtown, and it is fairly common for the trip to take a few extra minutes because we took the other track through the tunnel. (Not a big deal, the timed transfer at that hour has a few minutes of lack anyways.)

    The big problem I see with 24 hours service (both bus and max) that there isn’t a lot of demand. Look at the freeways at 2am, there isn’t much traffic on them. Look at the what is open at 2:31am: Not very much, a few convenience stores, but that is about it… Yes, the midnight MAX last night was standing room only, but a large part of that is because it is the last train, the 11:30 train is mostly empty, and if there was a 12:30 train, it would be full, but the midnight one would be mostly empty too…

    But I think they should do it anyways. My big argument for it is to get drunks off the roads, and giving them alternatives (that are cheaper than a taxi) to driving home drunk has huge benefit that far outweigh the costs of running some more equipment around even if it is mostly empty. The other thing is that it wouldn’t be that expensive anyways. When the system shuts down at night and starts back up in the morning, it results in a lot of deadhead operating hours as everything goes to/from the depot. And while those deadhead hours are less than just continuing to run, they aren’t that much less…

  32. It wouldn’t take much to get to 24 hour service on Tri-Met. Keep the frequent service lines and MAX running on an hourly basis all night long. That’s a fairly small increase over the 20-hour operating day of the Blue and Yellow Lines and some of Tri-Met’s busier bus routes.

  33. The only thing I know about the “night owl” service was a line on a Wikipedia article that it ended in 1986.
    The only system that I’ve reviewed the late-night/early morning service on is King Co. Metro, and it looks like the idea is to get people close to where they need to go at that hour – if it completely works for you, great. One of their routes, 280, runs as a loop from Downtown Seattle to Bellevue, down to Renton and back up to Downtown Seattle. (At least this is what I’ve looked at on their website, someone from Seattle would probably chime in with more info.) It would be like having a bus that ran from Downtown Portland to Gateway, then down to Clackamas, Oregon City, then up to Milwaukie and back into downtown.

  34. speaking of building a better bus system, you may want to look at this story that appeared on the trimet operators blog:

    COMPANY OF THIEVES!

    He’s the nicest guy. He rides my bus daily, always smiling, always
    happy, and always friendly. Originally from the Yucatan, you can just
    see the Inca in him. He works at a Chinese restaurant washing dishes,
    for minimum wage and a box of food he takes home with him each night.

    Today he told me that on Saturday he fed the max ticket machine $65
    for a monthly pass, and got back nothing!
    NO TICKET, NO MONEY BACK! NOTHING!

    Now he is not only out the $65, but he is faced with having to buy a
    bus ticket every day! It’s a huge blow to him. But he is still
    smiling! He doesn’t even understand how to attempt to get his money
    back!

    Why do I feel so badly? Why do I feel partly responsible? Does it
    have to do with the realization that I am making such a good hourly
    wage while he struggles to survive? Does it have to do with the fact
    I work for a company that touts customer service while all the while
    customer service is the farthest thing from the company’s reality?
    Does it have to do with the fact that MY COMPANY, the company whose
    insignia I wear on my hat and shirt, has just stolen the money from a
    poor man while I sit pretty in my driver’s seat?

    What should I do? Why do I feel like GOD is watching me right now?
    Hell its not may fault!

    I take out my wallet and give him some of my money, what else can I
    do? The “company” isn’t going to help this man, therefore I must!

    This is the second time in six months that this has happened to one
    of my working poor passengers. The last person this happened to was a
    very fine young lady who cleans up crap from the developmentally
    disabled! It took her more than a month to get her money back from
    TRIMET, and several phone calls! This poor Mexican man won’t be able
    to handle the TRIMET bureaucracy!

    THESE TICKET MACHINES ARE A DISGRACE! The fact that TRIMET won’t do
    anything about it shows the true face of TRIMET, and it aint pretty!

    ……………………………

    Just out of curiosity, has the driver tried to approach the company on the
    passenger’s
    behalf? I agree, in terms of customer service Trimet may fall short at times
    and probably
    more often for the ones that can afford it the least. Maybe this story would
    help push
    them to take the TVM problem more seriously. I’ve heard too many stories about
    people
    getting ripped off by those machines.
    morgan3731

  35. Did you know that the last train to downtown from Hillsboro on sunday is at 10:30pm! That’s right, can you believe it!

    That’s the kind of service you expect in cities like FRESNO, or MEDFORD…TRIMET is a joke!
    They should at least have the courtesy to change the name from TRIMET to PORTLAND TRANSIT.

  36. “That’s the kind of service you expect in cities like FRESNO”

    No, no, Fresno’s service shuts down at 7pm on Sunday. It doesn’t even run until 10:30 on weeknights.

    Fresno does have a pretty good bus system given it’s size though. A lot of what it has going for it is that the city is flat, and is laid out on a nice grid. When you look at the area of TriMet’s service that are flat and laid out on a grid, they tend to be really good too… Things iike the west hills just make transportation systems, (buses, or even freeways for that matter,) hard.

    or MEDFORD

    Medford doesn’t have any weekend service at all, the last bus runs at 6:30 on weeknights. Hope you never have to stay late at work.

  37. The Ten-Step Plan to Improve TriMet:

    1. Remove TriMet from ORS 267, and create a special district that has a seven-member Board of Directors that is directly elected by citizens within the district, in that:

    Three members are within Multnomah County,
    Two members are within Washington County,
    Two members are within Clackamas County.

    2. Require that all TriMet Board Meetings have ample opportunity for public comment, are held during hours by which most citizens have an opportunity to attend and participate, and ensure that all meetings are held throughout the region in areas that are easily accessible by public transit.

    3. TriMet shall employ a mixed fleet of neighborhood busses (20-30 feet), mainline busses (35-45 feet), and high-capacity (60 foot articulated) busses, to best match demand with capacity.

    4. TriMet shall strive that every resident has at least a frequent service route within one mile that will take the resident to the nearest city center or major transit destination (i.e. shopping center). In outlying areas (i.e. Forest Grove/Cornelius, Sherwood), local service should be added that is at least every 30 minutes, and connects to frequent service routes.

    5. TriMet shall implement its plan to add 100 shelters a year; and that bus stops that are transfer points or other major stops shall have amenities that are comparable to a MAX station – oversized shelters (not “bus stop” shelters), benches, off-board ticket vending machines, pay phones, lighting, “Transit Tracker” signs, crosswalk signals or warnings, sidewalks, etc.

    6. TriMet shall embrace a plan to ensure that each bus is retired after 12-15 years of use, and that if any bus is retained after 15 years that it is held strictly for contingency use (i.e. mechanical breakdown rescue, extra service, special event service); those busses may never be assigned to a regular route (including a rush hour express run) except due to emergency.

    7. TriMet shall make sure that every bus has a 90% on-time schedule reliability, and a 98% pull-out reliability. Any bus line that does not meet these thresholds must receive immediate attention by the General Manager and Board of Directors so that improvement is reached within one month after the end of the quarter; the Manager shall be held personally responsible for failing to operate the transit district in the best interest of the residents and users of the system.

    8. No bus shall “interline” unless its schedule adherence is improved by such operation. Any bus that is interlined, and has poorer schedule reliability (even if it is above the thresholds in #7) shall cease to interline.

    9. TriMet shall implement a plan to purchase hybrid-electric busses, as they are proven technology to reduce pollutants and fuel consumption.

    10. TriMet shall have a policy that prohibits the use of bus capital funds to fund MAX, Streetcar or other non-bus projects, unless such diversion of funds will not result in a degradation of service. Shall a diversion of funds exist, and a degradation of service occur, the General Manager and Board of Directors shall be held personally responsible, and that the transit agency will within one year make whatever expenditures necessary (including retracting funds or delaying alternative projects) in order to restore the service damages.

    Furthermore, TriMet shall adopt a policy that matches capital spending from the general fund based upon ridership trends (where the revenue is derived), so that improving ridership shall result in improved transit for those riders. TriMet shall not continue a policy of using transit dollars earned in outlying areas to subsidize inner-city improvements, or vice-versa.

  38. That’s a pretty good list. I wouldn’t handcuff Tri-Met’s use of capital funds in the manner suggested in #10, and I wouldn’t require that buses be retired after 15 years (#6) if they’re still comfortable and functioning well. I also wonder about the practicality of holding members of the Board “personally responsible” for various things. But otherwise, I like most of Erik’s suggestions.

    I absolutely agree that Tri-Met should have an elected board that is directly responsible to the communities that it serves. I read once that Metro has the power to take over Tri-Met. Exercising that power would be a fast way to create direct accountability to voters for Tri-Met’s performance.

  39. “No bus shall “interline” unless its schedule adherence is improved by such operation. Any bus that is interlined, and has poorer schedule reliability…. shall cease to interline.”

    >>>> Like the #12–Sherwood to Parkrose or King City to Gresham. Insane. Rush hour service gets completely screwed up.

  40. The problem with TRIMET these days is that they are fixated on hiring high level Bureaucrats and not improving service capability. JUST LOOK AT THIS LIST OF TRIMET JOB OPENINGS:

    * Administrative specialist – open until filled; non-union, full-time; limited term until Sept. 2009; internal/external opening

    * Assistant manager, transportation – open until fill; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening

    * Communications coordinator – open until filled; non-union, full-time; limited term until Sept. 2009; internal/external opening

    * Communications specialist – closes Friday, Sept. 14; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening

    * Director ATP – open until filled; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening

    * Engineer III-LRT Planning – closes Friday, Sept. 28; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening

    * Manager, emergency management – open until filled; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening

    * Manager, service planning – open until filled; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening

    * Manager, training and procedures – open until filled; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening

    * Manager, transportation – open until filled; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening

    * Planner II – closes Friday, Sept. 28; non-union, full time; internal/external opening

    * Program scheduling engineer/engineer II – open until filled; non-union, full-time; limited term Sept. 2009; internal/external opening

    * Rail MOW training/engineering supervisor – open until filled; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening

    * Safety specialist – closes Friday, Sept. 14; non-union, limited-term; internal/external opening

    * Systems manager, field operations – open until filled; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening

  41. Instead of just putting lipstick on a pig (govt. run bus system), maybe we need a clean slate, less regulation and something like this (a decent sounding plan imho):

    “..In most cities, most transit riders are transit dependent — for one reason or another, they can’t drive. If government subsidized transit didn’t exist, private operators would take up the slack and serve these people. The fares might be a little higher (though not necessarily), and they might not serve some low-density suburbs (where you see buses that are empty most of the time), but the service would be there. Plus, anyone who was a “choice” rider — that is, they can drive but would prefer not to — could use these services too.

    If subsidized transit disappeared tomorrow and I were designing a private transit system for a middle-sized city or urban area, I would follow the taxicab model. Under this model, the “company” is really just a dispatching call center, while the cabs are all individually owned. This can easily be scaled up to a transit service by persuading drivers to buy buses instead of cars.

    A full-sized bus costs about $300,000, which is a lot more than a car. But most routes would not need full-sized buses. Most transit agencies buy buses that are bigger than they need because most of the cost is covered by “free” federal money. If they had to spend their own money, they would buy a lot more van-style buses of the sort you see transporting people from airports to specific hotels.

    So, at least to start, many of the routes on my private transit system would be served by such van-style buses. Some might be smaller, eventually some might be larger. But owner-operators could easily afford such vans, which cost around $60,000 to $80,000 new and considerably less used.

    The U.S. has one example of an entirely private, unsubsidized transit system that uses this kind of van-bus: the Atlantic City Jitney Association. Each of the 190 buses in the association is owner-operated and follows a fixed route designated by the association. Fares are reasonable and, unlike most subsidized transit systems, the buses run 24 hours a day.

    Curiously, the association is threatened by Harrah’s recent start-up of a free shuttle service between its casinos, and so the association is seeking relief in the form of a law giving it a legal monopoly on Atlantic City transit service. I like to think that competition is a good thing, but economists Daniel Klein and Adrian Moore have proposed that cities sell “curb rights” to private bus operators to prevent cut-throat competition. (Our loyal opponent, MSetty, doesn’t like the idea to judge from his comments on Amazon.)

    My private transit system would start out with a combination of fixed and flexible routes. A flexible-route bus moves in one general direction — say, to downtown or some other major job center — but will go out of its way to stop at people’s homes or other locations to pick people up. The fare for a flexible-route bus would be more than one that follows a fixed route and only picks up passengers at designated stops.

    Back in the mid-1970s, San Jose tried to use a flexible route system, or “dial-a-ride.” They bought a bunch of small vans and opened up a call center. From opening day on, they were swamped with calls — 80,000 people a day wanted rides. The call center could not handle most of the calls and so most potential riders were disappointed. In addition, the local taxi company had a franchise on door-to-door service in town, and they convinced a judge to order the transit agency to pay millions buying their franchise if the agency persisted in running a dial-a-bus service.

    So San Jose gave up on a dial-a-bus in part because, ironically, the demand for it was too great. Today, the Federal Transit Administration has computer software that can handle the requests and dispatching, so there is no risk that a call center will be overwhelmed. But, because of the taxicab lobby, transit agencies restrict their dial-a-ride services to disabled passengers. Because of low ridership, this makes it very costly to operate, but if it were opened to more people, those costs would go down.

    The advantage of the taxicab model is that no one has to pay a lot of money up front to start it up. It would not be a single company; it would be an association of operators. The dispatching center might consist of a computer and software. Owner-operators might each buy one van or bus. Those who run on the more successful routes might buy bigger buses — but, more likely, the association would just run more buses on those routes. I would overcome the taxi franchise conflict by getting the local taxi operators to buy into the association.

    Most transit agencies have large maintenance centers that have to keep inventories of parts for every single brand and model of vehicle they operate. Agencies that run light rail and commuter rail need separate maintenance centers for each one. The Atlantic City Jitney Association uses just one type of van-bus, which keeps maintenance costs down. My private transit system would, at least initially, contract out maintenance to a private repair shop, thus further spreading the costs and minimizing the risk.

    There is some minimum size of city below which this model will not work — for example, any town too small to have a taxi company would certainly be too small for a bus association. But once that minimum size is reached, this model can scale up to any size of urban area: from Logan, Utah to New York City.

    It is entirely possible that in many cities the bus-association model would actually provide better service, at little or no more fare, than the subsidized transit systems we have today. The only reason we don’t see it is that it is hard to compete against government monopolies.”

    http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=194

  42. The first train from the East Bay into San Francisco on the BART system doesnt arrive until almost 8:30am on Sunday mornings. Yet on Sunday mornings the first train on TriMet into Portland Airport arrives at 4:44am.

  43. Oh great youre proposing replacing a well run transit system with a third world solution of duct-taped together mini-vans run by unskilled drivers. big deal if mass transit is subsidized, inexpensive urban travel is a needed and critical service in just about every regional area in the country. hell we could privatize the fire department too while were at it, didnt pay a company for fire protection?… well then, burn baby burn.

    have people ever ridden other transit systems in the country? trimet is by far the best run transit system.

  44. >>If government subsidized transit didn’t exist, private operators would take up the slack and serve these people.>So, at least to start, many of the routes on my private transit system would be served by such van-style buses. Some might be smaller, eventually some might be larger. But owner-operators could easily afford such vans, which cost around $60,000 to $80,000 new and considerably less used

  45. “No bus shall “interline” unless its schedule adherence is improved by such operation. Any bus that is interlined, and has poorer schedule reliability…. shall cease to interline.”

    >>>> Like the #12–Sherwood to Parkrose or King City to Gresham. Insane. Rush hour service gets completely screwed up.

    As a rider, I’ve never had a problem with that – the routes have the same number (OK, Sandy Blvd. is technically “112”), and it’s fairly easy to figure out what routes to not take if a traffic report says ‘…big tie-up at Barbur and Terwilliger…’ What I don’t like is when that 12 becomes something else like a 4, 9 or a 20 out at Gresham TC.

    I can think of a handful of times when formerly interlined routes de-interlined, both involved 5-Interstate. 5-Hawthorne became 14-Hawthorne (before I started riding regularly, as I lived just outside the area in Newberg), and 5-Capitol Hwy. became 44-Capitol Hwy. shortly after TriMet discontinued 44-King City.

  46. >>he first train from the East Bay into San Francisco on the BART system doesnt arrive until almost 8:30am on Sunday mornings. Yet on Sunday mornings the first train on TriMet into Portland Airport arrives at 4:44am.

  47. I’m a bus driver for trimet and can tell you that most of us HATE (with a passion) the interlining that the company is doing! I personally avoid signing any route that interlines with other routes….IT RUINS THE WHOLE JOB from my point of view!

  48. If government subsidized transit didn’t exist, private operators would take up the slack and serve these people.

    History tells us this isn’t true. There are many public benefits of a robust transit system. Private transit systems slowly collapse because purely fare-based systems can’t capture those benefits.

    they would buy a lot more van-style buses of the sort you see transporting people from airports to specific hotels.

    This is not a public transit model. It is a shared express service that the hotels provide as a service to their customers. The hotel’s costs are covered in the room charge whether people use it or not. The primary cost of these services is not the vehicle, but the driver. That is also why transit services use larger capacity vehicles. The savings in driver costs during heavy use periods more than makes up for the higher cost of the vehicle.

    The U.S. has one example of an entirely private, unsubsidized transit system that uses this kind of van-bus: the Atlantic City Jitney Association. Each of the 190 buses in the association is owner-operated and follows a fixed route designated by the association. Fares are reasonable and, unlike most subsidized transit systems, the buses run 24 hours a day.

    The A href=”http://www.jitneys.net/573.html”>Atlantic City Jitney’s exist to serve the casinos. You can find all sorts of transportation devices used in tourist destinations. Disney has them at its amusement parks too. The Atlantic City Jitneys are trying to get the state legislature to intervene in their fighting with casinos who are offering free service while making deals with others. Frankly, the idea of private transit seems to be mostly a libertarian fantasy that quickly devolves into this kind of government or quasi-government regulated monopoly. One that is far more expensive and less efficient than the current public transit system and with less service.

    JUST LOOK AT THIS LIST OF TRIMET JOB OPENINGS:

    You left one out that is at the top of the list on the the Trimet web site:

    “Featured job:
    Bus Operator (part-time, multiple openings) #07-016”

    My concern is that rather than focusing on improvements to bus service, there seems to be a long list of complaints about Trimet. There clearly is a need for improved service, but that costs money.

    For most people having a bus within a mile is the same as not having service at all. They aren’t going to walk that far to use it anyway. And in most suburban areas, there aren’t continuous pedestrian facilities that would allow them to.

    Trimet ought to be providing better service into Rivergate, Marine Drive and Columbia Boulevard. But they all share the suburban problem of lack of pedestrian facilities.

    It seems to me, the starting point for improved transit is creating walkable commercial and industrial employment centers. That means people who take the bus to work have somewhere to go for lunch and to run errands. It also means you don’t have to have transit at the door of every business in order for it to be useful. You start with employment centers because people can drive to a park and ride to get on transit, but getting dropped off at a park and ride doesn’t work very well.

  49. As you can see from this list of fares from other places, we pay TOP DOLLAR for our transit system, AND we pay the local TRIMET tax on top of our fares!

    Boston:
    Subway-$2.00
    Bus-$1.50
    Pass-$59

    Seattle:
    Peak service all zone-$2.00
    Off peak-$1.25

    San Francisco
    $1.50 everywhere in the city

    LA transit
    $1.25 each boarding
    all day $5.00

  50. Trimet fare is about average when you also look at other major systems like Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, DC. And by the way most regions pay a local transit tax on top of fares, its not just Portland.

    The fares all have to do with the amount of taxes paid the transit costs, some cities have lower fares and make up the rest of the cost through other means namely local taxes and advertising. I know Boston and San Francisco have low farebox recovery.

  51. I ‘heard’ a comment that quoted BRAINSTORM claiming that MUNI, which has double the amount of operators, has 1/2 as many administrative personnel.

    Does anybody know if that is true?

  52. Uhmm, they have something like 500 openings for bus drivers, if you look in the schedule slots on the buses or trains, their is a flier that say come work for TriMet, and only mentions the driver openings.

    And then they have 15 other opening, (none of which mention multiple positions.) So to say that they are “they are fixated on hiring high level Bureaucrats” is kind of a straw man argument. There are 15 high level bureaucrats at my company, but there are far less than 500 employees, nor would there be if we only used a bunch of part time employees, (that we wanted to work split shifts at rush hour.)

    And some of these jobs sound pretty important:
    “* Manager, emergency management – open until filled; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening”

    By the title, I’m guessing this is the person that figures out what to do when a bus breaks or more importantly, when 3 buses break down when there are only 2 spares on that side of town.

  53. >> Uhmm, they have something like 500 openings for bus drivers,> And then they have 15 other opening, (none of which mention multiple positions.) So to say that they are “they are fixated on hiring high level Bureaucrats” is kind of a straw man argument.> And some of these jobs sound pretty important:
    “* Manager, emergency management – open until filled; non-union, full-time; internal/external opening”

  54. One more thing:

    I actually did a lot of complaining about this lack of service on Sundays, and they actually had the nerve to suggest to me, that to get over to goose hollow on Sunday from Jenkins and Merlo road that I should take the westbound max to Hillsboro, and then catch the 57 bus to Beaverton Transit Center, and then take the 58 bus to goose hollow!

    A Two hour commute, in the middle of the night, for a drive that takes less than 20 minutes!

    Transit dependent folk might have to put up with that nonsense but the rest of us surely will not!

  55. The idea of “demand-responsive” transit service is not only intriguing, but it was actually successful the one time that TriMet implemented it (the Cedar Hills Shuttle) – but unfortunately after service cutbacks has become one of TriMet’s lead weights.

    Seattle’s King County Metro has a number of “demand-responsive” vans (really they are cutaway busses; the identical vehicle that LIFT uses) to serve certain neighborhoods and link them with transit centers. Imagine, a “demand-responsive” route covering Cornelius, so that anyone who lives a mile off the 57 route doesn’t have to walk, catch a ride or call a taxi. Or a route that serves western Forest Grove. Or southern Sherwood. Or West Linn’s Willamette District. The list just goes on and on.

    These are all areas that are within TriMet’s service district, and TriMet has a LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY to serve them. But would anyone here, in their right mind, believes that TriMet truly provides “service”? Is walking two and a half miles to the nearest bus stop “service” (TriMet can legally include any area within 2.5 miles from a bus route as part of its service territory; see ORS 267.207(3)(b)(C).)

    Heck, who here has seen a full LIFT bus? Why not use those busses to provide local service, in addition to the ADA service?

    But I wouldn’t support eliminating TriMet and replacing it with jitney service – who here believes that Portland’s “regulation” of taxicabs, tow trucks and garbage haulers is truly effective? Nor would I put Metro to the task, given that today’s Portland Tribune had an expose that showed direct links between Metro’s “policies” and those who benefit from them.

  56. trimet does have demand response with the cedar hills shuttle, which serves sunset transit center for people that dont live on the bus line.

    The service in the west service area is horrible.

    I live in nw portland and have buses going everywhich way within 7 blocks from my residence.
    17/17/20/77/streetcar/max

    trimet serves portland….thats the facts!

  57. trimet does have demand response with the cedar hills shuttle, which serves sunset transit center for people that dont live on the bus line.

    The service in the west service area is horrible.

    I live in nw portland and have buses going everywhich way within 7 blocks from my residence.
    15/18/51/17/20/77/streetcar/max

    trimet serves portland….thats the facts!

  58. Okay, here’s a very specific suggestion for Tri-Met. Run #18 Hillside all day long, once per hour, instead of just at rush hour. That requires only one bus. But shift the route to turn right off Macleay at Hermosa Blvd and go up Monte Vista Terrace to Pittock Mansion. Pittock Mansion is a minor local attraction that is not accessible by Tri-Met, despite its crow-flight proximity to downtown. Change on bus route and expand its service hours, and Pittock Mansion gets Tri-Met service.

    This is a personal beef with me; I’m a member of the Pittock Mansion Society, but Pittock Mansion is one of the only places in Portland I ever want to go that I can’t easily reach by bicycle or transit.

  59. trimet serves portland….thats the facts!

    Per TriMet Code 3.10:

    http://www.trimet.org/pdfs/code/TriMet_Code_Chapter_3.pdf

    BEGINNING at the northeast corner of Section 5, T1S, R4E, WM, Multnomah County, Oregon, said point also being the intersection of the centerlines of E. Crown Point Highway and SE Northway Road; thence South, along the east line of said Section 5, and the east line of Sections 8 and 17, T1S, R4E, WM, to its intersection with the centerline of Oxbow Drive (County Road No. 644); thence Southeasterly and Easterly, along the centerline of SE Oxbow Drive, to its intersection with the centerline of Hosner Road (Co. Rd. No. 1141); thence South, along the centerline of Hosner Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Lusted Road (Co. Rd. No. 536), at the southeast corner of Section 16, T1S, R4E, WM; thence Easterly and Southeasterly, along the centerline of Lusted Road, to the boundary between Multnomah and Clackamas Counties and a point in the south line of Section 23, T1S, R4E, WM; thence continuing Southeasterly (within Clackamas County), along the centerline of Lusted Road (Co. Rd. No. 367), to its intersection with the centerline of the Sandy River; thence Southerly, along the centerline of the Sandy River, to its intersection with the east line of Section 12, T2S, R4E, WM; thence South, along the east line of Sections 12 and 13, T2S, R4E, WM, to a point 123 feet, more or less, south of the south line of the northeast one-quarter of the northeast one-quarter of said Section 13, also being on the northeasterly line of the property described in Fee No. 95-052785 of Clackamas County Deed Records (CCDR); thence along said northeasterly line North 41° 20’ West 170 feet, more or less, to said south line; thence West along said south line 640 feet, more or less, to the east line of the property described in Book 694 on Page 634, CCDR; thence north along said east line 130 feet to the northeast corner of said property; thence west along the north line of said property 285 feet to the east line of the plat of “Clara F. Meinig’s Sandy View Crest”; thence North to the southeast corner of said plat; thence North, Northeasterly, North-westerly and Southwesterly along the boundary of said plat to its intersection with the northerly line of the plat of “Clara F. and Otto H. Meinig Addition to the City of Sandy”; thence Westerly along said northerly line to the northwest corner of said plat; thence South along the west line of said plat 50 feet to the north line of the property described in Fee No. 80-14845, CCDR; thence West along said north line and its westerly extension 162 feet, more or less, to the northwest corner of the property described in Fee No. 92-81234, CCDR; thence South parallel with the last said east line 590 feet, more or less, to the south line of the north one-half of the northwest one-quarter of said Section 13; thence West along said south line to the northerly terminus of Beers Avenue and the southeast corner of the property described in Book 422 on Page 742, CCDR; thence tracing the lines of said property the following courses: North 36° 04’ 10” West 250 feet, West 300 feet, and South 100 feet to the north line of the property described in Book 226 on Page 47, CCDR; thence West along said north line 200 feet to the west line of said Section 13; thence North along said west line 200 feet to the south line of the plat of “Marcy Acres No. 2”; thence East, North, and West along the boundary of said plat to its northerly intersection with said west line of Section 13; thence North along the west line of said Sections 13 and 12 to a point 100 feet south of the northwest corner of said Section 12; thence East, parallel with the north line of Section 12, 660 feet to the southerly extension of the east line of Tract 16 of the plat of “Hood View Acres”; thence North along said extended east line 430 feet, more or less, to the northeast corner of Tract 16; thence West along the north line of said tract 1,006.5 feet to the east right-of-way line of Baumbach Road; thence North along said right-of-way line to the easterly extension of the north line of Tract 6 of said plat; thence West along said extended north line and the north line of Tract 2 of said plat to the west line of said plat; thence South along said west line 781 feet, more or less, to a point 540 feet north of the south line of Section 2, T2S, R4E, WM; thence West parallel with said south line 240 feet; thence South parallel with the last said west line 540 feet to said south line of Section 2, also being the north line of Section 11, T2S, R4E, WM, and the centerline of Kelso Road; thence West along the centerline of Kelso Road 420 feet, more or less, to a point 660 feet east of the west line of the northeast one-quarter of said Section 11; thence South parallel with said west line 1,320 feet to the south line of the northwest one-quarter of said northeast one-quarter of Section 11; thence West along said south line 660 feet to said west line of the northeast one-quarter of Section 11; thence South along said west line 1,320 feet, more or less, to the north line of the southwest one-quarter of said Section 11; thence West along said north line 1,310 feet, more or less, to the east line of the northwest one-quarter of the southwest one-quarter of said Section 11; thence South along said east line 329.66 feet to the south line of the property described in Fee No. 95-25570, CCDR; thence West along said south line 1,291.7 feet, more or less, to the west line of said property; thence North along said west line 329.66 feet to the north line of said southwest one-quarter of Section 11; thence West 30 feet to the west quarter-section corner of said Section 11; thence South, along the west line of said Section 11, 662 feet, more or less, to the north line of the south one-half of the northeast one-quarter of the southeast one-quarter of Section 10, T2S, R4E, WM; thence West along said north line 1,295 feet, more or less, to the west line of the east one-half of the southeast one-quarter of said Section 10; thence South along said west line to the southwesterly right-of-way line of U.S. Highway No. 26; thence Northwesterly along said right-of-way line to the centerline of Jarl Road; thence Westerly along the centerline of Jarl Road to the west line of said Section 10; thence South along said west line to the centerline of Tickle Creek; thence Southeasterly along the centerline of Tickle Creek to the south line of said Section 10 being also the north line of Section 15, T2S, R4E, WM; thence East along said north line 280 feet, more or less, to the west line of the plat of “Pioneer Corporate Park”; thence South along said west line to the south line of said plat; thence East along said south line 429 feet to the west line of that property described in Fee No. 97-049141, CCDR; thence South along said west line and its southerly extension 1,340 feet, more or less, to the south line of said northeast one-quarter of Section 15, being 20 feet south of the north right-of-way line of Skogan Road; thence Easterly parallel with the centerline of Skogan Road to an intersection with the centerline of SE 362nd Drive (Co. Rd. No. 327); thence Southeasterly along the centerline of SE 362nd Drive 205 feet, more or less, to its intersection with the southwesterly line of the property described in Fee No. 77-31050, CCDR; thence tracing the southwesterly and southerly lines of said property the following courses: South 49° 26’ 30” East 215 feet, more or less, South 61° 19’ 30” East 246.08 feet, South 34° 29’ 10” East 240.31 feet, South 30° 47’ 45” East 179.71 feet, and South 89° 14’ East 426.83 feet to the west line of the northeast one-quarter of the southwest one-quarter of Section 14, T2S, R4E, WM; thence South along said west line 340 feet to the south line of the property described in Fee No. 94-22142, CCDR; thence East along said south line 160 feet, more or less, to an angle point; thence along said south line North 39 feet to an angle point; thence East along said south line and its easterly extension 520 feet to the centerline of SE 370th Avenue; thence South along the centerline of SE 370th Avenue to the westerly extension of the south line of Lot 12 of the plat of “Meadowlark Hills”; thence Easterly along said south line to the east line of said plat; thence south along said east line to the north line of Section 23, T2S, R4E, WM; thence East along said north line 1,980 feet, more or less, to the west line of the property described in Fee No. 90-16542, CCDR; thence South along said west line 660 feet, more or less, to the south line of said property; thence East along said south line 198 feet to the west line of the property described in Fee No. 84-38340, CCDR; thence South along said west line and its southerly extension to the south line of the northeast one-quarter of the northeast one-quarter of said Section 23, at a point within the right-of-way of State Highway No. 211; thence East, within said right-of-way, along said south line and also the south line of the northwest one-quarter of the northwest one-quarter of Section 24, T2S, R4E, WM to the centerline of Bornstedt Road; thence South along the centerline of Bornstedt Road 1,350 feet, more or less, to the south line of the north one-half of said Section 24; thence East along said south line to the centerline of SE 395th Avenue; thence North along the centerline of SE 395th Avenue 1,320 feet, more or less, to the south line of the northwest one-quarter of the northeast one-quarter of said Section 24; thence East along said south line 660 feet, more or less, to the east line of said northwest one-quarter of the northeast one-quarter of Section 24; thence North along said east line 428 feet, more or less, to the southerly line of the property described in Fee No. 84-10838, CCDR; thence North 66° 49’ 40” East 859 feet, more or less, to an angle point in said southerly line; thence East, parallel with the north line of said Section 24, 552 feet, more or less, to the east line of said Section 24; thence South along said east line to the southeast corner of said Section 24, and the centerline of Trubel Road (Co. Rd. No. 904); thence West, along the centerline of Trubel Road and along the south line of Sections 24 and 23, T2S, R4E, WM, to its intersection with the centerline of 367th Avenue (Co. Rd. No. 177); thence North, along the centerline of 367th Avenue, to its intersection with State Highway No. 211 (AKA Woodburn-Sandy Hwy.); thence Southwesterly, along the centerline of State Highway No. 211, to its intersection with the centerline of Judd Road (Co. Rd. No. 44); thence South, along the centerline of Judd Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Howlett Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 121 and 1445); thence East and Southeasterly, along the centerline of Howlett Road, to the east line of Section 33, T2S, R4E, WM; thence along the east line of said Section 33 and Section 4, T3S, R4E, WM, to its intersection with the centerline of Eagle Fern Road (Co. Rd. No. 571); thence Southerly and Southeasterly, along the centerline of Eagle Fern Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Snuffin Road (Co. Rd. No. 878); thence Southerly and Westerly, along the centerline of Snuffin Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Davis Road (Co. Rd. No. 298), and a point in the east line of Section 15, T3S, R4E, WM; thence South, along the centerline of Davis Road and the east line of said Section 15, to its intersection with the centerline of Tracy Road (Co. Rd. No. 502), at the northwest corner of Section 23, T3S, R4E, WM; thence East, along the centerline of Tracy Road and along the north line of said Section 23, to its intersection with the centerline of Tracy Road, (Co. Rd. No. 108); thence Southerly, continuing along the centerline of Tracy Road to its intersection with the centerline of Coupland Road (Co. Rd. No. 792); thence Southerly and Westerly, along the centerline of Coupland Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Squaw Mountain Road (Co. Rd. No. 188); thence Southwesterly, along the centerline of Squaw Mountain Road, to an angle point of said centerline and a point on the south line of the north one-half of Section 27, T3S, R4E, WM; thence East along said south line to the east quarter-section corner of said Section 27; thence South, continuing along the centerline of Squaw Mountain Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 188 and 607), to its intersection with the centerline of Surface Road (Co. Rd. No. 607), said intersection also being the southeast corner of said Section 27; thence West, along the centerline of Surface Road and along the north line of Section 34, T3S, R4E, WM, to the northwest corner thereof, and the northeast corner of Section 33, T3S, R4E, WM; thence South, along the east line of said Section 33, to its intersection with the centerline of the Clackamas River; thence Westerly and Northerly, downstream, along the centerline of the Clackamas River, to its intersection with the centerline of State Highway No. 211; thence Westerly and Southerly, along the centerline of State Highway No. 211, to its second intersection with the centerline of Day Hill Road (Co. Rd. No. 955) said second intersection being situated in the northeast one-quarter of Section 5, T4S, R4E, WM; thence Southwesterly, along the centerline of Day Hill Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Springwater Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 1150 and 1420) (AKA Market Rd. 28); thence Northwesterly, along the centerline of Springwater Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Feldheimer Road (Co. Rd. No. 146); thence Southeasterly and Northeasterly, along the centerline of Feldheimer Road and its easterly extension, to its intersection with the centerline of the Clackamas River, said intersection being situated in Section 12, T3S, R3E, WM; thence Northerly, downstream, along the centerline of the Clackamas River, to a point in the north line of Section 1, T3S, R3E, WM; thence West, along the north line of said Section 1, to its intersection with the centerline of Clark Lane; thence Southwesterly, along the centerline of Clark Lane, to its intersection with the centerline of Palmer Road; thence Northerly and Westerly, along the centerline of Palmer Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Eaden Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 750 and 1111); thence Northwesterly, along the centerline of Eaden Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Bakers Ferry Road (Co. Rd. No. 514); thence Westerly, along the centerline of Bakers Ferry Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Springwater Road (Co. Rd. No. 1420) (AKA Market Rd. 28); thence Northwesterly, along the centerline of Springwater Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Hattan Road (Co. Rd. No. 1466); thence Southwesterly, along the centerline of Hattan Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Gronlund Road (Co. Rd. No. 1071); thence Westerly, along the centerline of Gronlund Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Bradley Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 408 and 602), and a point in the east line of Section 23, T2S, R2E, WM; thence Southerly, along the centerline of Bradley Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Redland Road (Co. Rd. No. 1162); thence Westerly, along the centerline of Redland Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Ferguson Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 508 and 609); thence Southerly, along the centerline of Ferguson Road and along its southerly extension, until said line again meets the centerline of Ferguson Road; thence Southerly, along the centerline of Ferguson Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Henrici Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 507 and 1833); thence Westerly, along the centerline of Henrici Road, to its intersection with the centerline of State Highway No. 213 (AKA Cascade Hwy.); thence Southeasterly, along the centerline of State Highway No. 213, to its intersection with the centerline of Beaver Creek, near the south line of Section 16, T3S, R2E, WM; thence Westerly, along the centerline of Beaver Creek, to its intersection with the centerline of Central Point Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 41, 534, and 621) (AKA Market Rd. No. 24); thence Southerly, along the centerline of Central Point Road, to its intersection with the centerline of South Bremer Road; thence west along the centerline of South Bremer Road to its intersection with the centerline of South Haines Road; thence northeasterly along the centerline of South Haines Road to its intersection with the centerline of East Territorial Road; thence west along the centerline of East Territorial Road to its intersection with the west line of Section 26, Township 3 South, Range 1 East; thence north along the west line of said Section 26 to the centerline of the Willamette River; thence southwesterly and westerly along the centerline of the Willamette River to the southerly extension of the east line of the D.S. Minkler DLC No. 48, T3S, R1E, WM; thence north along the extended east line of said DLC No. 48 to the northeast corner thereof; thence west along the north line of said DLC No. 48 to the northwest corner thereof and a point on the east line of Section 13, T3S, R1W, WM; thence north along the east lines of Sections 13, and 12, T3S, R1W, WM, to the northeast corner of said Section 12 and an angle point in the Washington-Clackamas County boundary; thence continuing North, along said county boundary line and along the east line of Section 1, T3S, R1W, WM, to a point of intersection with the centerline of Elligsen Road (Co. Rd. No. 8); thence Westerly (within Washington County), along the centerline of Elligsen Road, to its intersection with the east line of Section 2, T3S, R1W, WM, (said intersection also being a point in the Wilsonville City boundary as at 1-1-89); thence North (along said city boundary) 1,772 feet, more or less, to the northeast corner of the “Doty-Lewis tract”, as described in Book 268, page 299 of Washington County Records; thence West, along the north line of said “Doty-Lewis tract”, 2,334.51 feet to the northwest corner thereof; thence continuing West (and leaving said City boundary), 30 feet, more or less, to the intersection with the centerline of Boones Ferry Road; thence Northwesterly, along said centerline, 20 feet, more or less, to a point in the centerline of Day Road (Co. Rd. No. 470) (AKA Day Street); thence West, along the centerline of Day Road and its westerly extension, to its intersection with the centerline of Grahams Ferry Road (Co. Rd. No. 470); thence Southwesterly, along the centerline of Grahams Ferry Road, to the north line of Section 10, T3S, R1W, WM, and a point on the Washington-Clackamas County boundary line; thence continuing Southwesterly (within Clackamas County), along the centerline of Grahams Ferry Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Tooze Road, and the south line of Section 10, T3S, R1W, WM; thence West, along the centerline of Tooze Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Westfall Road; thence Westerly, along the centerline of Westfall Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Baker Road (Co. Rd. No. 386), thence North, along the centerline of Baker Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Tooze Road (Co. Rd. No. 601), being the center of Section 9, T3S, R1W, WM; thence West, along the centerline of Tooze Road, to its intersection with the centerline of McConnell Road (Co. Rd. No. 110); thence North, along the centerline of McConnell Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Pleasant Hill Road; thence West, along the centerline of Pleasant Hill Road, to its intersection with the Clackamas-Washington County boundary line, said intersection also being a point in the west line of Section 8, T3S, R1W, WM; thence North, along the Clackamas-Washington County boundary line, and the west lines of Section 8 and 5, T3S, R1W, WM, to its intersection with the centerline of Brookman Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 493, 388 and 219); thence West (within Washington County), along the centerline of Brookman Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Pacific Highway (U.S. Hwy. 99W); thence Northeasterly, along the centerline of said Pacific Highway, to its intersection with a point in the west line of Section 31, T2S, R1W, WM; thence North, along the west line of Sections 31, 30 and 19, T2S, R1W, WM, and the centerline of Elwert Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Scholls-Sherwood Road (Co. Rd. No. 1325); thence Southeasterly and East, along the centerline of Scholls-Sherwood Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Elsner Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 330, 2168, 1220, and 1440); thence East and Northerly, along the centerline of Elsner Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Beef Bend Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 142 and 748); thence West and Northerly, along the centerline of Beef Bend Road, to its intersection with State Highway No. 210 (AKA Scholls Hwy.); thence West, along the centerline of State Highway No. 210, to its intersection with the centerline of Reusser Road (Co. Rd. No. 343) (AKA 175th Avenue); thence North, along the centerline of Reusser Road, to the south quarter-section corner of Section 31, T1S, R1W, WM; thence West, along the south line of said Section 31, to the southwest corner thereof, said point also being the southeast corner of Section 36, T1S, R2W, WM; thence North, along the east line of said Section 36, to the northeast corner thereof; thence West, along the north lines of Sections 36 and 35, T1S, R2W, WM, to the centerline of Clark Hill Road (Co. Rd. No. 1980); thence North, along the centerline of Clark Hill Road, a distance of 420 feet, more or less, to the southeast corner of the “Hoffman tract”, recorded in Book 554, page 438, Washington County Records; thence North 86° 42′ West 1,095 feet, more or less, to the southwest corner of said Hoffman tract; thence North 5° 09′ West 1,114 feet, more or less, to a point in the centerline of Farmington Road (State Highway No. 208); thence Southwesterly, along the centerline of Farmington Road, to its intersection with the centerline of SW Jacktown Road (Co. Rd. No. 208); thence Northerly, along the centerline of SW Jacktown Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Rosedale Road (Co. Rd. No. 451), and a point on the south line of the north one-half of Section 22, T1S, R2W, WM; thence West, along the centerline of Rosedale Road, to its intersection with the centerline of River Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 1016 and 1177); thence Northerly, along the centerline of River Road, to its intersection with the north line of the south one-half of the Abram Sulger DLC No. 61, situated in Section 16, T1S, R2W, WM; thence West, along said north line, a distance of 320 feet, more or less, to the centerline of the Tualatin River; thence Westerly, along the centerline of the Tualatin River, to its intersection with the centerline of Minter Bridge Road (Co. Rd. No. 1174), said intersection being situated in Section 18, T1S, R2W, WM; thence Southwesterly, along the centerline of Minter Bridge Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Grabel Road (Co. Rd. No. 99); thence West, along the centerline of Grabel Road, to its intersection with the centerline of State Highway No. 219; thence Northerly, along the centerline of State Highway No. 219, to its intersection with the centerline of Tongue Lane (Co. Rd. Nos. 107 and 109), said point also being in the east line of Section 13, T1S, R3W, WM; thence Westerly, along the centerline of Tongue Lane, to its intersection with the centerline of Golf Course Road (Co. Rd. No. A-58); thence North, along the centerline of Golf Course Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Blooming Fern Hill Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 43 and 1987); thence Westerly, along the centerline of Blooming Fern Hill Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Fern Hill Road (Co. Rd. No. 1205); thence Northerly, along the centerline of Fern Hill Road, to its intersection with the centerline of the Tualatin River; thence Westerly, along the centerline of the Tualatin River, to its intersection with the centerline of Gales Creek; thence Northwesterly, along the centerline of Gales Creek, to a point in the southerly extension of the east line of that certain tract of land conveyed to WGK Development Corp. by deed recorded April 23, 1976 in Book 1081, Page 91, Deed Records, Washington County, said point being situated in the southwest one-quarter of Section 35, T1N, R4W, WM; thence North, along the southerly extension of the east line of said “WGK Development Corp. tract”, a distance of 4,300 feet, more or less, to the southeast corner of said “WGK Development Corp. tract”, also being a point in the centerline of Gales Creek Road (Co. Rd. No. 1051); thence northwesterly, along the centerline of Gales Creek Road to the southeast corner of said Linger tract as recorded in Book 1176, Page 817 of Deed Records, Washington County, said southeast corner being the same as the southwest corner of said “WGK Development Corp. tract”; thence tracing the easterly line of said Linger tract and the westerly line of said “WGK Development Corp. tract” the following courses: North 3° 00’ 00” East 499.96 feet; thence North 89° 14’ 00” West 160.00 feet; thence North 5° 26’ 00” East 373.00 feet; thence North 19° 07’ 00” East 376.88 feet; thence North 6° 14’ 00” East 217.52 feet; thence South 83° 54’ 00” East 71.29 feet; thence North 1° 50’ 00” West 441.00 feet; thence North 1° 30’ 00” West 197.40 feet, more or less, to the northwest corner of said “WGK Development Corp. tract”; thence East tracing the northerly line of said “WGK Development Corp. tract” to its northeast corner; thence North, along the northerly extension of the east line of said “WGK Development Corp. tract”, a distance of 1,673 feet, more or less, to a point in the south line of that certain tract of land conveyed to Charles N. Versteeg and Helen C. Versteeg, et ux., and recorded June 10, 1959 in Book 418, Page 563, Deed Records, Washington County; thence South 89° 31′ East, along the south line of said “Versteeg tract”, a distance of 250 feet, more or less, to an angle point; thence North, along the easterly line of said “Versteeg tract”, a distance of 68.64 feet, to an angle point; thence South 86° 10′ East, along the south line of said “Versteeg tract”, a distance of 480.60 feet, to the southeast corner of said “Versteeg tract”; thence North, along the east line of said “Versteeg Tract”, a distance of 533.68 feet, to an angle point; thence North 14° 09′ East, along the east line of said “Versteeg tract” and its northerly extension, a distance of 482.25 feet, to the centerline of David Hill Road (Co. Rd. No. 120); thence Southeasterly, along the centerline of David Hill Road, to a point in the east line of Section 26, T1N, R4W, WM; thence North, along the east lines of Section 26 and 23, T1N, R4W, WM, to a point in the southwesterly line of the Bonneville Power Administration “Forest Grove-Timber” Transmission Line right-of-way; thence Southeasterly, along the southwesterly line of said transmission line right-of-way, to its intersection with the southerly extension of the centerline of McKibbin Road (Co. Rd. No. 448), situated in Section 30, T1N, R3W, WM; thence North, along the centerline of McKibbin Road, and its southerly extension, to its intersection with the centerline of Verboort Road (Co. Rd. No. A-82); thence Easterly, along the centerline of Verboort Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Cornelius-Schefflin Road (Co. Rd. No. 2161); thence Northerly, along the centerline of Cornelius-Schefflin Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Dairy Creek; thence Southeasterly, along the centerline of Dairy Creek, to its intersection with the centerline of Susbauer Road (Co. Rd. No. 196); thence Northeasterly, along the centerline of Susbauer Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Hornecker Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 344 and 92); thence Easterly, along the centerline of Hornecker Road, to its intersection with the centerline of McKay Creek; thence Northwesterly and Northeasterly, along the centerline of McKay Creek, to its intersection with the centerline of Glencoe Road (Co. Rd. No. A-146 1/2); thence Southerly, along the centerline of Glencoe Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Evergreen Street (Co. Rd. Nos. A-146, A-99, and 2293); thence East and Easterly, along the centerline of Evergreen Street, to its intersection with the centerline of Sewell Road (Co. Rd. No. 609) (AKA NW 268th Avenue); thence Northerly, along the centerline of Sewell Road, to its intersection with the centerline of NW Meek Road (Co. Rd. No. A-66); thence Easterly, along the centerline of NW Meek Road, to a point in the southwesterly extension of the centerline of NW Groveland Road (Co. Rd. Nos. 615 and 791); thence Northeasterly, along the centerline of NW Groveland Road, and its southwesterly extension, to its intersection with the centerline of West Union Road (Co. Rd. Nos. A-10 and 1175); thence Southeasterly, along the centerline of West Union Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Helvetia Road (Co. Rd. Nos. A-142 and 826); thence Northerly, along the centerline of Helvetia Road, to its intersection with the centerline of Phillips Road (Co. Rd. No. A-142), and a point in the north line of Section 10 T1N, R2W, WM; thence East, along the north lines of Sections 10, 11, and 12, T1N, R2W, WM, to the northeast corner of said Section 12, also being the northwest corner of Section 7, T1N, R1W, WM, and a point on the Washington-Multnomah County boundary; thence continuing East, along the north line of said Section 7 and the county boundary line, to the quarter-section corner between Sections 6 and 7, T1N, R1W, WM; thence North (within Multnomah County), along the west line of the southeast one-quarter of Section 6, T1N, R1W, WM, to its intersection with the centerline of Kaiser Road (Co. Rd. No. 1643); thence Northeasterly, along the centerline of Kaiser Road, to a point in the west line of Lot 3 in the plat of “Schoppe Acres” (recorded in Plat Book 618, pages 37 and 38); thence North, along the west line of Lots 3 and 4, “Schoppe Acres”, to the northwest corner of “Schoppe Acres”, said point also being on the north line of said southeast one-quarter of Section 6; thence East, along said north line and the south line of the northwest one-quarter of Section 5, T1N, R1W, WM, to the center of said Section 5; thence North, along the east line of said northwest one-quarter of Section 5, and the west line of the southeast one-quarter of Section 32, T2N, R1W, WM, a distance of 3,880 feet, more or less, to a point that bears South, along said west line, a distance of 400 feet from the northwest corner of that certain tract of land conveyed to Benjamin G. and Margorie R. Pauly, recorded in Book 1075, Page 208, Multnomah County Records; thence East, parallel with the north line of said “Pauly tract”, a distance of 460 feet, to a point in the east line of said “Pauly tract”; thence South, along said east line, a distance of 514.22 feet, to the southeast corner thereof; thence East, along the easterly extension of the south line of said “Pauly tract”, a distance of 474.4 feet, to the northeast corner of that certain tract of land conveyed to Luella Welch Hannigan and recorded in Book 471, page 630, Multnomah County Records; thence South, along the east line of said “Hannigan tract”, a distance of 689.2 feet, to the southeast corner thereof and a point in the south line of said Section 32; thence East, along the south line of said Section 32 a distance of 1,692 feet, more or less, to the southeast corner thereof; thence South, along the east line of Section 5, T1N, R1W, WM, a distance of 460 feet, more or less, to a point in the centerline of Newberry Road (Co. Rd. No. 325); thence Northeasterly, along the centerline of Newberry Road, to its intersection with the centerline of NW St. Helens Road (AKA U.S. Highway 30, AKA Lower Columbia River Hwy.); thence Northwesterly, along the centerline of NW St. Helens Road, to its intersection with the southwesterly extension of the centerline of the Sauvie Island Bridge; thence Northeasterly, along said extended bridge centerline, to its intersection with the centerline of the Multnomah Channel of the Willamette River; thence Southeasterly, along the centerline of the Multnomah Channel, to its intersection with the centerline of the Willamette River; thence Northeasterly, along the centerline of the Willamette River, to its intersection with the north boundary of the State of Oregon, in the Columbia River; thence Easterly, along the north boundary of the State of Oregon, to its intersection with the east line of Section 20, T1N, R4E, WM; thence South, along the east lines of Sections 20, 29, and 32, T1N, R4E, WM, to the POINT OF BEGINNING.

    (There is an exception which is basically the Damascus area that voted itself out of TriMet’s boundaries a few years ago.)

    Per ORS 267.080:

    267.080 Creation of district; district jurisdiction. As provided by ORS 267.010 to 267.390, a mass transit district may be created in any standard metropolitan statistical area for the purpose of providing a mass transit system for the people of the district. Except as otherwise provided in ORS 267.107 (2)(c), the territorial jurisdiction of the district may include all territory within the geographic boundaries of every Oregon county in that standard metropolitan statistical area. [Formerly 267.100]

    AND ORS 267.114:

    267.114 Minimum area of district. The territorial boundaries of a mass transit district whose formation was initiated under ORS 267.107 shall include, as a minimum area, all of the territory within the urban growth boundary, as the urban growth boundary may exist from time to time, of the city that proposed creation of the mass transit district. [1999 c.454 §2]

    ORS 267.207 involves the retraction of a service area:

    267.207 Change of district boundaries; elector approval; withdrawal of service from area; territorial jurisdiction of district; boundary commission exemption. (1) The board of directors of a mass transit district may alter the territorial boundaries of the district by a nonemergency ordinance adopted at any regular meeting.

    (2) If an ordinance annexing territory to a district is initiated or referred by, or referred to, the electors of the district, it shall not take effect unless approved by a majority of the electors registered in the territory proposed to be annexed to the district voting on the question and by a majority of the electors of the district voting on the question.

    (3)(a) The board of directors of a mass transit district, as a result of the continuing comprehensive transportation planning process required by the Federal Transit Administration, shall determine annually the territory in the district within which the transit system of the district will operate. When the board determines during such planning process for any fiscal year that it will not provide transit service during that fiscal year to an area presently within the district, the board shall by ordinance withdraw from that area on the date specified in the ordinance, and that area shall no longer be part of the district. The board shall by ordinance set forth the criteria to be used in making the determinations described in this subsection.

    (b) Subject to paragraph (a) of this subsection, the territorial jurisdiction of a district shall include:

    (A) All territory located within the boundaries of a metropolitan service district;

    (B) Each census tract within which the transit system of the district operates, or such smaller portion of the tract as determined by the board; and

    (C) If so determined by the board of directors, any territory located within two and one-half miles or less of the transit system of the district or any route used by that system for the transportation of passengers.

    (4) If an ordinance withdrawing territory from a district is initiated or referred by, or referred to, the electors of the district it shall not take effect unless approved by a majority of the electors of the entire district voting on the question.

    (5) Notwithstanding ORS 199.425, the alteration of the boundaries of a district under this section shall not be subject to the jurisdiction or review of a local government boundary commission. [1979 c.877 §5; 1981 c.907 §1; 1983 c.83 §45; 1993 c.741 §22]

    So the bottom line is that TriMet has a LEGAL responsibility to serve the urban growth area, in so long as it is organized under ORS 267. If TriMet seeks to be the Portland Transportation Service District, then it is clearly in violation of its own law, and that of the State of Oregon.

    What’s intriguing is this law:

    267.260 Withdrawal ordinance; effective date; adjustment in district tax rate as result of withdrawal. (1) As used in this section, “withdrawal date” means the effective date of an ordinance approving withdrawal of an affected area under ORS 267.250 to 267.263.

    (2) An ordinance approving the withdrawal of an affected area under ORS 267.250 to 267.263 shall take effect on the first day of January next following the date which is 30 days after the adoption of the ordinance.

    (3) Commencing immediately upon the withdrawal date and notwithstanding any other provision of law, the rate of each tax imposed by the district shall automatically be increased to a rate equal to the rate determined by dividing the rate at which such tax was levied immediately prior to the withdrawal date by a fraction, not more than one, which is equal to the total revenue derived from such tax by the district for the calendar year preceding the year in which the withdrawal ordinance is adopted attributable to the area of the district other than the withdrawn affected area divided by the total revenue derived from such tax by the district for the same period.

    (4) If the tax rates required under subsection (3) of this section do not produce tax revenues sufficient to enable the district to make the annual or semiannual payments, when due, and otherwise satisfy the requirements of the bonded or other indebtedness of the district incurred prior to the withdrawal, the district may increase the rate of each tax to a rate that produces revenues sufficient to enable the district to make the annual or semiannual payments, when due, and otherwise satisfy the requirements of such indebtedness.

    (5) The district board shall determine rates in accordance with the formula prescribed by subsection (3) of this section and adopt the rates as part of the ordinance approving the withdrawal of the affected area. Any such determination and adoption shall be final and conclusive unless it is shown to be arbitrary and capricious.

    (6) If a district adopts an ordinance that increases the rate of an excise tax described in ORS 267.385, the increase shall be adjusted as prescribed in subsection (3) of this section to take into account the withdrawal of an affected area that occurred or occurs at any time after the date the district first imposed any taxes pursuant to ORS 267.385. [1987 c.799 §6; 2003 c.739 §10]

    I will repeat: TriMet’s full legal name is the “Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon”. Tri-County, includes Washington and Clackamas. The General Manager and Board of Directors have a legal duty to serve ALL residents, not just who they want to pick and choose who to serve. Unfortunately, unlike the democracy that we supposedly live in, TriMet does not have a directly elected Board of Directors. As a result, to paraphrase what one TriMet employee once told me, “TriMet’s customers aren’t the people who rides the busses and MAX.”

  60. The General Manager and Board of Directors have a legal duty to serve ALL residents

    Trimet is obligated give every resident whatever service their heart desires.

    TriMet does not have a directly elected Board of Directors.

    Neither does ODOT or most public agencies. The Trimet board, like many other boards and commissions created under state law, is appointed by the governor.

  61. The General Manager and Board of Directors have a legal duty to serve ALL residents

    Trimet is not obligated to give every resident whatever service their heart desires.

    TriMet does not have a directly elected Board of Directors.

    Neither does ODOT or most public agencies. The Trimet board, like many other boards and commissions created under state law, is appointed by the governor.

  62. I sent an email to a planner at TriMet, asking about hybrid buses and I talked about the lower operating cost; this was his reply:

    “Yes, TriMet does have two hybrid buses. Unfortunately, we’re not getting the expected performance out of them as we’d like. They are significantly more expensive than our diesel powered buses. We have found that with improvements to our diesel powered buses, the addition of particulate traps and the use of B5 biodiesel, we are able to reduce our emmissions significantly at a lower cost than buying hybrid buses. We are currently waiting for an engine warranty guarantee from the bus manufacturer before we start using B20 biodiesel.”

    Fuel savings and efficiency weren’t even mentioned in his reply.

  63. This kind of discussion happens everywhere there’s a regional transit agency. The suburban folks complain that the city is getting a disproportionate amount of the service, and that their taxes are going to “subsidize” the low-income riders who (it is claimed) mostly live in the city.

    Everyone has anecdotes about lousy service on this or that line, but it’s hard to get the big picture, and hard to find the right metrics. What service metrics are used here? What’s the statistical basis for asserting that Portland is getting “too much”?

    It would be interesting to know if the counties’ citizens are getting service from TriMet in rough proportion to the amounts they are putting in. According to the fact sheet on the website, roughly half the income is from payroll taxes, which every worker obviously pays.

    Does anyone have approximate figures on the contributions to the TriMet operating budget from each of the three counties and other sources? This might be difficult to tease out, because (I assume) the payroll tax revenue would be reported by employer, not by county of residence of the employees. But who knows? Maybe it’s available.

    Mike

  64. Look, lets not get carried away with trying to “tag” us as “complainers” because we are not getting what we want.

    I REPEAT:

    Trimet seems to have money for all sorts of things, specifically running street cars and extending max service: (we wont bring up the fact that the new max downtown basically DUPLICATES the street car, which is only 2 blocks away!)

    WHY CAN’T THEY FIND MONEY TO DO A TINY BIT BETTER JOB WITH WHAT THEY ARE ALREADY DOING?

    We need more Max service on the west side, how much more can that really cost in comparison to the projects they have going on right now? We don’t need meetings, we dont need directors, WE NEED SERVICE!

  65. I can answer my own question; this calculation is for weekdays but the same calculations would be made for weekends.

    WEEKDAYS:
    You add more trains from Gresham. Last trains leaves Gresham 1am+1:30am, they can end the trip at elmonica 1.75 hours each.

    Add four trains from Hillsboro 12am/12:30 am/1:00am/1:30 am ending at ruby junction=1.75 hours each

    Total extra man hours 3.5+7=10.5 hours=$24.25/hr operator pay=$242.50+$242.50 pay for support personnel=$485/day(X)five days a week $2425(X)52 weeks=$126,100

    So the figures would be comparable for weekends add another $126,100

    SO FOR THE PATHETICALLY LOW PRICE OF $252,200 A YEAR WE COULD HAVE A MAX SYSTEM ON COMPARABLE FOOTING AS ALL THE MAJOR CITIES IN AMERICA!

    I’m not very good in math but I can’t be that far off!

    Looking at those figures how can they not be providing better service? FRED HANSEN MAKES MORE THAN THAT! (With bonus of course)

  66. roughly half the income is from payroll taxes, which every worker obviously pays.

    The business pays the tax, not the worker. So the question is more how well transit serves the business. But it is a tax, not a fee, so there is no real reason to expect the benefits be allocated in direct proportion to what a business pays either.

    Public transit provides a lot of public benefits beyond those to specific riders or businesses. Trimet should focus its resources to build ridership, whether bus, street car or light rail. And that means increasing the quality of the rides, the destinations served and the frequency of service. You can argue all day about how those should be balanced. That is what all their public process is for, to get people’s input. But in the end it is up to the folks at Trimet to figure it out and you to complain to the governor if you don’t like the job they are doing.

  67. Al wrote: Trimet seems to have money for all sorts of things, specifically running street cars and extending max service: (we wont bring up the fact that the new max downtown basically DUPLICATES the street car, which is only 2 blocks away!)

    Al, I appreciate what you have to say, but this business of pitting one mode against another seems counter-productive, and in this case factually incorrect. The streetcar, at its closest point to parallel service on the central mall, is 960 feet or 4 blocks away, not 2 blocks. (3.5 blocks if you count the block between 9th and park as a half block.) Southbound service is even further away — 6 blocks.

    The services will only parallel each other that closely in the central mall corridor. North of Burnside there is an additional block of distance involved.

    MAX on the mall will serve N. Portland (Yellow Line) and Gateway to Clackamas (Green Line) — destinations the streetcar does not currently serve.

    It is a real stretch to call the streetcar and future mall MAX services duplicative, unless you want to also claim (by the same standards) that all buses on the mall are duplicative of each other.

    Lastly, it is my understanding that TriMet’s current contribution to streetcar operations is comparable to what bus service to the same areas would cost in lieu of a streetcar. The rest of the streetcar funding comes from non-TriMet sources.

    I thought this thread was specifically set up to discuss ways bus service can and should be improved, rather than having yet another bus vs. LRT fight.

    – Bob R.

  68. >> Al, I appreciate what you have to say, but this business of pitting one mode against another seems counter-productive, and in this case factually incorrect. The streetcar, at its closest point to parallel service on the central mall, is 960 feet or 4 blocks away, not 2 blocks. (3.5 blocks if you count the block between 9th and park as a half block.) Southbound service is even further away — 6 block

  69. Al replied: “But you and other people are putting forth the argument that those “other” area’s outside of Trimet somehow do not “qualify” for more service, for this and that reasons etc.”

    I’ve never made such an argument, to you or anyone else. In fact, this is the first time I’ve entered into a discussion with you. To the contrary, for example, I’ve argued for more suburb-to-suburb (regional center to regional center) express service.

    – Bob R.

  70. But you and other people are putting forth the argument that those “other” area’s outside of Trimet somehow do not “qualify” for more service, for this and that reasons etc.

    I don’t think anyone has made that statement. Most people here support improved bus service. This thread is to talk about how to do that, not whether.

  71. al –

    Please continue to contribute. Your point that service is concentrated in Portland is not off the mark. Improving service in the suburbs is part identifying specific improvements that make sense and part creating the political will to act on them. While we all realize that it is a zero sum game to some extent, I think focusing on who the losers are, whether mode or location, gets us off the point.

  72. }:>

    OK!

    Somebody mentioned that the streetcar is funded and operated separately from TRIMET.

    Well your wrong, 2/3 of the cost comes directly out of the TRIMET budget.

    See page 156 of this link…

    http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/QMHkRuqok4kWOmb6Poz_iCP4P-F6PJTV676Lt7oa3Mfbf11LCaH6XHegn4X9Mz1DbqH0y1Z1an_JU2Rgz2owdp3hWmzJBZsR/adopted_budget_06_07.pdf

    Also if you have the patience to go through all this stuff I am sure it will show where all the revenue for TRIMET comes from, each source individually reported.

  73. oh i forgot, you have to be a member of that group to access that file, but anybody can join..

    its the trimet operating budget in detail…

  74. See page 156 of this link…

    http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/

    Also if you have the patience to go through all this stuff I am sure it will show where all the revenue for TRIMET comes from, each source individually reported.

    That huge long URL produced a “file not found” error. Also, if anyone wants to send out one of those horribly long URLs, it’s helpful first to convert it to a tinyurl – just go to http://www.tinyurl.com. You paste in the big URL and it gives you back a tiny one. The tinyurl is far easier for the rest of us to deal with.

    I did join the trimetoperators yahoo group the other day (anyone can join, though it’s pitched at operators mostly), and, in the files section, I did find adopted_budget_06_07.pdf. Is this the doc you were referring to? Page 156 does give the numbers for the Streetcar.

    Somebody mentioned that the streetcar is funded and operated separately from TRIMET. Well your wrong, 2/3 of the cost comes directly out of the TRIMET budget.

    Well, here’s a bit from the Wikipedia page on the Streetcar (I wish the Streetcar website had a similar statement, but I could not find one there…):

    Like trains on the heavier-duty MAX Light Rail network which serves the broader Portland metropolitan area, streetcars are operated and maintained by TriMet personnel. However, the system is owned and managed by Portland Streetcar Incorporated, a non-profit public benefit corporation whose board of directors report to the city’s Office of Transportation.

    So it’s not surprising that the TriMet budget gives some Streetcar operation and maintenance costs. It’s not clear to me why this is something to be criticized. Would you prefer the Streetcar to have its own operations/maintenance folks instead of leveraging on TriMet’s expertise?

    So now my question is why that budget doc is on a little-known yahoo group instead of on the TriMet website? Is the detailed budget a public doc?

    Mike


  75. BUT I CANT GET HOME FROM JENKINS ROAD AND 158TH AFTER 11:30 weekdays and 10:30 Sundays!

    Well, I live on the #17, so I figured I’d check it out at the TriMet website. The last weekday bus out to SE Holgate and 83rd is 12:32 AM. The bus before that is 11:32 PM. Same on Sat and Sun. The last bus to downtown is 11:42 PM from 134th and Holgate.

    I also checked out the #20, the Burnside-Stark line that runs from Gresham all the way to Beaverton TC, between the ‘burbs and right through the city. The buses do run a bit later, the last runs being between 1 AM and 2 AM.

    On both lines, the afternoon weekday rush-hour service is about every 15 minutes. And they thin out to about once an hour late at night.

    I’m trying to get a sense of just what your complaint is. That the buses stop running too early at night? That they are too infrequent at night? It doesn’t look like Portland is getting much more intensive service than the ‘burbs at night.

    * * * * *

    Oh – the Streetcar’s last departure from SoWa is before midnight, earlier on Sunday.

    As a newcomer to Portland, I conclude that it’s just not a night-owl kinda town. Even in the Pearl most of the dining spots close pretty early. The Pizza Schmizza near me packs it in at 9 PM.

    Well, the bars stay open. When is Last Call around here? I’d love to see the buses run until after the bars close; maybe a few extra late-night runs would be worth the expense if they reduced the number of drunk-driving crashes. I have no problems considering the social costs and benefits of transit policy!

    Alternatively, we could consider closing the bars earlier.:-)

  76. Hi all,

    I’m curious — what is the process by which TriMet gets input from people about their routes and service levels?

    I read a suggestion above that the only way to be heard is writing to the governor. That sounds a bit extreme, and, well, un-Portland-like to me. What with neighborhood associations, CAC’s, and the like, there seems to be a culture of citizen input here.

    In the two other metropolitan areas I know best — Philadelphia (my home town) and Washington, DC (my home for 30 years before I moved here) — the citizen-input process is quite badly broken, especially on transportation issues, and Portland really looks good by comparison.

    And at least there’s a dedicated payroll tax here to cover much of the TriMet budget — in those 2 cities there is no such revenue stream, so the regional transit authorities have to go with hat in hand, every single *&^% year, to city, county, state, and federal legislatures, just to get their annual appropriations. The legislatures, of course, are cheapskates and the different jurisdictions are always fighting to minimize their respective shares of the “subsidies”. Every year. Every year…

    So thank goodness for our payroll tax.

    You can read all about the latest antics in Philly by going to http://www.dvarp.org; there’s a lot of good stuff on that site. DVARP is Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers, which is a NARP chapter and keeps an eye both SEPTA (the transit agency) and the legislatures. They all hate DVARP for being a thorn in their sides, but that’s the only effective organization that exists there. DVARP is effective thanks to the efforts of a very small band of really tireless activists (like Chris Smith but even more tireless, if such is possible:-)).

    In the DC area, there’s not even an ARP…

    Mike

  77. So now my question is why that budget doc is on a little-known yahoo group instead of on the TriMet website? Is the detailed budget a public doc?

    Mike,

    You have now reached why I am opposed to much of TriMet’s management antics.

    You won’t find their budget anywhere on their website. (Show me another governmental body that doesn’t post financial data on their website.)

    You won’t find their audited financial statements on their website. (If you’re sneaky enough, you can go to the Secretary of State’s Audit Division office at http://www.sos.state.or.us) and find them there.

    In fact in recent years, they even removed their bus fleet roster and profiles – never mind the huge page they had when they first purchased the low floor busses, as well as the webpage they had for their two Hybrid busses. (go to http://transit.metrokc.gov and see what Seattle does, you’ll be impressed at the amount of detail they go into for each of their bus types.)

    Have a complaint? Don’t expect it to go anywhere, “Customer Service” is designed to STOP complaints before they go anywhere. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a Station Manager (usually they will explain what happened); if you’re unlucky and get a further response you’ll get an opaque response from someone in Service Planning that will explain that it was due to “service improvements”.

    Bus driver do something wrong? I bet you’d be surprised that it takes a minimum of EIGHT complaints before an investigation will begin. (If a driver does something REALLY bad, forget about contacting TriMet, call 9-1-1. That’s what happened when the bus driver assualted the Holocaust victim on the 54 bus a couple years ago, and he was given the choice of “quit or be fired”.)

    One would think that TriMet is an organization of the City of Chicago, but it’s not. It’s right here in Portland – Democratic loving, local government, public involvement, action committee, open meetings, post-everything-on-the-Internet Portland.

    Portland shouldn’t have a second-class bus system, it should have a FIRST-CLASS bus system. Portland shouldn’t have to deal with poorly scheduled bus lines, overcrowded busses, broken busses, busses that are 100 degrees on the inside, or busses that stop running at 6:00 PM when people still are out and about. Portland shouldn’t have a bus system that requires you to go downtown. Portland should have a bus system in which anyone can reasonably have access to a bus to take them to neighborhood services, or to link them to bus routes to serve neighboring towns or the city. Portland should have a bus system where everyone feels welcome to ride the bus, that the bus system is desirable and encouraging. Portland should have a bus system that is reliable and that a schedule is the rule, not the exception.

    Unfortunately, that isn’t TriMet. Years of overinvestment in the light rail system have depleted funds used to improve bus services, and TriMet’s financial condition is poor (according to multiple TriMet sources). Every plan that has been published to improve bus service has been thrown in the trash (fortunately at least one, discussing bus stop standards, is still available on TriMet’s website, stating that TriMet should purchase a minimum of 100 shelters a year – TriMet currently budgets about 30). TriMet’s fleet replacement program is about two to three years behind schedule, and it doesn’t look like any new busses will be purchased next year. TriMet’s investment in “Transit Tracker” boards has been mothballed for bus-only transit centers. TriMet has no interest to improve capacity on the bus fleet by acquiring articulated busses, citing the poor reliability of the former 1981-vintage Crown Ikarus busses (that lasted until 1997, having had a 16 year lifespan; and completely discounting the thousands of New Flyer D60LF busses in reliable service in Seattle, Vancouver, Eugene, Spokane, and throughout California – not to mention the rest of the country.) And TriMet’s interest in hybrid busses – using a study group of TWO busses – seems to be lukewarm at best, claiming that they are more expensive (never mind that Seattle has purchased nearly 300 hybrid busses, with the federal government picking up 100% of the difference between the regular and hybrid propulsion systems).

    You’re right, the only solution is to call the Governor. The same Governor who has to worry about the Klamath River environmental problems, economic problems in Northeast Oregon, our role in the Iraq War, and the Oregon State Fair. You have as much luck getting TriMet improve as you do going to DMV, pulling a number, standing in line, and being at the service counter in 30 seconds or less.

    Welcome to Oregon. We love Dreamers.

  78. Has anybody ever tried to put a measure on the ballot to force TriMet to improve its services in many regards? I think Erik’s list of improvements would make for a good ballot measure which many people would probably support.

  79. I think Erik’s list of improvements would make for a good ballot measure which many people would probably support.

    Lets run through those “improvements”:

    1. Remove TriMet from ORS 267, and create a special district that has a seven-member Board of Directors that is directly elected by citizens within the district, in that:

    Three members are within Multnomah County,
    Two members are within Washington County,
    Two members are within Clackamas County.

    This is almost certainly unconstitutional. Election districts need to reflect one person- one vote. If we want an elected board for Trimet, Metro is already authorized to assume that role.

    2. Require that all TriMet Board Meetings have ample opportunity for public comment, are held during hours by which most citizens have an opportunity to attend and participate, and ensure that all meetings are held throughout the region in areas that are easily accessible by public transit.

    This would probably be a good idea for every public agency.

    3. TriMet shall employ a mixed fleet of neighborhood busses (20-30 feet), mainline busses (35-45 feet), and high-capacity (60 foot articulated) busses, to best match demand with capacity.

    Which is what they have now. The argument on articulated buses for instance is whether multimple buses spaced at different times “better matches demand” than articulated buses operating less frequently. The other question is whether articulated buses “best match demand” outside of a small number of trips each day during rush hour.

    4. TriMet shall strive that every resident has at least a frequent service route within one mile that will take the resident to the nearest city center or major transit destination (i.e. shopping center). In outlying areas (i.e. Forest Grove/Cornelius, Sherwood), local service should be added that is at least every 30 minutes, and connects to frequent service routes.

    Service within a mile of every residence has no value. Most people are not going to walk a mile each way to use a bus, even if there are actually pedestrian facilities that would allow it. And in many parts of the region, there aren’t. Providing such service at the expense of providing quality service to the employers who pay transit taxes makes no sense. People not only need to get on the bus, they need to be able to get to destinations.

    5. TriMet shall implement its plan to add 100 shelters a year; and that bus stops that are transfer points or other major stops shall have amenities that are comparable to a MAX station – oversized shelters (not “bus stop” shelters), benches, off-board ticket vending machines, pay phones, lighting, “Transit Tracker” signs, crosswalk signals or warnings, sidewalks, etc.

    I think giving Trimet authority to require crosswalks, sidewalks and signals at transit stops is a great idea. I remember the resistance at TPAC from local jurisdictions to any requirement for crosswalks at major transit stops.

    On the other hand, if you look at MAX style platforms at ever bus transfer point you would have to find room for a MAX type stop at virtually every major intersection. You are talking about a huge capital investment along with the accompanying investment in maintenance and security. That money would be far better spent on modest shelters and actual better transit service.

    6. TriMet shall embrace a plan to ensure that each bus is retired after 12-15 years of use, and that if any bus is retained after 15 years that it is held strictly for contingency use (i.e. mechanical breakdown rescue, extra service, special event service); those busses may never be assigned to a regular route (including a rush hour express run) except due to emergency.

    I don’t think there is any indication that 12-15 years is the permanent lifespan of a bus. I don’t think the last set of articulated buses even lasted that long. And I don’t think that service levels should be restricted to those that can be provided by the most modern buses in the fleet. Given the choice between waiting for a new bus and getting on an old one. I will take the old one any day.

    7. TriMet shall make sure that every bus has a 90% on-time schedule reliability, and a 98% pull-out reliability. Any bus line that does not meet these thresholds must receive immediate attention by the General Manager and Board of Directors so that improvement is reached within one month after the end of the quarter; the Manager shall be held personally responsible for failing to operate the transit district in the best interest of the residents and users of the system.

    I think this is a great idea as long as Trimet has dedicated bus right-of-way. Perhaps we can give buses the same priority as emergency vehicles, requiring private autos to get out of the way to allow them to stay on schedule.

    8. No bus shall “interline” unless its schedule adherence is improved by such operation. Any bus that is interlined, and has poorer schedule reliability (even if it is above the thresholds in #7) shall cease to interline.

    I would love to see this explained to voters. In fact, what is the justification for not interlining buses if it improves service?

    9. TriMet shall implement a plan to purchase hybrid-electric busses, as they are proven technology to reduce pollutants and fuel consumption.

    Good idea. But again the question of cost, maintenance and reliability need to be considered. My understanding is that the hybrid buses have not produced the results we would have wished.

    10. TriMet shall have a policy that prohibits the use of bus capital funds to fund MAX, Streetcar or other non-bus projects, unless such diversion of funds will not result in a degradation of service. Shall a diversion of funds exist, and a degradation of service occur, the General Manager and Board of Directors shall be held personally responsible, and that the transit agency will within one year make whatever expenditures necessary (including retracting funds or delaying alternative projects) in order to restore the service damages.

    The truth is that as MAX has grown, bus service has increased. When Interstate Max opened, several new lines were opened serviced by the buses it freed up. That has been typical. In fact, one of the complaints about MAX from John Charles is that it replaced his beloved express ride from Gateway to downtown Portland. But, in fact, that bus was put into service elsewhere, improving transit service for the region as a whole.

    So the real question is should we continue to improve the region’s transit system. Including bus service. Because the best way to do that is mixture of higher capacity service like MAX and commuter rail, improved bus service and upgrading infrastructure to better serve transit. That includes things like better pedestrian connections, bypasses for buses at intersections, bus shelters, curb extensions and similar investments.

  80. I think Erik’s list of improvements would make for a good ballot measure which many people would probably support.

    Lets run through those “improvements”:

    1. Remove TriMet from ORS 267, and create a special district that has a seven-member Board of Directors that is directly elected by citizens within the district, in that:

    Three members are within Multnomah County,
    Two members are within Washington County,
    Two members are within Clackamas County.

    This is almost certainly unconstitutional. Election districts need to reflect one person- one vote. If we want an elected board for Trimet, Metro is already authorized to assume that role.

    2. Require that all TriMet Board Meetings have ample opportunity for public comment, are held during hours by which most citizens have an opportunity to attend and participate, and ensure that all meetings are held throughout the region in areas that are easily accessible by public transit.

    This would probably be a good idea for every public agency.

    3. TriMet shall employ a mixed fleet of neighborhood busses (20-30 feet), mainline busses (35-45 feet), and high-capacity (60 foot articulated) busses, to best match demand with capacity.

    Which is what they have now. The argument on articulated buses for instance is whether multimple buses spaced at different times “better matches demand” than articulated buses operating less frequently. The other question is whether articulated buses “best match demand” outside of a small number of trips each day during rush hour.

    4. TriMet shall strive that every resident has at least a frequent service route within one mile that will take the resident to the nearest city center or major transit destination (i.e. shopping center). In outlying areas (i.e. Forest Grove/Cornelius, Sherwood), local service should be added that is at least every 30 minutes, and connects to frequent service routes.

    Service within a mile of every residence has no value. Most people are not going to walk a mile each way to use a bus, even if there are actually pedestrian facilities that would allow it. And in many parts of the region, there aren’t. Providing such service at the expense of providing quality service to the employers who pay transit taxes makes no sense. People not only need to get on the bus, they need to be able to get to destinations.

    5. TriMet shall implement its plan to add 100 shelters a year; and that bus stops that are transfer points or other major stops shall have amenities that are comparable to a MAX station – oversized shelters (not “bus stop” shelters), benches, off-board ticket vending machines, pay phones, lighting, “Transit Tracker” signs, crosswalk signals or warnings, sidewalks, etc.

    I think giving Trimet authority to require crosswalks, sidewalks and signals at transit stops is a great idea. I remember the resistance at TPAC from local jurisdictions to any requirement for crosswalks at major transit stops.

    On the other hand, if you look at MAX style platforms at ever bus transfer point you would have to find room for a MAX type stop at virtually every major intersection. You are talking about a huge capital investment along with the accompanying investment in maintenance and security. That money would be far better spent on modest shelters and actual better transit service.

    6. TriMet shall embrace a plan to ensure that each bus is retired after 12-15 years of use, and that if any bus is retained after 15 years that it is held strictly for contingency use (i.e. mechanical breakdown rescue, extra service, special event service); those busses may never be assigned to a regular route (including a rush hour express run) except due to emergency.

    I don’t think there is any indication that 12-15 years is the permanent lifespan of a bus. I don’t think the last set of articulated buses even lasted that long. And I don’t think that service levels should be restricted to those that can be provided by the most modern buses in the fleet. Given the choice between waiting for a new bus and getting on an old one. I will take the old one any day.

    7. TriMet shall make sure that every bus has a 90% on-time schedule reliability, and a 98% pull-out reliability. Any bus line that does not meet these thresholds must receive immediate attention by the General Manager and Board of Directors so that improvement is reached within one month after the end of the quarter; the Manager shall be held personally responsible for failing to operate the transit district in the best interest of the residents and users of the system.

    I think this is a great idea as long as Trimet has dedicated bus right-of-way. Perhaps we can give buses the same priority as emergency vehicles, requiring private autos to get out of the way to allow them to stay on schedule.

    8. No bus shall “interline” unless its schedule adherence is improved by such operation. Any bus that is interlined, and has poorer schedule reliability (even if it is above the thresholds in #7) shall cease to interline.

    I would love to see this explained to voters. In fact, what is the justification for not interlining buses if it improves service?

    9. TriMet shall implement a plan to purchase hybrid-electric busses, as they are proven technology to reduce pollutants and fuel consumption.

    Good idea. But again the question of cost, maintenance and reliability need to be considered. My understanding is that the hybrid buses have not produced the results we would have wished.

    10. TriMet shall have a policy that prohibits the use of bus capital funds to fund MAX, Streetcar or other non-bus projects, unless such diversion of funds will not result in a degradation of service. Shall a diversion of funds exist, and a degradation of service occur, the General Manager and Board of Directors shall be held personally responsible, and that the transit agency will within one year make whatever expenditures necessary (including retracting funds or delaying alternative projects) in order to restore the service damages.

    The truth is that as MAX has grown, bus service has increased. When Interstate Max opened, several new lines were opened serviced by the buses it freed up. That has been typical. In fact, one of the complaints about MAX from John Charles is that it replaced his beloved express ride from Gateway to downtown Portland. But, in fact, that bus was put into service elsewhere, improving transit service for the region as a whole.

    So the real question is should we continue to improve the region’s transit system. Including bus service. Because the best way to do that is mixture of higher capacity service like MAX and commuter rail, improved bus service and upgrading infrastructure to better serve transit. That includes things like better pedestrian connections, bypasses for buses at intersections, bus shelters, curb extensions and similar investments.


  81. 8. No bus shall “interline” unless its schedule adherence is improved by such operation. Any bus that is interlined, and has poorer schedule reliability (even if it is above the thresholds in #7) shall cease to interline.

    In the local jargon, what is meant by “interlining”? Never seen it used before in this context. Thanks!

    Mike

  82. Here is a description from a TRB report:

    “Interlining is used in two ways:

    Interlining allows the use of the same revenue vehicle and/or operator on more than one route without going back to the garage. Interlining is often considered as a means to minimize vehicle requirements as well as a method to provide transfer enhancement for passengers.

    For interlining to be feasible, two (or more) routes must share a common terminus or be reasonably proximate to each
    other.”

  83. Interlining is when a bus serving one route serves another at some point.

    So, as examples, many 12-Barbur Blvd. runs become 12-Sandy Blvd. in Downtown, same as 9-Powell and 9-Broadway, 35-Macadam and 35-Greeley, etc.

    I bring up the latter as a point – the number of the Greeley route was recently changed from 1 to 35, to indicate that it would no longer interline with 1-Vermont.

    It’s not exclusive to TriMet – Clark Co.’s C-TRAN interlines many of its routes, i.e, 37-Mill Plain and 71-Highway 99 (changing to 37-Highway 99 on Sept. 30th). Salem/Keizer Cherriots interlines 5-Royal Oaks and 9-Keizer Central.

    Additionally, TriMet has started doing more interlining elsewhere – out at Gresham Transit Center, a 12-Sandy Blvd. might become a 4-Division, 9-Powell, 81-Kane/257th, or any of the other routes that serve that transit center.

    Many of us have noticed worse schedule reliability (bus shows up when it’s supposed to) since TriMet started the latter.


  84. Interlining is when a bus serving one route serves another at some point.

    So, as examples, many 12-Barbur Blvd. runs become 12-Sandy Blvd. in Downtown, same as 9-Powell and 9-Broadway, 35-Macadam and 35-Greeley, etc.

    Ah, OK, I get it now. I didn’t realize that TriMet treats the 2 “ends” of a line as separate lines. Generally, this sort of interlining strikes me as good — buses enter downtown, go straight through, then exit again without laying over or doubling back. Seems like an efficient scheme to me.

    Things get more interesting out at the TCs, where a 12 becomes a 4 (say). Without knowing anything about the rationale for this, I can only conjecture that TriMet’s scheduling gurus think it optimizes their use of the equipment and the operators. Why else would they do it?


    8. No bus shall “interline” unless its schedule adherence is improved by such operation. Any bus that is interlined, and has poorer schedule reliability (even if it is above the thresholds in #7) shall cease to interline.

    No transit agency would intentionally mess up the timekeeping. It’s not obvious to me why interlining, per se, would reduce reliability. If a bus arrives late at a TC, it’s going to leave the TC late on its next run, whether that run is on the same line or a different one.

    Of course, the TC layovers could be so padded that the late arrival doesn’t hold back the next departure. But that would also happen whether the departure is on the same line or a different one, and people would undoubtedly complain that TriMet is letting their buses and drivers go idle. So I’m missing what the issue is here.

    Obviously TriMet ought to do its best to run the buses on time. TriMet presumably has a group of scheduling gurus who are doing their best with a tricky optimization problem. If supervisors are observing a lot of lateness, well, they need to tweak the schedules. But they don’t need us to tell them that — to a scheduling guru, it’s a no-brainer.

    Linking the latenesses to the specific policy of interlining — based on some anecdotal observations — and then writing a policy to cover just the interlining case, strikes me as a degree of citizen micromanagement that no transit agency needs.

    Whoever “many of us” may be, can we assume you complained to TriMet management that you think the recent TC interlining strategy may be increasing late runs? If so, have they responded?

    I’d be interested in reading a positive rewrite of your suggested policy. That is, rather than prohibiting interlining, say what you think they should do to minimize late running.

    Mike

  85. I didn’t realize that TriMet treats the 2 “ends” of a line as separate lines.

    I don’t think they really do. Almost all #12 buses, for instance, run the full length on both sides of downtown.

    If a bus arrives late at a TC, it’s going to leave the TC late on its next run, whether that run is on the same line or a different one.

    I think part of what is happening is that buses do not have as long a layover. So a late bus stays late, rather than having a shorter layover.

    strikes me as a degree of citizen micromanagement that no transit agency needs.

    Yes. But there are plenty of people who would like to run Trimet.

  86. >That huge long URL produced a “file not found” error. So now my question is why that budget doc is on a little-known yahoo group instead of on the TriMet website?’m trying to get a sense of just what your complaint is.Portland shouldn’t have a second-class bus system, it should have a FIRST-CLASS bus system. Portland shouldn’t have to deal with poorly scheduled bus lines, overcrowded busses, broken busses, busses that are 100 degrees on the inside, or busses that stop running at 6:00 PM when people still are out and about. Portland shouldn’t have a bus system that requires you to go downtown.The truth is that as MAX has grown, bus service has increased. Interlining is when a bus serving one route serves another at some point.

  87. “Any bus that is interlined, and has poorer schedule reliability (even if it is above the thresholds in #7) shall cease to interline.”

    I wonder how much this would cost… Most mid-day buses only run every half-hour or every hour. For the most part TriMet tries to give operators a break at the end of their lines so that they can go to the bathroom, and stuff, but if we required that every bus (and operator) sits idle (well, off, but not in service,) for an hour in the middle of the day just to avoid interlining would run quite a bit of money. For a lot of bus routes, (everything but the frequent service ones,) that would effectively double the cost of service, to the point that MAX would actually be cheaper, not just on a per passenger basis, but on a per vehicle-trip basis… (It would probably actually be cheaper to keep extra buses and operators at the TCs, “just in case,” and keep the interlining.)

    My point is that long layovers are great for catching up lost time when the bus is running late, but they cost a lot of money the rest of the time…

  88. This is almost certainly unconstitutional. Election districts need to reflect one person- one vote. If we want an elected board for Trimet, Metro is already authorized to assume that role.

    No more unconstitutional than TriMet’s current “representation” of nothing.

    By the way, how is Metro elected? Why, Multnomah County gets THREE votes (Districts 1, 5 and 6), Washington County gets Districts 3 and 4, and Clackamas County gets District 2, plus some representation from District 1. If my plan for TriMet representation is “unconstitutional” then I’m sure you will file a federal lawsuit against Metro.

    Not gonna happen, so the “Constitutionality” test fails on its face.

    Which is what they have now. The argument on articulated buses for instance is whether multimple buses spaced at different times “better matches demand” than articulated buses operating less frequently. The other question is whether articulated buses “best match demand” outside of a small number of trips each day during rush hour.

    No, TriMet does not adequately match service to demand.

    Proof: Ride a 12 bus after 6:30 PM (after “rush hour”). Busses are crowded, but service is reduced (due to the elimination of the Barbur Blvd shortline busses and 94 service.)

    Service within a mile of every residence has no value.

    A heavy concentration of service in the downtown core, and a lack of service in the outer areas, has no value, but that isn’t stopping TriMet from providing it, and Metro from funding improvements to it.

    On the other hand, if you look at MAX style platforms at ever bus transfer point you would have to find room for a MAX type stop at virtually every major intersection. You are talking about a huge capital investment along with the accompanying investment in maintenance and security. That money would be far better spent on modest shelters and actual better transit service.

    It was done at Killingsworth & Interstate Avenue. The “wait” is part of the transit service; waiting at a busy stop without a shelter or bench degrades the transit experience.

    Proof: I often waited for a 56 or 92 bus at the intersection of Market & 2nd, in front of Regence Blue Cross – it was common to see 20 people waiting for a bus, and the only shelter there could accomodate three or four waiting passengers (and only two could sit). Never mind a February rain storm.

    That wouldn’t be acceptable on MAX, so why is it OK for bus riders to wait in the pouring rain?

    I don’t think there is any indication that 12-15 years is the permanent lifespan of a bus. I don’t think the last set of articulated buses even lasted that long.

    The Crown-Ikarus busses were purchased in 1981, and retired in 1997. 16 years of service.

    When they were retired, TriMet immediately had to increase frequencies on the routes that the artics ran on (i.e. 12, 33, 57). However there was a sigh of relief when those busses were finally retired – they did their job well, but were ready to be scrapped. (Not to mention the wheelchair lifts had been permanently disabled since the mid-1980s).

    As for 15 years, that is determined by the Federal Transit Administration. You know, that federal agency that funds 80% of the cost of a new bus, the agency that hasn’t seen a grant application across its desk from TriMet for new busses?

    I think this is a great idea as long as Trimet has dedicated bus right-of-way. Perhaps we can give buses the same priority as emergency vehicles, requiring private autos to get out of the way to allow them to stay on schedule.

    While BRT is nice, it’s not necessary:

    TriMet can employ bus/HOV lanes on arterial streets (they exist on portions of SE 82nd Avenue); queue jumper lanes, traffic-signal preemption, better bus stop design, and other factors to speed traffic in general (not just busses). However TriMet has absolutely zero consideration for other modes of transport, that the concept of designing roads for multiple users is lost upon them.

    The truth is that as MAX has grown, bus service has increased. When Interstate Max opened, several new lines were opened serviced by the buses it freed up.

    Uh, when Interstate MAX opened, not one new bus line was created, so where is this “service increase”?

    Meanwhile, since Airport and Interstate MAX were built, TriMet’s financial condition has deteriorated and bus purchases (systemwide) have stalled. The bus stop guidelines planning 100 bus shelters a year have diminished to 30. TriMet is two-three years behind its fleet replacement program. And bus service hours have declined.

    Maybe the 4 and 6 line got a few more busses running. Overall, the bus system is deteriorating, and more light rail isn’t going to solve the problem. If I have to wait 15 years before the hare-brained “Barbur Blvd. MAX” improves transit service, I have a better idea – it’s called buying a car. I have a job NOW, and I don’t see TriMet financially supporting my life for the next 15 years until they can get light rail here.

    TriMet has no legal responsibility to encourage or support growth, it has a legal responsibility to serve the present time. Either bus service can improve, or TriMet will continue on its path towards ridership decreases – and Portland will no longer be seen as on the forefront of transit usage. Seattle, with its questionable transit service, is in record territory for ridership and growth. Portland? Why, we’re still waiting at the bus stop – in the rain.

  89. Whoever “many of us” may be, can we assume you complained to TriMet management that you think the recent TC interlining strategy may be increasing late runs? If so, have they responded?

    Why yes, I have complained. Many times.

    What has improved? Nothing. My bus still is the worst performing regular bus route on TriMet’s system. I get nice “fluffy” e-mails from TriMet saying how they are committed to improving service, yet after the last “service improvement” my busses have run anywhere from 6 to 22 minutes late.

    I’d be interested in reading a positive rewrite of your suggested policy. That is, rather than prohibiting interlining, say what you think they should do to minimize late running.

    Let’s cover what I’ve already said a million times:

    1. TriMet should not interline the 12 bus – this line is one of TriMet’s LONGEST routes. There is no reason a traffic jam in Gresham should cause a commute problem in Tigard. NONE.

    From Portland to Gresham is over 16 miles on the 12-Sandy line. Portland to Durham Road is 12 miles; Sherwood is 17 miles. A one-way bus route can potentially be 33 miles (although most buses either run King City-Gresham, or Sherwood-Parkrose/Sumner).

    2. TriMet needs to improve the reliability of its bus fleet.

    Fortunately, TriMet has stopped the practice of assigning 1400s on the 12 line, and 1700s/1800s are rare. However the 2000-2800s have mechanical problems (overheating) in hot weather. And missed runs or runs that aren’t completed are COMMON.

    TriMet claims that “frequent service” lines are so frequent that one doesn’t even need a timetable. That’s correct, because the timetables are worthless. I have Transit Tracker running on my PC an hour before I leave work, so I know what bus conditions are like – and I know if my bus won’t show up, or if the preceding bus didn’t run that my bus will likely be in a crush run.

    While it’s nice that I have that access, many people don’t. TriMet shouldn’t discriminate against people who can’t alter their travel plans based upon a bus that hasn’t shown up yet. (Those Transit Tracker signs would be nice if TriMet installed them at non-MAX stops.)

    3. TriMet needs to streamline the route and ensure that bus stop design is efficient for moving busses on the road with minimal delay.

    TriMet already eliminated my downtown stop and I get to walk another two blocks to my bus. But TriMet still insists on making busses do 360s at Barbur Blvd and Tigard TC, instead of streamlining the bus to stay on the main route. (Does anyone remember the old “Burlingame Transit Center”? The sidewalk behind Burlingame Freddy’s on Bertha Blvd., that still has four bus shelters but is only served by one bus, the 1-Vermont? Yeah, the 12 used to pull onto Bertha, but not anymore. That bus stop at the corner of Barbur & Bertha is new.) There are numerous other stops that TriMet is well aware of that are dangerous (including the stop at Barbur & 19th, that requires busses to pull into two lanes of traffic to pull out of the stop – thus busses have to wait for BOTH lanes of traffic to clear. Why TriMet doesn’t move the stop to the north side of 19th is beyond me, when there is PLENTY of room for a safe stop.)

    4. TriMet needs to be proactive in dealing with potential problems on the route.

    I bet $100 that Fred Hansen couldn’t even identify a single landmark on the Barbur bus. I bet he couldn’t even point out Barbur Blvd. on a map.

    Delay on a bus? Passenger problem? Mechanical problem? Good luck, because no one is out there to assist. I see a lot of transit supervisors in their comfortable 4×4 F-150s guzzling down gasoline but not doing much to keep busses on time. (So much for TriMet being environmentally friendly.)

    When busses aren’t running on schedule, are those Supervisors arranging for relief busses? Nope, they’re sitting at the Barbur Blvd. transit center smoking a cigarette in clear violation of TriMet Code 28.15(A)(2).

    I have repeatedly asked TriMet to put attention on the 12-B bus to improve its performance. The response I have gotten is that eliminating one stop on the PSU campus is going to help improve transit times. Then why has my bus every day for the last two weeks been 6-22 minutes late? (Yes, 22 minutes!!!)

    Obiviously, SOMETHING is broke, and TriMet is unwilling or incapable of fixing it. And I ride on one of TriMet’s top ten bus lines. I find it unreasonable to wait 15 years for improvement.

  90. Mike asked

    So now my question is why that budget doc is on a little-known yahoo group instead of on the TriMet website?

    Erik replied

    Little know website? Hey, there are 165 of us!

    Mike again:

    I realize that, and I’m now a member myself. But I daresay the general public doesn’t know about it.

    That thick budget PDF is — as far as I know — a public document. So why do we have to join a yahoo group called “trimetoperators” to find it? A cynic might even think it’s over there because it was leaked…

    Heck, TriMet is a public agency, why don’t they put that stuff on their own website? Why not be a little more transparent?

    I’ve heard rumors that some TriMet folks read this blog but don’t write to it. We can always hope to hear from them one of these days. I’m new enough in this town to still have a little idealism.:-)

    Mike

  91. Erik said:
    “I bet $100 that Fred Hansen couldn’t … even point out Barbur Blvd. on a map.”

    Here is my problem with most of your posts. You might have good points, but they are being lost to statements like this. Even if I totally agreed with your main idea, I’d be thinking, “Fred Hansen knows where Barber Blvd is, he wants to put a MAX line on it.” And once I notice things like that, I come to the conclusion that your post is more fluff than substance, and I don’t bother to read it too closely…

  92. By the way, how is Metro elected?

    As you know, they are elected from districts of equal population.

    A heavy concentration of service in the downtown core, and a lack of service in the outer areas, has no value

    As you know, the reason there is a more service in the core is that both people and destinations are concentrated there.

    Uh, when Interstate MAX opened, not one new bus line was created, so where is this “service increase”?

    As you know, on numerous existing routes all over North and Northeast Portland.

    It was done at Killingsworth & Interstate Avenue.

    As you know, Killingsworth and Interstate is a MAX station and transfer point to the busiest bus line in the system.

    My bus still is the worst performing regular bus route on TriMet’s system

    As you know, some bus will always be the worst performing regular bus route on TriMet’s system. No matter what changes are made by TriMet someone will be able to make that complaint.

    I bet $100 that Fred Hansen couldn’t even identify a single landmark on the Barbur bus. I bet he couldn’t even point out Barbur Blvd. on a map.

    Bet taken. As you already know, you lose. You can send the money to Chris to support this site.

  93. By the way, how is Metro elected? Why, Multnomah County gets THREE votes (Districts 1, 5 and 6), Washington County gets Districts 3 and 4, and Clackamas County gets District 2, plus some representation from District 1.

    Erik, the Metro charter requires that it’s districts are drawn out so that each district represents an equal population based on the most recent federal census, no different from how state and federal congressional districts are drawn. It is not electoral-style representation based solely upon populations within existing county or municipal boundaries as in your suggestion, which was the point of Ross’s “unconstitutional” comment.

  94. Mike asked: “That thick budget PDF is — as far as I know — a public document. So why do we have to join a yahoo group called “trimetoperators” to find it? A cynic might even think it’s over there because it was leaked…”

    I agree that the budget document should be posted on TriMet’s main web site. However, the PDF you saw is not a “leaked” document. Weeks ago, I emailed TriMet asking for a copy of the 2007-2008 budget in PDF format. I was told that it was not yet available in PDF format, but that I could request a paper copy. I did so, and within a couple of days, the paper copy arrived by mail. I also urged them to place the PDF on their web site once it was completed.

    Even though I argue a lot with Erik here, I too would like to see a return of detailed bus roster information to the web site, and would also like to see documents posted such as monthly or quarterly performance reports.

    Such documents would be of value to all sides of the various debates that go on around here.

    Perhaps what is needed is a non-critical petition requesting that this additional public data be made available via the web site. I don’t know if Chris would want to manage such a drive here, but I would be the first to sign.

    Anyone care to draft some language?

    – Bob R.

  95. WHEW! You guys really know how to blog!

    Look, I work for TRIMET, and I have driven the 12 line. Erik is right, its the worst line in the system in terms of reliability and it has been that way for 11 years, which is how long I have worked here.

    Scheduling is aware of it, yet it remains badly scheduled. They have 1/2 hour service on EAST SANDY between parkrose and Gresham. Have any of you ever been over there? IT’S TRANSIT DEPENDENT COUNTRY! The bus is packed over there,with the sort of folks that take ALONG LONG TIME to board and deboard, hence the bus that leaves Gresham with the final destination of Tigard IS NOT GOING TO MAKE IT ANYWHERE NEAR THE SCHEDULED TIME.

    AND…frequent service IS NOT 15 MINUTE SERVICE…to be able to brag about frequent service you need buses scheduled every 8 minutes so if one drops out passengers are not waiting 1/2 an hour but only 15 minutes!

    If people are serious about improving bus service you have to be able to take a critical look at what exists, otherwise talk is cheap!


  96. I agree that the budget document should be posted on TriMet’s main web site. However, the PDF you saw is not a “leaked” document.

    That’s good to know.


    Weeks ago, I emailed TriMet asking for a copy of the 2007-2008 budget in PDF format. I was told that it was not yet available in PDF format, but that I could request a paper copy.

    ROTFL. Given a Word-type doc, it really doesn’t take long to generate a PDF these days.:-)

    I did so, and within a couple of days, the paper copy arrived by mail. I also urged them to place the PDF on their web site once it was completed.

    It would kill less trees — and save time as well — to just put out a PDF and e-mail it to anyone who requests it. Would have taken less effort than packaging and mailing your copy. Obviously, putting it online would require some manager to decide to do it, then send it to the webmaster, then link it up, etc. But e-mailing it to requesters instead of sending out a paper copy seems a no-brainer in 2007.


    Even though I argue a lot with Erik here, I too would like to see a return of detailed bus roster information to the web site, and would also like to see documents posted such as monthly or quarterly performance reports.

    I quite agree.

    Regarding the bus roster, it was already on the site, and (if memory serves) up to date. Some manager had to decide to remove the document. Is there a reader on this blog that might offer a non-contentious explanation why they’d pull off a doc that was already there?

    Such documents would be of value to all sides of the various debates that go on around here.

    Indeed!


    Perhaps what is needed is a non-critical petition requesting that this additional public data be made available via the web site. I don’t know if Chris would want to manage such a drive here, but I would be the first to sign.

    I’d be the second to sign.

    I’d offer to draft it, but I think someone with more experience on the ways of Portland and of TriMet would likely do a better job.

    Is it possible that a petition might not be necessary? Is there someone here who has the ear of someone at TriMet who might be able to make it happen behind the scenes, without a lot of public fuss? After all, the docs are public already, and generating a PDF only takes a few seconds.

    Mike

  97. RE: speeding up the buses. Let’s talk about traffic lights.

    Before moving here in 2006, I lived about 30 years in the Washington, DC suburbs and worked in the city center. I usually drove in, because even though the Metro is great, it doesn’t run to my neighborhood and the buses that feed it don’t run very often and take as long just to get to the subway station as my home-to-work trip takes by car. (We bought our house before the subway existed.)

    Washington, DC and its surrounding counties have spent a fortune on systems they claim will improve traffic-light timings, so as to provide a “green wave” on arterial roads. Unfortunately, they do not seem to invest in the staff to keep these systems functioning well, so the lights are very poorly timed (and getting worse over the years). Most often you get a “red wave” and must sit through a (sometimes quite long) light cycle at each signaled intersection.

    By contrast, I’ve been absolutely amazed at how well the Portland signals are timed. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I’ve driven many of the Eastside arterials — Interstate, Grand, MLK, Powell, Division, etc. etc. — and almost always get a nice long string of greens before hitting a red. My experience is similar on the narrower couplet arterials (Everett/Glisan, 11th/10th, etc.)

    I’ve found this signal-timing to be truly exemplary; my wife agrees. It came as a surprise to us, and it was especially welcome after 30 years of red-red-red-red.

    Where am I going with this? A few months ago when the papers were full of chatter about the proposed Burnside/Couch couplet, someone pointed out that giving buses the hardware to claim priority at signals might do more harm than good, because the buses would then upset the delicate balance of the signal-timing. I tend to agree. There may be exceptions — a few major intersections where it would really pay off. But in general, we don’t want to fix what is (in my opinion) not broken!

    On the other hand — I’m surprised that Portland’s bus stops are almost entirely near-side. If the stops were far-side, buses could cross the intersection before stopping for passengers. As it is, they and people behind them, must wait, even at a green light. Can experienced Portlanders comment on this?

    By the way — I LOVE the flashing YIELD lights on the rear of the buses. I’d not seen them anywhere else, and wish only that they’d always work.

    Mike

  98. “Regarding the bus roster, it was already on the site, and (if memory serves) up to date. Some manager had to decide to remove the document. Is there a reader on this blog that might offer a non-contentious explanation why they’d pull off a doc that was already there?”

    Well, it wasn’t up to date when they pulled it, but it was close. It was also had a few broken links in it. Based upon how my job works, I’m guessing that the decision to pull it went something like this: Some low level webmaster said one day in a meeting that the bus rooster information pages needed some updates, and he was going to spend some time doing it. Some mid-level manager thought, “time=money” and told him just pull the pages instead. And the low level webmaster thought that the manager was stupid, but pulled the pages cause he was told to do that, and then didn’t exactly feel motivated the rest of the day, so spent more time just surfing the internet and daydreaming than it would have taken to fix the broken links and create another page for the new fleet.

    Or maybe that is just my day.


  99. I’m guessing that the decision to pull it went something like this: Some low level webmaster said one day in a meeting that the bus rooster information pages needed some updates, and he was going to spend some time doing it. Some mid-level manager thought, “time=money” and told him just pull the pages instead.

    If true, that was a Dilbert moment.:-)

    Chances are it took the webmaster longer to discuss it with the manager than it would’ve taken to just update the page. But (s)he was an honest geek trying to please the boss.

    If the webmaster had to inform the manager that the page was out of date, the manager obviously didn’t know that before, and would never have noticed the update. (Why would a manager be reading the stuff on the website anyway?)

    If he did notice it, he might have given the webmaster a commendation for taking initiative.

    If he scolded the webmaster instead, well, that was a situation in which the old saw applies: Sometimes it’s easier to get forgiveness than to get permission.:-)

    OK, I’m getting punchy here. Sittin’ in front of this computer too long.:-)

    Mike

  100. If true, that was a Dilbert moment.:-)

    No it wasn’t. From what I can see, Trimet removed a lot of information that used to be on their site. I doubt there is a lot of demand for an up-to-date bus roster. Given limited resources, it makes some sense for Trimet to focus its web resources on customer service rather than public information. It looks like they have swung way too far in that direction (the budget, board minutes etc, ought to be available on their web site) but that doesn’t mean the cost of maintaining and updating documents shouldn’t be considered.

  101. I was waiting for the ink to dry, which it now has, and this seems like a good a place to make the informal announcement as any…

    I am now the volunteer webmaster for the Portland Streetcar web site. It may be some time before I have full access and start making changes, and my only real authority will be to make routine site updates and suggest changes, but from what I’ve gathered in my talks with Portland Streetcar, Inc., the intention is to provide more information and in a more easily accessible format.

    Look for changes to come gradually over the next few months, and if you have any specific suggestions, now is a good time to send them in. (I’ll start a discussion thread here on Portland Transport after I’ve begun work on the web site, and in the meantime you can use the “Contact Us” link on the PortlandStreetcar.org web site.)

    Disclosures: I’m doing this on a purely volunteer basis — the Portland Streetcar organization is not paying me money (although they will reimburse me the exact cost of any normal expenses). The Portland Streetcar web site is unrelated to the TriMet web site. I am currently a member of the Portland Streetcar CAC, and am also an advocate for a future streetcar line on Hawthorne Blvd.

    – Bob R.

  102. Given a Word-type doc, it really doesn’t take long to generate a PDF these days.:-)

    The impression I got is that the various chapters of the overall budget were prepared by different people or departments, and they hadn’t been compiled electronically into one large PDF yet.

    Of course, this is much easier to do these days than it used to be, and the management staff may not be aware of that.

    – Bob R.

  103. Given limited resources, it makes some sense for Trimet to focus its web resources on customer service rather than public information

    If this argument had any substance, ODOT’s webpage would simply be a webpage for the DMV – because the only time that ODOT provides “customer service” is at the DMV counter, or a Port of Entry if you’re a commercial vehicle operator. Is ODOT wasting substantial “resources” on their website?

    And Metro’s webpage wouldn’t contain ANY transportation planning documents; it would only contain the event calendars for MERC, information on Blue Lake Park, an info page for the Transfer Stations, and the Oregon Zoo website. Is Metro wasting substantial “resources” on their website?

    I still do not understand why TriMet gets a free pass for its practices, when members of this forum would heavily criticize ODOT, Metro, City of Portland, and other agencies for “withholding” information and potentially siding with “auto-centric” persons.

    Go to http://www.c-tran.com or http://www.cherriots.org or http://www.ltd.org or transit.metrokc.gov – you’ll find vastly more “public information” on any of these four websites, than what can be found at http://www.trimet.org

    The impression I got is that the various chapters of the overall budget were prepared by different people or departments, and they hadn’t been compiled electronically into one large PDF yet.

    Given the number of “proproganda” PDF files on TriMet’s website, I find this to be an excuse. In fact, this website – http://www.trimet.org/publications – has quite a bit of PDF files, although I’m waiting for document number #3 to disappear anyday (given that TriMet does not follow the budgetary guidelines as published in that document).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *