TriMet withdraws plan for immediate changes to Fareless Square

This info comes courtesy of the Portland Mercury Blog, which has posted a TriMet Press Release. As of this writing, the press release is not yet available on the TriMet web site.

Read the full post at the Mercury:

TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen may have skipped two public hearings on the matter, but apparently he got the message: Portlanders don’t want TriMet to curtail Fareless Square, cutting it back to 7 am to 7 pm, as a stop gap measure that TriMet says will shore up public safety. Hansen has killed that proposal.

TriMet will, however, do a “comprehensive review of fareless” over the next 18 months, as previously announced.

[Update: TriMet has now posted the Press Release and Fred Hansen’s statement on their site.]

16 Comments

16 Responses to TriMet withdraws plan for immediate changes to Fareless Square

  1. nuovorecord
    January 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm Link

    Sanity prevails.

  2. AL M
    January 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm Link

    WOW,

    I’m impressed!

  3. AL M
    January 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm Link

    “TriMet will, however, do a “comprehensive review of fareless” over the next 18 months,”

    They need to do a comprehensive review of the bogus zone/fare/transfer/pass structure.

    This system needs a major overhaul in how its handling passenger revenues, and who paying so that fareless can continue to be free!

  4. GregInOrenco
    January 18, 2008 at 7:11 pm Link

    Ummmm…. OK.

    Here’s hoping they eliminate the whole thing, not just at night.

  5. Bob R.
    January 18, 2008 at 9:21 pm Link

    Oregonian article about MAX safety/crime, system-wide:

    Mixed news from MAX crime stats Numbers through Nov. 2007 show assaults, car thefts up on Westside; car break-ins down significantly

    Excerpts:

    Thanks to a sharp decline in car break-ins through the first 11 months of 2007, crime numbers on the MAX light rail appear headed for a steep decline from 2006.

    Earlier this week, the Portland transit agency released crime statistics through Nov. 30. They showed that 567 total crimes were reported systemwide in the first 11 months of 2007.

    By comparison, 789 crimes were reported in 2005 and 732 were reported in 2006. If December’s crime rate was consistent with the prior 11 months’, it would mark a 15 percent drop in crime on MAX from 2006 to 2007.

  6. dyspeptic
    January 18, 2008 at 9:55 pm Link

    Did anybody besides me appreciate the irony of Hansen saying the original purpose of FS was carbon monoxide reduction that’s no longer an issue so the reason for it is gone, then DEQ issues a carbon monoxide alert two nights later?

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  7. Terry Parker
    January 18, 2008 at 11:27 pm Link

    All the people who pay nothing to ride and expect taxpayers to financially carry and support them showed up at there hearings. One guy said he lives downtown, uses the transit system all the time and admitted he has no transportation costs. In other words he sponges his means of transport off of the taxpayers.

    From my prospective Fareless Square ought to be totally eliminated.

    If it remains free, then maybe the people who live in Fareless Square and those who live within five blocks of Fareless Square should have an additional $4.50 added to their city utility bills to help pay for it. Businesses within the same parameters could be charged a fee on their utility bills based on the average number of Fareless Square trips the business generates, And then of course to make all things equal, parking downtown including in the city owned garages, would be free because free is a very good word, and everybody who drives likes free parking TriMet could just be charged a 24 cents a gallon diesel tax to pay for any garage building costs. If TriMet has to raise fares or cut service to pay the fuel tax, so be it. After all, that is the same arrogant attitude taken by Adams and company when the concept is to raise taxes that pinch budgets for households and motorists to give back door freebee perks to bicyclists. If what makes Portland “Portland” is free transit downtown, then free parking downtown and elsewhere where meters and city owned garages exist will only make the central city an equitably better Portland free for all.

  8. Bob R.
    January 18, 2008 at 11:36 pm Link

    freebee perks to bicyclists

    You just couldn’t contain yourself, could you? Please try to A) keep on topic and B) stop repeating the exact same complaint in every topic thread.

  9. Adron
    January 18, 2008 at 11:58 pm Link

    The irony is, this is a case of a minority pushing/voting/demanding something at the cost of everyone else again. It happens so often until it just becomes too much of a burden.

    As for the mooch that lives downtown and has no transit cost. That is sick. I buy a month pass every month. I buy one even if I use the transit just 2-3 times for the whole month. Why? For two reasons. Between my excessive tax burden and the month pass I know I’ve paid my way. In addition to that it is just much easier in case I do want to leave downtown for some odd reason (like to go to the airport).

    Generally I even walk more than I take transit because downtown, it is more efficient. This however is the story of my life, I pay far in excess of what I use, so that mooches and leaches on the system can demand a faux right and ride for free.

    When does it end? So far I’ve paid for myself and another to overutilize the transportation system and infrastructure in this country. I’ve covered costs for myself to be educated and for two others. All I do is pay, pay, pay, and what do I get?

    Beggers demanding more, more, and more. The homeless stinking up the transit system that people like I paid for. Bums spitting up on my shirt during lunch because they have no the respect or mental ability to show any respect. Cops that are incapable of removing these people for civil society because of misperceived rights! ? When does the encroachment on one group of people get so excessive that people finally begin standing up for themselves? Does the country have to fall into ruin before that happens?

    Fareless zone. A measly 50 cents all day, a simple measly anybody can get it 50 cents would eiliminate the vast majority of these problems. But it seems the minority of screamers gets their way again.

    Probably because us folk paying for the system had to go to work… hmm, that usually seems to be the case.

    Oh well, RIP self sufficient people, make way for the mooches.

  10. Matthew
    January 19, 2008 at 12:37 am Link

    “As for the mooch that lives downtown and has no transit cost. That is sick.”

    It is. I can’t imagine confining my entire life to 1.35 sq miles, and I’m not that exciting in the first place. He must be really dull.

  11. Stephan
    January 19, 2008 at 4:00 am Link

    A common complaint seems to be that people who live downtown use transit entirely free inside Fareless Sqare. But can anyone provide numbers of how many fareless riders live downtown and how many are visitors from outside?

  12. Michael Kuhn
    January 19, 2008 at 4:49 pm Link

    Tri-Met, and taxpayers, should not have to subsidize the business interests and close in residents who benefit from free transport. Let the Portland Business Alliance, who pays for enhanced downtown policing, pony up for free bus/light rail service downtown.

  13. Erik Halstead
    January 19, 2008 at 10:10 pm Link

    Did anybody besides me appreciate the irony of Hansen saying the original purpose of FS was carbon monoxide reduction that’s no longer an issue so the reason for it is gone, then DEQ issues a carbon monoxide alert two nights later?

    Not only can’t you make this stuff up, but TriMet is one of the very FEW transit agencies that doesn’t have a “free ride” program on clean air advisory days. I seem to recall C-Tran did, or at least used to (before their budgetary problems kicked in).

    So instead of helping the region breathe clean air by providing a good way to get around, TriMet is only interested in providing clean air in one part of Portland. Too bad if you live in Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard, Tualatin, or Oregon City, you get stuck with dirty air.

    (And it doesn’t help that TriMet uses dirty busses, too, unlike many transit agencies that are quickly moving to hybrid busses.)

    All along, this was the RIGHT solution (eliminating fareless square) for the WRONG problem (perceived security risk; most of the recent security issues have occurred well outside of fareless square and had nothing to do with fare evaders.)

  14. Jason Barbour
    January 21, 2008 at 11:25 am Link

    TriMet is one of the very FEW transit agencies that doesn’t have a “free ride” program on clean air advisory days. I seem to recall C-Tran did, or at least used to (before their budgetary problems kicked in).
    C-TRAN still does, I don’t think there were any clean air advisory days last year. They did have a free service day on Nov. 19th, but that was for the opening of the new transit center, and not for air pollution advisory reasons.

    TriMet used to have them, I remember in the mid-90s when there was a Clean Air Advisory Day, there would be a story on the TV news that you could pick up free passes at Safeway (this was well before I used TriMet; I was a kid in high school at the time).

    All along, this was the RIGHT solution (eliminating fareless square) for the WRONG problem (perceived security risk; most of the recent security issues have occurred well outside of fareless square and had nothing to do with fare evaders.)
    I don’t know how many times I’ve seen bus operators feel compelled to let someone who didn’t pay continue beyond Fareless Square for whatever reason. Why this is fair to everyone else that has a valid fare, I don’t know.

  15. Erik Halstead
    January 22, 2008 at 7:47 pm Link

    TriMet used to have them, I remember in the mid-90s when there was a Clean Air Advisory Day, there would be a story on the TV news that you could pick up free passes at Safeway

    I remember when C-Tran would actually display “RIDE FREE TODAY” on the headsign for clean air advisory days.

    No need to **DRIVE** to a Safeway to pick up a free TriMet pass, just get on the bus at your friendly neighborhood bus stop (yes, they exist!), smile and wave at your friendly TriMet bus operating professional (can’t do that on MAX or Streetcar!), and take a seat.

  16. Dave
    January 22, 2008 at 11:09 pm Link

    can’t do that on MAX or Streetcar!

    You can wave at them. If they acknowledge or care remains to be seen, but you can in fact wave.

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