My First Ride on WES


Today I joined several folks from the Streetcar Citizen Advisory Committee for a preview ride on the new Westside Express Service (WES).

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More after the jump.

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The platform is flush with the vehicle entrances. Wheelchair users can roll across the gap, no need for bridgeplates.

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A new line on the system map.

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The new maintenance facility in Wilsonville.

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A slightly more engaging style of TriMet graphics?

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I tested the WiFi on my iPhone.

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Nice!

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Only two bike hooks per vehicle. I’m told this was largely dictated by Federal Railway Administration regs. Still, it’s sad.

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The next arrivals display had a KGW news ticker. I wonder if they pay a sponsorship fee for that?

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The Wilsonville SMART system has reorganized their route system around a transit center at the WES terminus.

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48 bike lockers at the Wilsonville terminus!


57 responses to “My First Ride on WES”

  1. Sorry I couldn’t join this ride as-scheduled today… we had to take our one of our cats to the vet. The cat wasn’t very happy about it, either.

  2. Who needs an analysis? The system has been beaten to death before it even opened. Over. And over. And over. There’s nothing new to analyze until it’s actually been in operation and we have some ridership numbers to examine. Until then, chill.

  3. I hate you Portland, if only because you have a million people less than my metro area (Twin Cities, Minnesota) and yet (by my count) you’ve got five rail lines and one more under construction. We’re still stuck at 2 (and one of those was watered down from what it should be. And line number three keeps getting pushed back. Maybe it’s time for me to leave…

  4. Al, here’s my analysis – the thing MOVES. At one point we were going faster than free-moving traffic on 217.

    On the flip-side, the station locations are mostly in very out-of-the-way places.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how it works in practice.

  5. Are there plans to reroute nearby bus lines to stop at the stations. The Nimbus station appears to only be served by the 76 and 78 lines even though it is close to the Washington Square Transit Center which has lots of bus lines running to it.

    If Trimet’s policy is to limit park and rides in part to encourage folks to not drive to the rail lines but then doesn’t provide options other than by walking, biking how are people going to get there?

    48 bike lockers at Wilsonville?! No offense to Wilsonville, but becuase they had space they appear to have all of the pieces in place for a true multi-modal infrastructure. They have their routes designed around the stop, they have the largest park and ride and the largest bike facilities.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that WES has been developed, warts and all, but these things leave me perplexed (and make it difficult for me to convince my wife to use it for her commute from Tigard to Gateway)>

  6. PS: To JK, Terry, etc. There is no way my wife is going to make that journey by bus and she does do it by rail from time to time so she, and many like her, are the demographic these services are trying to attract and can only attract via rail.

  7. I was very impressed. New train smell!
    (I just stumbled upon the event yesterday – -lucky me!)
    I only rode down two stops where a NB train was waiting and I hopped back for a shortened return trip.
    I tried the WES WiFi with my t-mobile “Hot Spot at Home” phone, but it would not hook up.
    I agree that it was very fast; obviously they have improved the rails a lot, since I rode the demonstration train 10 years ago along the same route during the West Side Max grand opening.
    The switching rails, to set the narrower WES cars next to the platform, are an interesting feature; I wonder if these ever fail?

    I did take some pictures and very short movie clips with my limited resolution camera phone; how would I post these?

  8. Gene F:
    “I did take some pictures and very short movie clips with my limited resolution camera phone; how would I post these?”

    Get a flicker account, and upload the photos to there, and then post the link. The video can be updated to YouTube, and then post that link. And when you post a link to that, don’t just say “Hey, a link,” say “Here are the pictures of the switching rails at the stations” or whatever they are…

  9. Chris, the graphics are part of a system-wide new campaign. You’ll see them on buses as well. My favorite is the do not disturb poster, with the woman hollering into her cell phone (a particular gripe of mine). Unfortunately, the graphic artist who designed them ended up having to move to New Jersey.

  10. On a lighter note, I think it always assumed that when someone moves to NJ it is because they have to. Isn’t the only way folks move to New Jersey any more? :)

  11. A new line on the system map.
    And they’ve been on there since the MAX schedules were reprinted/revised for the Aug. 31, 2008 Schedule Change. I’ve also noticed it’s now the “TriMet Rail System Map,” not just ‘MAX Map.’

    A slightly more engaging style of TriMet graphics?
    I like them, too, and have been seeing them on more and more buses since September. Some of the same verbage, sans graphics, is also now on the schedule posters at the stops with shelters that have them.

    The Wilsonville SMART system has reorganized their route system around a transit center at the WES terminus.
    And, it looks like they either have some new buses, and/or the best used ones they could get. (Slightly off-topic, but what the heck: I went to a SMART meeting last June which was probably an equivalent to a TriMet TIP Open House, where a SMART staffer said that someone from FTA was looking through their info a few months before and said “I think you have a typo, this says 1979…,” and the response was ‘no, we really do have a 1979 bus in revenue service!’)

    Are there plans to reroute nearby bus lines to stop at the stations. The Nimbus station appears to only be served by the 76 and 78 lines even though it is close to the Washington Square Transit Center which has lots of bus lines running to it.
    As far as I know, the only bus route change they made was so 76 would run next to the Tualatin WES station. It should also be pointed out that a few rush-hour-only 43-Taylors Ferry trips serve the same bus stop near the Hall/Nimbus station as 76/78.

    If Trimet’s policy is to limit park and rides in part to encourage folks to not drive to the rail lines but then doesn’t provide options other than by walking, biking how are people going to get there?
    There was an Oregonian article a few months ago that the hope is people will access high-capacity transit services by first using their local bus routes.

    There is no way my wife is going to make that journey by bus and she does do it by rail from time to time…
    I will personally vouch for the fact that a packed 76 is much, much different from, say, a packed 14. And, when I lived on that side of town, I rode 76 everyday during rush hour for several years! Today, one would still be riding the same buses.

  12. “There’s nothing new to analyze until it’s actually been in operation”

    Point taken!

    “Al, here’s my analysis – the thing MOVES. At one point we were going faster than free-moving traffic on 217.On the flip-side, the station locations are mostly in very out-of-the-way places.It’s going to be interesting to see how it works in practice.”

    HEY, That was my analysis!

  13. Nice!

    That’s what Adron thought when we rode. I don’t think they’re at all the seats (they might be just meant for vacuuming, etc) but they are also under the sideways flip-down seats.

    faster than free-moving traffic on 217

    I had to take a video to show that. Its currently on Al’s blog along with some other footage.

    but it would not hook up

    I couldn’t get it work on my Palm TX either. The agreement page wouldn’t load. (Can we get that fixed, please?)

    Lastly, once again these are the photos I took on my ride last Friday. And here’s the woman hollering into her cell phone.

  14. If Trimet’s policy is to limit park and rides in part to encourage folks to not drive to the rail lines but then doesn’t provide options other than by walking, biking how are people going to get there?

    Parking at WES stations wasn’t defined by a policy, but rather defined by availability. Wilsonville has a nice, huge parking area, Beaverton has zero, and the other stations have only what could be made available.

  15. wes is clearly a park & ride type operation, unlike max it is not designed to be focused on TODs or bus transfers.

    that said, trimet really needs to improve bus service to the tualatin area, outside of peak time the 76 is your only option and that is just a crosstown line. tualatin is a pretty major part of the region and yet its bus service is by far sub-par for the region.

    why not extend the bus routes (96, 36) that now terminate at the bridgeport village park & ride to tualatin station? as well as make the 96 more than just a peak direction, peak hours operation.

  16. Jason, you are a sly dog

    Hehehe!

    And jon, the 96 doesn’t end at Tualatin P&R (by Bridgeport Village) and does operate in the off-peak direction too. But I do think extending the 36, 37 and 38 from there to WES might be a good idea. The problems are probably money and layovers at the WES station.

    Also, while I’m at it, two other things:
    1. Why is the P&R at the Tualatin station named Tualatin North, when its south(west) of the other Tualatin lot?
    2. Why is WES route 203 (at least internally)?

  17. The 36, 37, & 38 are underperforming routes barely hanging on by the thickness of a bus’s last paint job.

    There was some talk a while back about adjusting the 38 to go up Bonita to serve that part of Tigard. However, long term plans at Metro include combining the 36 & 37 into a single loop. Would there be much point in doing that if it wasn’t with the idea of eventually making that loop one way?

    Also, that same Metro planning would truncate the 78 at the Tigard transit center forcing Beaverton bound riders to change to WES or the 76. This is amazing given that the 78 is one of the better performing routes in the system.

    I asked TriMet about when these changes might go into effect and they said they had no knowledge of them. It seems that, while our eyes are being focused on the streetcar extension, Lake Oswego may very well lose a lot more than just the good bus service to downtown and north Portland.

  18. Jason, I’ll get back to you on #1. It’s news to me. And it sounds completely wrong.

    #2. It’s the third in a series. 93 is the trolley. 193 is streetcar. 203 is WES. For some reason, the decision was made not to go into the 290s.

  19. At least the commuter trains are not sharing traffic with highway 217 like one particular route Portland Streetcar’s trying to do with another highway…

  20. Jason! Turns out that TM made a big boo-boo, and you were the first to catch it. It’s going to take a little time to fix things but someone over there (and I know who) owes you a big one.

  21. i’d like to see the 78 serve the kruse woods area and continue to provide duplicate service with the 76 on hall blvd. maybe the 78 could also continue from lake oswego to oregon city down willamette drive replacing the 35 (especially if the streetcar to lake oswego is built).

    i think some name changes are needed for these park & rides in tualatin… forget tualatin p&r and tualatin north park & ride, how about just downtown tualatin p&r and bridgeport village p&r?

    thank you for correcting me about the 96. but for the other lines, downtown tualatin just seems like a much more logical place to terminate bus lines especially when its not all that much further down the road.

  22. Aaron W: The Nimbus station appears to only be served by the 76 and 78 lines even though it is close to the Washington Square Transit Center which has lots of bus lines running to it.

    It is appalling that TriMet did ZIP-O in terms of improving bus access at Hall/Nimbus, a station specifically marketed towards the area’s business parks.

    There is NO access (without a very, very lengthy walk) to north/westbound bus service (i.e. 76/78 into the residential neighborhoods, or 43 to Nimbus). The same is true for service to the WES station from Washington Square.

    The bus stop for south/eastbound service is a much shorter walk, but it is an “unimproved” stop (sign only). Come on, this is a WES transfer point, after $166 million (including $40M in cost overruns and a bailout of a company), one would think TriMet could spluge at least $2,000 for a shelter and an improved stop pad. (At least the Hall/Nimbus platform shelters are standard-issue TriMet bus stop shelters, but how much did the art cost?) And maybe a few bucks to build a north/westbound stop?

    Frankly, after this bus stop problem, it would have been better to position the stop at Scholls Ferry. At least at Scholls Ferry there are three bus routes that stop at Cascade Avenue/the railroad tracks (45, 62, 92). The 43 could easily be re-routed to Scholls Ferry (after all it used to, and non-peak hour trips still, terminate at Washington Square.)

    There is no way my wife is going to make that journey by bus

    I would understand that given the current state of TriMet bus service.

    Sound Transit’s ST Express services are wildly popular. One ought to take a trip up north to see the quality of the “commuter buses” compared with the “local” buses operated in Metro, Community Transit, Everett Transit and Pierce Transit fleet colors. The ST Express buses have identical seats to the WES vehicles (or at least very close), with tables, overhead reading lights, and luggage racks. And although ST Express currently doesn’t have Wi-Fi, King County Metro DOES have Wi-Fi on a number of their buses.

    And, for the record, my wife won’t ride MAX. (Too much lateral motion makes her motion-sick. Not to mention that riding MAX is pointless where we live and work and play, but that’s really besides the point.)

    jon: unlike max it is not designed to be focused on TODs or bus transfers.

    Part 1 is very true: The only stop that has any redevelopment potential is Tigard, and redevelopment of Tigard’s downtown would happen with or without WES, it’s been a long priority of the city (yet not much is being done about it). Tualatin is close, but east of the station has long been in a urban renewal area that is a bit stalled and it’s success is questionable (I used to walk through the Tualatin Commons when I lived in that area and used the 96, and it was always dead when I walked through); west is another “single-occupant-vehicle-oriented” strip mall. Wilsonville’s station is surrounded by medium industrial/warehouse on one side, and protected wetlands on the other.

    Hall/Nimbus, IMO, is the most screwed-up station. Yes, it’s close to the Nimbus business park. So what – the station is hidden behind the backs of buildings (including a new…STRIP MALL!), there is very poor bus connectivity, and walking to the Nimbus business area requires a roundabout walk due to a lack of pedestrian connectivity. Why was no walkway installed on the south end of the station leading to the building with the First Tech Credit Union?

    Beaverton…well it’s also behind a strip mall too, but that can’t be blamed on WES. The design of Beaverton TC’s WES terminus, however, is a direct reason that limits future growth of the WES station (because of this station, trains are limited to two car DMU sets, and locomotive-hauled sets, even in an emergency, are prohibited from this station.)

    As for jon’s comment about access is really design by P&R customers…once again TriMet’s true colors are showing. The on-board WES system maps only show rail connections…why not the connections at the five stations that WES serves? What’s more important – knowing that the Yellow Line goes to the Expo Center (which doesn’t even connect to WES)? Or that one can get off at Hall/Nimbus and catch (at least conveniently south/eastbound only) a 76/78 to Washington Square? (Or is it magically expected that you go to Tigard TC to catch that bus? Wait, it’s not on the map either.)

    What’s most ironic is that the rail-transit supporters often cite the benefits of the Streetcar, when in fact few if any of the benefits really exist with WES. It is heavily dependent on auto trips, doesn’t provide decent connections to anywhere, TOD benefits are very few, and it doesn’t provide any benefit outside of rush hours. Yet it cost $166 million. Frankly…it galls me to say this, but I’d rather have a Streetcar line for $166 million than a WES line – at least the Streetcar does serve transit users, even if I’m opposed to development-oriented transit. (Of course $166M would go a very, very long way towards bus – at least five BRT or BRT-lite routes in Portland could be started for $166M.) $166M could build at least three or four short Streetcar systems (I’m going to say three, along with some funding for NEW buses for SMART instead of hand-me-down Phantoms from some transit agency in California.)

  23. And although ST Express currently doesn’t have Wi-Fi

    I stand corrected:

    http://www.soundtransit.org/x6083.xml

    Sound Transit has equipped 34 of its articulated, diesel express buses (excluding hybrids) with wireless internet service. These buses run most frequently on ST Express routes 522, 545, and 577. Buses are scheduled for different routes and times according to need and availability.

    Along with…

    Sounder cars are equipped with Wi-Fi access on both Everett–Seattle and Tacoma–Seattle service. Sounder cars with 100, 300 and 400 series numbers are equipped.

  24. There is NO access (without a very, very lengthy walk) to north/westbound bus service (i.e. 76/78 into the residential neighborhoods, or 43 to Nimbus). The same is true for service to the WES station from Washington Square.

    New stop across the street goes live today, I believe. Because of poor timing, the stop won’t show up in trip plans for a little over a week.

  25. Attended the grand opening speech/celebration at Tigard Transit Center this morning, later followed by my first ride on WES – Tigard TC to Wilsonville. I thought Tigard was a great place for the main event, as I remember reading a commuter rail study for the first time in the old Tigard Library back in 2000.

    Overall, I thought the entire process had plenty of room for improvement, including senior citizens that think “honored citizen” means they can boss everyone else around. Several people were talking about how the ticket system maybe should’ve been done by direction/time, as I was a standee for the entire trip. So no way to try out the free wifi, either. I will agree, however, that the ride was smooth, just as I remember riding MAX for the first time back in 1986. I’ll definitely have to ride WES again one of these days.

    It was, however, nice to run into Jason McHuff, Tommy Ngo, Jeff F., Kelly, Cynthia Thompson (SMART General Manager), and those folks every once in a while. And I did find out that SMART does have three ex-C-TRAN buses. (I thought they looked familiar!)

    I didn’t even bother with the shuttle buses. I took a revenue service SMART 2X to Barbur Blvd. & Capitol Hwy., boarded a TriMet 44C to PCC-Sylvania, and came up here, where I’m typing this message.

  26. regarding hall/nimbus. no 76/78 bus service? tigard is one stop south, and beaverton is one stop north. I also wonder how much potential there really was at that stop when tri-met decided to create it, given that the area isn’t amenable to foot traffic to begin with. it’s definitely the weakest of the five system stops. maybe with frequent (every 5min) service to washington square it would be worth it?

    I do agree that the maps need to be revised with bus transfer points. getting an all-zone gets you on MAX, WES, bus, and streetcar, and the maps should indicate that.

    FRA regulations require that any bikes on board WES need to be securely fastened with the “hangy hand-mashers(tm)”. it’s not like MAX where you can stand in the aisle with your bike if you need to. the choice of only two per cab is pretty ridiculous. I asked someone from tri-met about this, and they indicated they were trying to make it up with the bike lockers. we’ll see what the utilization is when it’s in production. I think a “bike trailer” with less seats and more bike racks would be a great success.

    overall I was impressed with the track condition and the speed. unfortunately I can’t justify using it for commuting. I currently work in Tigard just a short walk from the transit center, but I live in inner SE. I could take 75 -> MAX -> WES, but at that point I have to throw up my hands and get back in my car. (the transfers are always a time killer.)

  27. MAX to Beaverton TC from Pioneer SQ 20 minutes; trains every 5-10 minutes.
    WES to Tigard from BTC 10 minutes, every 1/2 hour. Not bad. A ton of industry along the line, but only just south of Tigard does any of it use rail. Too bad.
    WES is very smooth and fast, but not quick.

  28. Yes, the 76/78 stops near the Hall/Nimbus station, specifically on Hall right at the railroad crossing. In fact, that’s how I got from there to Beaverton, since it came sooner than the next train or WES shuttle bus (which was also stopping there). But Ed Rosney (Manager of On-Street Customer Service) did say that those bus stops are inconvenient.

    WES is…not quick.

    I’m not sure what could be done about that–where they can, trains do go 60 MPH (faster than 217 traffic) and moving the tracks really isn’t an option. But WES really isn’t meant for getting from Portland to Tigard.

    Also, I’ll second the confusion about the tickets (numbered tickets were given out at each station, with people boarding trains by number a la Southwest Airlines), as well as note that the shuttle buses weren’t pre-advertised. And some of the trains did indeed have a lot of standing passengers, even though they made people ride the shuttle buses the other way (which were also moderately full) or get in line for another ticket.

  29. Dropped by the WES station midday for the first time for the show. Two hour wait to ride. The crowd were all pols and insiders. The layout of the station, parking lot, roads, favor auto drivers and the able-bodied.

    I haven’t intentionally gone to Wilsonville in a dozen years, so I doubt I’ll be back. And if you ride to Wilsonville on the WES, you’re actually not in Wilsonville at all, just out in some yet to be fully leased industrial area.

    Fortunately I’m a pinko. If I weren’t, I’d be pissed.

  30. Fortunately I’m a pinko. If I weren’t, I’d be pissed.

    A truly GREAT,
    STUPENDOUS,
    TREMENDOUS,
    VOLUMINOUS,
    EXCEPTIONAL,
    MONUMENTAL,

    remark!

    bravo!

  31. I’m going to take a wild guess that the Wilsonville WES station is there not just because the tracks are on that side of town, but also because it isn’t as developed as the rest of the city. It would not surprise me at all if, at some point, there is some transit-oriented development in the immediate vicinity, and/or some sort of businesses that are there to serve transit riders. Probably won’t be that soon because of the recession/depression, but eventually.

  32. Villebois is close enough to be considered TOD. I just went through the whole site and am writing up an entry. Should have it posted by this coming Monday (Transit Sleuth). It actually looks like it might be a really, really nice development. One of the BETTER TODs in Portland. Orenco is the other one I can think of that is nice. In BOTH cases though, the transit is a bit far away from the town center which REALLY REALLY bugs me, but it’s better than nothing.

    Villebois

  33. As I had to work in the morning (in Salem), I wasn’t able to get to Wilsonville until a little after 2pm. It seemed as if they were beginning to close up. The guy giving out tickets said the only train I could ride was at 3:26, with a return via shuttle bus.

    So I got a ticket, left to get a late lunch, and returned in time to saunter onto the train. No lines, no hordes of people, nobody checking tickets. There were plenty of seats all the way up to Beaverton. Nice ride, ditto on everything. The WiFi worked with my iPhone. The ride didn’t seem all that fast to me until I went up and watched over the engineer’s shoulder and saw that we did hit 60 along 217.

    I dutifully went over to the shuttle buses at Beaverton and was the lone passenger on a SMART shuttle express back to Wilsonville. As we waited for the light on Lombard, the train passed us (with a few passengers) on its way back south. With a bit of slowness on part of 217, but otherwise free flowing traffic, the nonstop express bus was soundly beaten back to Wilsonville by WES. I wish I had just stayed on the train!

  34. Lurker B Says:

    As I had to work in the morning (in Salem), I wasn’t able to get to Wilsonville until a little after 2pm. It seemed as if they were beginning to close up. The guy giving out tickets said the only train I could ride was at 3:26, with a return via shuttle bus.

    Bet he was a handsome devil, the guy with the tickets.

  35. Yesterday I noticed that if you are at Beaverton TC, and want transit tracker arrival times for the buses, go over to the WES platform and look at that screen. (Too bad they couldn’t put another couple screens over near the bus stops, but…)

  36. Matthew, it’s good to know that the sign was working!

    It’s brand-new technology for TriMet and still has bugs.

  37. Adron:“Villebois is close enough to be considered TOD. I just went through the whole site and am writing up an entry. Should have it posted by this coming Monday (Transit Sleuth). It actually looks like it might be a really, really nice development. One of the BETTER TODs in Portland. Orenco is the other one I can think of that is nice. In BOTH cases though, the transit is a bit far away from the town center which REALLY REALLY bugs me, but it’s better than nothing.”

    ws:I really don’t think Villebois is close enough to the transit stop to be considered a “TOD”. From the center of Villebois to the WES transit stop is about 1 mile. Even some of the newest homes closer to the wetland and near the stop are far away at a bit less than 1/2 a mile.

    I like Villebois, and it is good “urbanism” for the suburbs, but it’s hard for me to grasp that a commuter rail 1 mile away would be considered a TOD.

    From the center of Orenco to to the transit stop is .4 of a mile.

    Most TODs consist of a 10 minute walk from dwelling/business to transit stop (I believe that’s about 1/4 of a mile). Most of Orenco does a pretty good job of meeting this criteria, and I really don’t think Villebois does.

  38. i understand the wilsonville station location was moved to the current site from elsewhere in the city to be closer to the villebois.

    there is a very infrequent shuttle to villebois from the station, that helps a little.

    it will be interesting to see if the under construction villebois village center turns out as attractive as it does in the rendering

  39. Regarding the new 76/78 stop northbound/westbound for the Hall/Nimbus Station – yes, I noticed the brand new bus stop sign.

    Again, I am not shocked, but it’s clearly a sign of TriMet’s priorities, that this stop was basically a “last minute” addition and was not thought out. The bus stop is IN THE MIDDLE OF A DRIVEWAY for a ODOT yard.

    View Larger Map

    Absolutely no improvements, other than the bus stop sign, were made – no sidewalk, no shelter, no Transit Tracker sign…nothing.

  40. I rode the first northbound out of Wilsonville on Friday (even made a cameo on KGW’s broadcast in the background). The boarding process was very, very chaoatic – different folks said different things, everyone lined up (due to a lack of direction). It would have been very simple if they made a simple announcement that said “Chamber Members, and those holding tickets One through Thirty, please board”.

    Upon arrival at Beaverton, there were only 10-15 folks in line so we got a ticket for the return trip by train instead of bus. Saw a number of the buses running the WES Shuttle were standing room only, and other buses were empty/very lightly loaded. Return trip had plenty of seats, with nobody getting on at Hall/Nimbus or Tualatin.

  41. Bet he was a handsome devil, the guy with the tickets.

    No you–oops–he isn’t. Just kidding! :)

    Absolutely no improvements, other than the bus stop sign, were made – no sidewalk

    I don’t seem to have a picture of the stop, but I’m pretty darn sure that there’s a sidewalk there now. And I don’t think that the driveway is used that much.

    As for me, I filmed the speeches at Tigard, rode the crowded second train to Wilsonville (the first one was for dignitaries), saw Jeff F and proceeded to check out all the stations to Beaverton, taking one of the 1400’s w/removed seats to Tualatin (with an operator who wasn’t quite sure about the stops), another shuttle to Tigard, the train to Hall/Nimbus and a 76/78 to Beaverton.

    And Jeff, “Tualatin North” is on the sign at the WES P&R.

    Lastly, there was some confusion at Beaverton, where the conductors were telling people to get off the train but the people at the station were allowing people to stay on since there wasn’t any line. As well as getting the tickets in Tigard. And one of the problems is that the tickets is that they weren’t separated between northbound and southbound, and I’m not sure if they took into account the fact that some people might or might not get off at intermediate stations.

  42. Jason McHuff Says:

    Absolutely no improvements, other than the bus stop sign, were made – no sidewalk

    I don’t seem to have a picture of the stop, but I’m pretty darn sure that there’s a sidewalk there now. And I don’t think that the driveway is used that much.

    No, Erik is correct. No sidewalk and it is a pretty poor option. Reportedly, the City of Beaverton will be handling the improvements, including a sidewalk, sometime “soon”.

  43. “#2. It’s the third in a series. 93 is the trolley. 193 is streetcar. 203 is WES. For some reason, the decision was made not to go into the 290s.”

    Looks like a software bug, (or potential bug.) Somewhere, (or maybe multiple places,) in TriMet is probably a software system that uses one byte to represent the route number, and so having routes with numbers above 255 would be a problem. At worst the software would hang or crash, but it is more likely that WES would become confused with route 37, and the trains would try to jump the tracks at Tualatin and go to Lake Oswego via Bonnes Ferry Road. (Or something like that.)

  44. I checked and there is a sidewalk at the northbound bus stop on Hall at the railroad tracks.

    Also, one reason why some of the shuttles were empty and some full might be that they were only running about half-hourly, and weren’t necessarily meeting up with trains at intermediate stations.

  45. I took WES from Beaverton TC to Hall/Nimbus. It was a short trip and there it was only a 1 car train. I like the platform design. Simple and safe with 2 exits. The reader board was great. Will they be installing those along the mall downtown?

    I arrived about 5:43 so I had to wait for a while for the train. When it arrived, it seemed like more people got off than got on. I would have thought more people would be leaving Beaverton TC than arriving there.

    I hung my bike, and quickly discovered that while I like the bike rack, if there is someone in the seat beside it the bike impinges on their legroom. The sign says that you should allow access to the hook, but they might consider saying something about the seat as well.

    The ride it self was much more like riding a bus than the MAX in my opinion. It I was at the rear of the train which seemed to be where the engine was and the seat vibrated a lot. We were going significantly faster than the traffic on 217 which was good.

    Overall, I’m not sure what to think. I love MAX, worts and all, but have mixed feelings about WES. I hope ridership is good, otherwise, and I hesitate to say this, but I may be siding with JK on this one (gasp) ;).

  46. Aaron W. Says:

    I took WES from Beaverton TC to Hall/Nimbus. It was a short trip and there it was only a 1 car train. I like the platform design. Simple and safe with 2 exits. The reader board was great. Will they be installing those along the mall downtown?

    Yes, at every bus stop and MAX station on the Transit Mall.

    P.S. 2 Bike hooks per car is ridiculous especially if there are only 1 car trains on a regular basis.

    It’s apparently the result of FRA rules about keeping exits clear–much stricter rules than allowed by FTA.

  47. Hi, I am the reporter for the Wilsonville Spokesman and you guys were asking for more analysis, so I thought I would forward some information on for you.

    I received an e-mail from Mary Fetsch, the Tri-Met communication director, and she gave me some numbers for the first day of operation (Feb. 2). Here they are:

    For the morning commute there were 610 trips taken on WES. To get a sense for the full day, this would roughly equate to about 1,200 trips.
    Beaverton Transit Center was the busiest of the 5 stations, with 500 people getting on or off (225 on and 274 off) Wilsonville was the next busiest, with a total of 265 riders getting on or off.

    WES afternoon rush hour begins with the 3:26 p.m. depature from Wilsonville heading north to BTC. The first WES train to head southbound is at 4:03 p.m. Expected ridership at the end of the first year in operation in February 2010, is 2,400 boardings each weekday.

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