Bend Your Legislator’s Ear on the CRC

From the Coalition for a Livable Future:

Thanks to everyone that made it out to April 5th’s Columbia River Crossing (CRC) Opposition and Alternatives Rally! Hundreds of people stood together to demand a viable alternative to the current 12-lane proposal to double the size of the 1-5 bridge from Portland to Vancouver. Together we voiced our concerns that a $4 Billion, 12 lane CRC is oversized and overpriced. It will cause more traffic, induce sprawl development, and increase air and global warming pollution, harming our health and environment.

Building off our successful postcard campaign, there are two important opportunities coming up to talk to our elected officials about the need for a viable alternative to a 12-lane CRC. Please make your voice heard at these events!

1. Focus the Nation. TOMORROW, Friday April 17th at PSU

This inter-generational town hall will span all levels of government representation– from federal to city– and will be the unveiling event for the Multnomah County Climate Action Plan from Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Jeff Cogen.

Featuring: Congressman Earl Blumenaeur, Representative Ben Cannon, Representative Jules Bailey, Mayor Sam Adams, Commissioner Jeff Cogen.
Location: Portland State University Hoffmann Hall
Date: Friday, April 17th at 6:00 PM

**As policymakers convene to announce their progress on climate change, we need to tell them that a 12-lane CRC is a HUGE step in the wrong direction. Transportation is the single greatest producer of greenhouse gases, and a 12-lane CRC would become the 2nd largest contributer to greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon, INCREASING greenhouse gases 30% over today’s levels. We need options that help us decrease our GHG, not a mega-bridge.**

2. Ways and Means Traveling Hearing

The State Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee is working to prepare and balance the 2009-2011 budget for Legislative approval in the face of a budget hole estimated to grow from the current forecast of $3.1 billion to $4.4 billion. Ways and Means Committee members will be touring the state during the last two weeks in April to hear from the public about the proposed draft budget. For more information: http://www.leg.state.or.us/budget/

Local Ways and Means Hearing:

Tuesday, April 21 – Portland. Portland Community College -Cascade Campus. Auditorium, Moriarty Building. 705 N. Killingsworth Street. 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

** As the State looks at filling a $4.4 billion budget short fall, it is also considering spending $30 million over the next two years on the CRC. State legislators need to know that we should not fund any part of a 12-lane CRC–a project that will create more traffic, induce sprawl, and harm the health of the environment and communities around the bridge.**

Cant make it to either event? Take a minute to write a quick email to your legislators:

Please click: http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/home.htm

32 Comments

32 Responses to Bend Your Legislator’s Ear on the CRC

  1. Dave H
    April 16, 2009 at 8:52 pm Link

    I don’t even own a car, but a 10-12 lane CRC seems reasonable. We’re not going to expand Interstate or MLK over the river, so let’s do something.

  2. Dave H
    April 16, 2009 at 9:25 pm Link

    Oh, and I’ll whore myself out if I may, also.

  3. Terry Parker
    April 16, 2009 at 11:14 pm Link

    Just tax the bicyclists and the BTA to pay for the bridge – Oregon’s entire local match share! Call it affirmative action to replace all the motorist paid highway dollars that have siphoned off to fund bicycle infrastructure.

  4. Grant
    April 17, 2009 at 7:47 am Link

    How much is that Terry? Do you have a dollar amount? Last I heard it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1% of capital funding.

  5. Jeff F
    April 17, 2009 at 9:20 am Link

    Oregon law mandates 1% of new highway construction be spent on bicycle and pedestrian access. If Terry wants to replace that with a bicycle tax, he should petition the legislature.

  6. EngineerScotty
    April 17, 2009 at 10:00 am Link

    Terry, if I may…

    Your crusade to tax cyclists is starting to border on parody.

  7. billb
    April 17, 2009 at 10:51 am Link

    The new bridge will last +/-75 years , and soon we will be driving electric cars powered by vast wind and solar capacity. If you folks care about our Greenhouse Emissions , get off the bridge issue , and get positive about building the future clean supply.

    If the Bridge impact is still your pet issue , then put a vast Park/Roof on top , which will absorb CO2 @ 24/7 , and capture all rain driven pollution runoff , while giving us the signature Green Gateway to the NW.

  8. carless in pdx
    April 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm Link

    billb: that is wishful thinking, at best. And I can’t think of a more inefficient and wasteful expenditure of money to mitigate pollution than to build a massive mile-long bridge with a park on top.

    For the same amount of money, you could likely plant a hundred million trees, or more.

    An 8-lane bridge with decent MAX, ped and bike connections would be so much more sane.

  9. Brad Halverson
    April 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm Link

    It will take 12 lanes to relieve the bottleneck, allow people to move to and from Hayden Island without getting on I-5 (by coming from MLK), keep all of the people that currently travel further to go over the 205 bridge on the I-5 bridge. Way too much traffic tries to squeeze onto I-5 as it is and makes the rest of North Portland congested. This project fixes the current problem. It does not address future need, but it should allow traffic to get across the bridge which can be approached from multiple routes on either side.

    There is no way a LRT bridge will ever go in without I-5 being redone. Likewise, there is no way the bridge will be redone with LRT. The politics of Oregon and Washington will stop it cold unless it is a package.

  10. Erik Halstead
    April 17, 2009 at 9:24 pm Link

    Transportation is the single greatest producer of greenhouse gases, and a 12-lane CRC would become the 2nd largest contributer to greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon, INCREASING greenhouse gases 30% over today’s levels.

    Talk about gloom and doom scenario.

    Is Portland serious about reducing transportation’s share of carbon emissions?

    1. Eliminate PDX. If you NEED to travel out of Portland, take Amtrak. Amtrak doesn’t go where you need to go? Take Greyhound (right now, Greyhound’s carbon footprint is actually LOWER than Amtrak’s) or any of the other dozens of intercity bus services in our region.

    Air travel is the worst form of transportation in terms of pollution and yet Portlanders embrace it without a second thought; many people think that they can “be green” by taking MAX to the plane. These folks won’t dare ride Greyhound despite both modes of travel being equal in terms of transit comfort; so it’s clear that Portlanders have no problem giving up “green” in favor of “hip”. Further we love our 737s which might be convenient, but carry few people. Instead of 60 flights a day to California, we should have maybe 10 with 767s if we must have air travel. And we certainly don’t need airplanes flying to Seattle, Eugene, Bend, Yakima…especially planes that haul only 30 souls.

    2. Invest in a quality metropolitan bus system. That includes high capacity, energy efficient and less polluting hybrid-electric articulated buses, on a reliable schedule, with improved stops, that blankets our region. Simply put – we have too many holes in our system, and quality bus service is attainable at a fraction of the cost of streetcar/light rail (which can still be implemented on the highest volume corridors).

    3. Build a regional bus system. How does one get to the Coast? By car. How about McMinnville? By car. Salem? By car. Hood River? By car. Mount Hood? Subaru. Why aren’t there buses that blanket our region with frequent services (i.e. once an hour or every-other-hour)? For as much as we cite how much we love our public transit system – you just can’t get there from here. And MAX does not get you everywhere. (In Salt Lake City and in Whitefish, MT one can take a public bus to a ski resort, and the buses have ski racks mounted to the side of the bus!)

    4. Build true commuter rail. That means high capacity trains from Salem to Kelso, to Washougal and Troutdale, to Rainier, and eventually to McMinnville. WES doesn’t cut it for “true” commuter rail, it’s a pathetic example of how corporations buy into our politicians and our politicians buy into the bribe.

    5. Build a highway system that is efficient. This isn’t necessarily building wider, but smarter. Intelligent Transportation Systems, reducing poorly designed interchanges, reducing/eliminating on-ramps in certain areas, channeling traffic…I-5 is simply a nightmare and needs to be fixed. No amount of light rail is going to fix it (has I-5 traffic reduced post-Yellow Line???)

  11. Douglas K.
    April 17, 2009 at 9:57 pm Link

    It will take 12 lanes to relieve the bottleneck, allow people to move to and from Hayden Island without getting on I-5 (by coming from MLK), keep all of the people that currently travel further to go over the 205 bridge on the I-5 bridge.

    I doubt we need 12 for all that, since we can do quite a bit with improved transit and congestion pricing. But fine, let’s go with 12.

    We already have six lanes. We don’t need to tear them out and build twelve new ones. What we need is six lanes on a new bridge, in addition to the six we already have. So far, the CRC process has bent over backwards to avoid any serious consideration of this option.

    Way too much traffic tries to squeeze onto I-5 as it is and makes the rest of North Portland congested. This project fixes the current problem.

    Yeah, but it costs WAY too much money. Putting up an arterial/transit bridge next to the freeway bridge would cost less. So would a new six-lane freeway bridge, with the current bridge converted to arterial traffic and light rail. There’s probably a billion dollar solution out there that CRC is avoiding so they can get their $4.3 billion megabridge.

  12. Douglas K.
    April 18, 2009 at 7:53 am Link

    The Oregonian published an article about the design of the megabridge.. It’s still a two-deck pancake design, with light rail, bicyclists and pedestrians on the lower deck.

    What would it cost to build two decks of four lanes each and save the existing bridges for arterial traffic, bikes and transit? The folks pushing the CRC certainly aren’t going to tell us.

  13. al m
    April 18, 2009 at 11:14 am Link

    Look, let’s stop this nonsense right now!
    It’s time for OREGON to secede from the union!
    Take down all the bridges and put up border guards at all the state lines.
    If OREGON doesn’t want to secede from the union than PORTLAND should secede from OREGON.
    We can become our own country with our own codes of conduct.
    I HEREBY NOMINATE SAM ADAMS AS EMPEROR OF THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF PORTLAND WITH A LIFE LONG TERM!

  14. Ron Swaren
    April 18, 2009 at 4:37 pm Link

    Well, Yours Truly was in Salem this Wednesday speaking to two committees. First was the Transportation Commission where I got some good shots in against the CRC. Then in the afternoon was the Senate Business and Transportation Committee…likewise. Of course the Salem TEA party was being held at noon, too. At both meetings there was also a Daily Journal of Commerce reporter and we spoke after the afternoon Senate Comm. hearing.

    “We already have six lanes. We don’t need to tear them out and build twelve new ones. What we need is six lanes on a new bridge, in addition to the six we already have. So far, the CRC process has bent over backwards to avoid any serious consideration of this option.”

    Well, that could happen in the BNSF corridor. Not surprisingly, the Senators had not even heard of that option, because the CRC staff has pretty much only examined one possibility. The more I think about it the more I like it.

    The design on a third interstate bridge could have two through-arches–sort of like a doubled Fremont bridge, but not nearly so massive. That design in particular is reputed to be very seismically safe and there are a host of seismic dampening innovations available, even for metal structures. (There is an annual meeting of Japanese and American bridge engineers to discuss new techniques). The center pier would be rather massive but this could allow for a viewing/fishing/recreational area below the bridge—accessible from the bike/ped paths. I think six lanes on top would be plenty and the lower deck could have modernized rail. Eventually the existing rail bridge, and its numerous old piers, could be removed and this would give commercial river traffic a very safe, far less obstructed route in the Channel and under the hump of the I-5 bridges— or below the lift spans on the I-5 when absolutely needed. The nautical charts show that the shipping channel is very close to the Washington side in that atretch of the River.

    Arches would work well in the other segments of that route as well. Replicating the design, even if adjusted for different spans of water- crossings would reduce the cost, also.

    “3. Build a regional bus system. How does one get to the Coast? By car. How about McMinnville? By car. Salem? By car. Hood River? By car. Mount Hood? Subaru. Why aren’t there buses that blanket our region with frequent services (i.e. once an hour or every-other-hour)? For as much as we cite how much we love our public transit system – you just can’t get there from here. And MAX does not get you everywhere. (In Salt Lake City and in Whitefish, MT one can take a public bus to a ski resort, and the buses have ski racks mounted to the side of the bus!)”

    Exactly. The smaller towns on the main highways of Oregon just are not served well by anything other than cars. And most of those routes go past prime recreational zones as well. So, with a statewide long distance bus system the small town dwelllers could get to other areas without cars, and recreational bicyclists and hikers could get to the recreation spots w/o cars. No, I don’t know how frequently they should run nor how much subsidy it might take. It would have to be organized for the most cost-effectiveness.

    Very insightful comments, as usual, Erik H.!

    Yeah, to reduce the reliance on more airport expansion the higher speed train system would be great. I’m just nervous about how much money the Democrats would figure they would have to spend on it. True, the older Interstate 5 bridge is 90 years old. The Brooklyn bridge is 125, and a similar one in Cleveland is almost 140. Are we going to tear down the Golden Gate Bridge when it’s ninety?

  15. EngineerScotty
    April 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm Link

    Ugh.

    Is it just me, or does it appear Sam Adams primary concern WRT the bridge is that it look pretty on a postcard? SF has the Golden Gate, NY has the Narrows Bridge… Sam wants something tall and pointy for Portland. (No, I’m not going any further in that direction, thankyouverymuch).

    CRC opponents probably need do nothing more to torpedo the bridge, then keep it plain and functional–some sort of resolution limiting the budget for non-functional or non-structural design elements. I kinda got a suspicion that given the choice between a two-layer pancake and nothing, Adams might go for nothing. (OTOH, I suspect by this time next year, he’ll be out of office–can we say Mayor Leonard? )

  16. Erik Halstead
    April 18, 2009 at 7:11 pm Link

    Ron – you’re on the right track (pun intended).

    We know the cost to replace the swing span of the BNSF bridge is around $150 million or so. Using public dollars to replace that bridge (with the expectation that commuter rail would be permitted to operate on the line) would enable the commuter rail option which has proven successful in the Puget Sound region, in the Bay Area, in Southern California, in Vancouver, BC, in Salt Lake City, in New Mexico, in Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, Texas, and of course up and down the Northeast Corridor – to move a large quantity of folks from Clark County (and even Cowlitz County) into Portland at a far lesser cost.

    Even if commuter rail operates during rush hours only, commuter bus service could provide all-day, all-week service just as exists between Seattle and Tacoma between bus and rail operations.

    Unfortunately our region can’t get beyond “light rail” and “streetcar” and refuses to look at any other option, and continues its anti-bus crusade…heck, we’re willing to widen a bridge over more and better C-Tran commuter bus service, and Portland flat out refuses to allow commuter buses from the south metro region to access the Transit Mall – preventing residents of Yamhill, Marion and much of Clackamas Counties from using transit from their homes to downtown.

    All because of an anti-bus bias — that our Legislators fully support because they are more concerned about their pictures taken for TV stations and newspapers, and a bus just isn’t sexy enough for them.

    London doesn’t seem to have a problem with it, and London is a far, far more picturesque city than Portland, is demonstrably a greater destination, a greater business city, and has far more tourism.

  17. Evan Manvel
    April 18, 2009 at 7:16 pm Link

    I have yet to hear a single CRC supporter say “This is worth $5000 to my household, and if I were asked to purchase it directly, I would put that on my credit card.” That’s the cost per household in the region.

    Four thousand million dollars is a boatload of money.

  18. Erik Halstead
    April 19, 2009 at 9:12 pm Link

    Evan Manvel wrote: I have yet to hear a single CRC supporter say “This is worth $5000 to my household

    And I have not heard any MAX or Streetcar supporters say the same thing and offer to pay for the costs of light rail or streetcar…in fact I am forced to subsidize these services while watching Metro, TriMet and the City of Portland point-blank discriminate against funding our bus system appropriately through lack of investment in our buses, cancelling bus orders, refusing to order appropriate sized buses, failing to improve bus stops and access to bus stops, cancelling bus routes and trips while making virtually no cuts to streetcar and MAX service……………

    So, frankly, yes, we can afford the CRC and yes, transit supporters CAN pay for their share. Else, contact Chris or Bob on how you can repay me for my unfair subsidy towards the rail system that requires me to ride in old, breaking down buses with no pedestrian connectivity, no shelters, no Transit Tracker displays – and don’t forget that the 45 minute wait for a “Frequent Service” bus.

    (And a large part of the CRC is light rail cost…certainly why am I being forced to subsidize a rail transit mode when it isn’t even within TriMet’s service boundary???????? There is no valid reason that any Oregonian should pay for one inch of light rail construction as part of the CRC project.)

  19. EngineerScotty
    April 20, 2009 at 10:46 am Link

    It’s easy, albeit not very productive, to play the “I don’t want to pay for infrastructure I don’t personally benefit from” game. We know, Terry doesn’t like to pay for bikes, Erik doesn’t like choo-choos, Lenny doesn’t like freeways, and I’m sure there are lots of snooty yuppies in the Pearl who wouldn’t be caught dead on a bus.

    The problem with this is that a robust transit infrastructure–or any public good–should not be treated as a zero-sum game. So kwitcher whining, people.

    I’m curious–why does Portland “refuse to allow” South metro transit agencies (I assume you mean SMART, CAT, SCTD, etc) onto the Mall? Who and when proclaimed such a thing? Or is this a result of a labor agreement between Tri-Met and the transit union, which IIRC limits Tri-Met’s ability to interchange with non-union transit agencies? (If so–a pox on the union. While I’m generally a supporter of organized labor, this sort of exclusive dealing ought to be outlawed).

  20. John H.
    April 20, 2009 at 11:07 am Link

    Evan Manvel Says:

    Why don’t you have any concern about the cost per family for Milwaukie light rail with that new bridge for everything but cars and trucks?

    Two thousand million dollars is a boatload of money.

    And the CRC would be half the $4 billojn if it did not have ANY light rail included for the bridge and through Vancover like it does.

  21. John H.
    April 20, 2009 at 11:09 am Link

    oops, that started a little confusing

    Evan,
    Why don’t you have any concern about the cost per family for Milwaukie light rail with that new bridge for everything but cars and trucks?

    Two thousand million dollars is a boatload of money.

    And the CRC would be half the $4 billojn if it did not have ANY light rail included for the bridge and through Vancover like it does.

  22. Jeff F
    April 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link

    EngineerScotty Says: I’m curious–why does Portland “refuse to allow” South metro transit agencies (I assume you mean SMART, CAT, SCTD, etc) onto the Mall? Who and when proclaimed such a thing? Or is this a result of a labor agreement between Tri-Met and the transit union, which IIRC limits Tri-Met’s ability to interchange with non-union transit agencies? (If so–a pox on the union. While I’m generally a supporter of organized labor, this sort of exclusive dealing ought to be outlawed).

    This is the first I’ve heard that any of those transit agencies have any desire to travel outside their own districts, especially all the way to downtown Portland. If it’s true, it may have been part of the agreement made when opting out of the TriMet service district.

    TriMet certainly “interchanges” with SMART, albeit in Wilsonville.

  23. EngineerScotty
    April 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm Link

    SMART does send a bus down to Salem–right now, if you want to get from Portland to Salem on transit, the cheapest way is (according to Wikipedia) to transfer to SMART in Wilsonville, and then take the SMART line down to Salem.

    It’s a long, painful ride–but there you go.

    I have had trouble locating a reference for any labor-related limitations on Tri-Met (I do remember reading such–I think it concerned the Streetcar, actually). There are quite a few places where one can disembark from a Tri-Met vehicle and board another systems’ bus. However, if memory serves me, sufficient coupling between Tri-Met and another agency (common fare instruments, for example) might trigger the requirement. Of course, my memory could be hazy or all wet on this point; Google hasn’t been much help.

    Technically, the Portland Streetcar is a City of Portland operation–the City, not Tri-Met, owns the rails and stock. However, Tri-Met drivers operate the trains, and Tri-Met fare instruments are valid on the Streetcar (from the user’s perspective, it’s part of an integrated system). It would be nice were that the case with C-Tran, SMART, and numerous other agencies serving local communities.

  24. Jeff F
    April 20, 2009 at 2:24 pm Link

    EngineerScotty Says: Technically, the Portland Streetcar is a City of Portland operation–the City, not Tri-Met, owns the rails and stock. However, Tri-Met drivers operate the trains, and Tri-Met fare instruments are valid on the Streetcar (from the user’s perspective, it’s part of an integrated system). It would be nice were that the case with C-Tran, SMART, and numerous other agencies serving local communities.

    TriMet does have a reciprocal agreement with C-Tran about fares and SMART is free in Wilsonville. CAT is free and so, I think, is the Columbia County service (although digging that information out of their website is beyond my patience).

  25. Jason McHuff
    April 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm Link

    has I-5 traffic reduced post-Yellow Line???

    I-5 serves a much broader area than that served by the MAX Yellow Line, which was designed to serve North Portland. Moreover, there’s plenty of people (including new drivers) who are willing to use any space freed by those switching to MAX.

    certainly why am I being forced to subsidize a rail transit mode when it isn’t even within TriMet’s service boundary????????

    I’m not sure you are. I believe TriMet is charging Wilsonville/SMART a good amount to run WES.

    How does one get to the Coast?

    Tillamook County Transportation District (to Tillamook and beyond) or Amtrak Thruway bus (to Seaside & Astoria)

    How about McMinnville?

    Yamhill County Transit Area.

    Salem?

    WES Commuter Rail and: SMART or Cherriots OR TriMet and Canby Area Transit and CARTS OR TriMet and Yamhill County Transit Area.

    Hood River?

    Greyhound.

    Mount Hood?

    TriMet…well, at least a couple decades ago.

  26. Jason McHuff
    April 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm Link

    TriMet certainly “interchanges” with SMART, albeit in Wilsonville.

    SMART actually does leave their district and go to Tualatin and SW Portland. And they were planning on going into Downtown Portland, but I think they’ve shelved that due to the economy, and possibly because of having WES. But any prohibition on operating on the mall (if it existed) would probably be because of capacity limitations and complexities caused by having MAX shoved down it.

    (according to Wikipedia)

    I think I actually wrote that :). But its actually somewhat better now with WES. Before, the best (simplest and cheapest) bet was to ride through Tualatin on the 96 and then around Wilsonville on the Salem bus, with no guarantee of good connection timing. Now, although you have to walk from the 96 in Tualatin over to the WES station, you can avoid those two slow areas and possibly have a timed connection to the Salem bus.

    although digging that information out of their website is beyond my patience

    Just go to their Web site, click on “Schedules & Routes” and select one.

  27. Jeff F
    April 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm Link

    Jason McHuff Says: But any prohibition on operating on the mall (if it existed) would probably be because of capacity limitations and complexities caused by having MAX shoved down it.

    Or maybe shoving cars down the Mall.

    Just go to their Web site, click on “Schedules & Routes” and select one.

    Because having a link to “fares” would be too simple? And here I thought you were into design . . .

  28. Jason McHuff
    April 20, 2009 at 10:20 pm Link

    Or maybe shoving cars down the Mall.

    You’re right that having MAX in the left (auto) lane would avoid that problem. And I believe there would enough room for traffic to share the transit lanes during off-peak periods in that case. The real issue would be scrunching in a bike lane on the left sidewalk next to MAX and, moreover getting them through MAX station blocks. In addition the Congress Center garage’s entry is conveniently on the left side of the mall, though a reverse St. Mary’s could be done there.

    Because having a link to “fares” would be too simple?

    I didn’t mean that I thought that their Web site was OK. In fact, I think there’s an agreement amongst the Web community that only having info available in PDFs is a bad idea. I was just showing how to get to the fare info. And regarding their Portland fare, its exactly the same as going from Portland to Salem: $4.80.

  29. Erik Halstead
    April 21, 2009 at 10:41 pm Link

    Jason McHuff:

    While there might be possible services…do they offer convenient, worthwhile schedules? Yes, I can take a bus from Portland to Lincoln City.

    Here’s the problem: I would first have to take a Valley Retriver bus from Portland (leaving 8:55 PM) to arrive at Newport at 12:40 AM. I would have to spend the night in Newport until I can take a Lincoln County bus at 5:45 AM or 9:00 AM to Lincoln City.

    It is far, far less time consuming to rent a car and drive the two hours direct on Highways 99W/18/101 rather than the scenic trip via McMinnville, Salem, Albany, and Corvallis (Highway 99W, 221, I-5, U.S. 20).

    Greyhound…has one daytime, and two midnight departures out of Portland. Again, not very convenient.

    Yamhill County? You have to transfer at the movie theater in Sherwood!!!! TriMet stops on the street; the YCTA bus somewhere in the parking lot. (It’d make a lot more sense for YCTA to at least make it up to Tigard…)

    You also have to know who the provider is…how to buy a fare…it’s challenging even to a pro how to figure out how to travel between cities.

    Just as many people cite that TriMet is a regional provider is a significant advantage over having local (city, county) bus services – our current intercity transit system in Oregon is a joke. Many people think Greyhound is the all-encompassing provider but they only have two Oregon routes (they had several others previously). The small companies do virtually no advertising, and locating a bus stop is next to impossible (so where does the Valley Retriever stop in McMinnville?????)

    For those who argue that Amtrak and public transit doesn’t get a fair shake…consider that Greyhound owns/operates (and pays property taxes!!!) on its terminal. Maybe job one is for the Portland Development Commission to buy up the Greyhound terminal, lease it back to Greyhound (on the same terms, per square foot, as Amtrak pays for Union Station) and open up the Greyhound terminal to ANY bus company that wants to operate to Portland…and also make it clear that ANY bus line who wants to is free to use the Transit Mall and make up to two additional stops on the Mall (i.e. a bus stop near MAX, and one on PSU) (that rule is only to discourage people from using those buses for transit along the mall only).

    But I don’t see any Legislator actually acting to make intercity transit easier for Oregonians…we pay $10M/biennium to fund two inconvenient, seldom used Amtrak trains when $10M/biennium would go a long ways towards a statewide intercity transit system.

  30. EngineerScotty
    April 21, 2009 at 11:12 pm Link

    I’m all for improved inter-city transportation services. I don’t much care whether its road or rail, though–if you have tracks in place already, and want an express service, rail has its advantages.

    I doubt an express bus service between Portland and Eugene, with stops in Salem and Albany (forget Oregon City), would compete with Amtrak Cascades for trip time or reliability. Perhaps it might be cheaper to operates, if it isn’t full very often. But then again, I don’t view trains as “stealing from busses”, or vice versa.

  31. Ron Swaren
    April 22, 2009 at 11:24 am Link

    Has anyone heard of the new, all-stainless steel buses, developed by OakRidge National Laboratories.? They are supposed to be about fifty per cent lighter and fifty percent more fuel efficient than conventional buses. Its battery powered with inwheel electric motors. I supposed they could be charged at the garage every night with a biodiesel generator charging system. That way we don’t need multi-billion dollar light rail systems.

    Intercity bus travel in Oregon is high on my list of requests. Furthermore, you don’t need a big plush Greyhound type bus if the trip is only a few hours. Save that for the all day trip to Burns!
    http://www.aip.org/dbis/stories/2007/17082.html
    has video…even has Al Gore

  32. Jason McHuff
    April 22, 2009 at 5:47 pm Link

    Yes, I can take a bus from Portland to Lincoln City.

    Who said anything about Lincoln City? Or Newport? The destination mentioned was simply “the coast”.

    Greyhound…has one daytime, and two midnight departures out of Portland

    To where?

    You have to transfer at the movie theater in Sherwood!!!!

    So? And they probably don’t want to spend the extra money to send the bus up to Tigard when they can transfer riders to TriMet there.

    You also have to know who the provider is

    True, but ODOT has been working on centralizing the information (check out their intercity timetable, it even has four pages of providers by city at the end), and building a trip planner.

    …how to buy a fare

    You generally pay the driver/operator as you board. Only Amtrak, Greyhound and maybe a few others require reservations.

    where does the Valley Retriever stop in McMinnville?????

    I’d be willing to join you if you want to find out in person. You would be able to find out where the Tigard stop is, too. But seriously, you could call them.

    open up the Greyhound terminal

    Tillamook County, the Vally Retriever and maybe others already are able to pull into the terminal.

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