It’s my fault, I buried the lead. In yesterday’s post, I laid out what I think are four legitimate policy questions about how we manage our transit system. And I saved what I thought was the best for last.
Apparently, no one could get past the first one, as that was the focus of all the comments. So let me call out the one that I think is significant. My hypothesis is that the correct debate is NOT bus vs. rail, but rather:
Is it good policy to focus the overwhelming portion of new available service hours in one new corridor every few years, versus spreading it through the system?
That’s really the issue, it’s not train versus bus. Essentially TriMet saves up most of its growth in available service hours and spends it in one big blow-out a few times per decade. I think a policy debate around that pattern would be a very good thing!
What that pattern does for the overall equity of service delivery in the region is one of the things I hope our equity analysis will shed light on.