June 2012 Open Thread

Summertime is almost upon us.

Have at it!

146 responses to “June 2012 Open Thread”

  1. Construction has started on the Sun Link streetcar line in Tuscon, AZ; which will be using vehicles purchased from United Streetcar.

  2. Of course, the problem with Couv Creep is not that it will infect Portland. It’s that it will further infect places like Woodland or Brush Prairie.

  3. Great quote from the Mercury article: “Like the Eye of Sauron, conservative groups like the Tea Party, and even the Oregon Transformation Project PAC, have slowly shifted their gaze toward another Portland neighbor: Washington County.” That cracked me up! I will from now on be referring to Clackamas County in the Metro area as Mordor. Mt. Scott can be Mt. Doom.

  4. “Couv Creep” also refers to the crawling traffic speeds that will result on I-5 and parallel surface streets thru North Portland, if the bridge and freeway to the north are widened by the CRC project, funneling more cars into the bottlenecks further south.

  5. Here’s an odea*: What if we cancelled the CRC and used the money for the West Side Bypass (including a toll new bridge). Build very few interchanges. That will answer the freight people who say they need a faster way to get up & down the coast while getting rid of some of the problems with the CRC.

    There is not a chance at all that it would include light rail or bicycling infrastructure, but if Washington County wants to take over WES and extend it across the Columbia, they can. Anyone commuting from Vancouver to jobs in Washington County can avoid traffic in Portland.

    *odea: an idea with an odor. It probably stinks. Posed for discussion.

  6. A “bypass” wouldn’t be a bypass for long. It would only be a matter of team before development made the bypass just another freeway congested with exurban commuters.

  7. Also, Washington County doesn’t border Washington State. A bypass there would have to go through Multnomah County, if not Portland proper, and Portland wouldn’t allow that to happen. Plus tunneling a 4-6 lane freeway under Forest Park would be prohibitively expensive. It’s not gonna happen in our lifetime.

  8. “A bypass there would have to go through Multnomah County, if not Portland proper, and Portland wouldn’t allow that to happen.”

    Because Portland is led by ****** who are stuck in a 1960’s time warp. They worry about “fairness” and “equity” too much. That’s obsolete these days with modern tech and communication. It would be better to calculate how to make a transit system that is self supporting.

    There is already very good money flow coming into Oregon Revenue because of people who commute from Vancouver for jobs. But, hey, if you want to blow it and have those Vancouverites work where they live–and still have all the growing pains of a major city– go ahead.

    “There is not a chance at all that it would include light rail or bicycling infrastructure, but if Washington County wants to take over WES and extend it across the Columbia, they can”

    It could. There is a way to connect Hwy 26 to Vancouver and reduce the distance by six or seven miles over the I-5/Sunset Highway route. This would facilitate both bicycling and mass transit. Shortcuts are generally welcomed by all travelers. It’s not rocket science. If you can make the bus ride far less time consuming because you have solved the traffic congestion I think it would appeal to people. A shorter route would make it possible for cyclists too.

    As far as producing another “freeway that becomes congested” that happens anyway when a light rail line goes in along a freeway.

  9. Because Portland is led by ****** who are stuck in a 1960’s time warp. They worry about “fairness” and “equity” too much. That’s obsolete these days with modern tech and communication. It would be better to calculate how to make a transit system that is self supporting.

    With all due respect, it seems that freeway-building is the 1960s-era infrastructure. A Westside Bypass is not likely just because of Portland/MultCo opposition; there’s plenty of other interests who would line up against such a project. And modern tech and communication, if anything, lessens the need for physical transportation infrastructure by reducing trips.

    Regarding Vancouverites who pay work in Oregon and pay income taxes–Oregon would probably do better were they to live in OREGON instead. For some reason, the job market in Clark County has tanked in the past decade, with many high-tech plants closing. Predictions that Clark County’s allegedly business-friendly climate would swipe employment from Oregon have not come to pass.

    As far as producing another “freeway that becomes congested” that happens anyway when a light rail line goes in along a freeway.

    I’ve never seen the theory that light rail causes congestion. It might be possible; if increased housing demand in the corridor drives up traffic counts on both modes–induced demand works on transit as well–but congestion can be found on all of Portland’s inbounds, whether there’s a train nearby or not.

  10. I wonder why you found it necessary to rebut so many points. From being a person who supported the original Portland light rail concept (and even worked for a candidate who was instrumental in that), still uses a bicycle and thinks its fine if people do, which I why I say shortcuts could help everyone, I have had to make one more adjustment tot a new reality.

    I hope tech would reduce surface traffic. I think there are some valid questions as to how much it will, though. Most Portlanders are still working within the corporate system, even if they do get to work on a bike. And that means those companies want to sell their products or services. So it seems to me that consumerism would continue.

    Maybe you think the Vancouverites would do better to live in Portland. A population that brings in $150 million per year, must be pretty sizable, though, and resettling them would be another planning burden. A lot of them may have reasons why they want to live in Washington.

    As far as cultural “fairness and “equity” goes. I think it’s old hat. Most young people are taught to use the latest communication and computing equipment, or they learn from friends, and this has the potential to eliminate the “barriers” that supposedly exist, or have existed. In fact, there’s a lot of reason why the barriers are going the other way! It’s new to me, too. I just realized about a week ago that this was the new reality. Therefore none of the prominent city wide candidates—as long as their platforms have a significant reliance on “equity” or “diversity” due to culture– appeal to me. It’s now a worn out screed.

    This is good because it should give us the ability to concentrate on making public services more fiscally responsible.

    Finally, the route I have proposed through Northwet Portland that would go all the way to Vancouver, might be suitable for a light rail, if the property costs are not excessive.

    Gotta get going out to Tobias Read’ coffee now….

  11. Not to get into ‘Couv-bashing, but Clark County (not to mention Clackamas) might want to consider following Washington County’s example and take steps to establish more of its own employment base.

    As for a hypothetical multimodal Westside Bypass, much of the infrastructure already exists for commuter rail from between Clark and Washington Counties via Cornelius Pass; only the last few miles between Helvetia and Hillsboro would need a new ROW. Potential stops could include North Portland and Linnton. Hey, it’s bound to be more successful than WES…

  12. A local advocate for Cascadia HSR and I spoke directly to Rep, Tobias Read, co chair of the CRC Legislative Oversight Committee at his constituent coffee yesterday in Beaverton. Rep. Read cited two main points to keep the CRC going:

    1. They have already studies ALL other options
    2. The studies and DEIS for the CRC would not be applicable to a new project.

    There may be some other unspoken arguments ( I know that pressure from businesses to do SOMETHING about I-5 congestion, to mitigate profit wasting time loss, is a big one) but this is one of the minds we have to change.

    Anyone have any further suggestions? I still think a NW passage is the best option since, by establishing a shortcut, we should be able to facilitate all modes, and the tax money from Clark County residents keeps flowin’ in…and could increase in the long run.

  13. But most of the I-5 bridge traffic goes to N and NE Portland. A “NW Passage” gets you almost nothing.
    Put a toll on the bridges and build light rail or some HCT facility for a start, and go from there.

  14. I assume you are referring to southbound morning traffic. To satisfy my own curiosity I watched at I-405 and the 26 junction. Probably half were Washington plates. And even if most bridge traffic goes into those neighborhoods, traffic congestion has a tipping point.

  15. SE 17th Avenue northbound will soon close between Holgate and Powell for demolition of the current overpass over powell, and construction of new overpasses for cars/peds/bikes and MAX trains. The inbound 17 and 70 will be rerouted on SE Milwaukie during the construction period.

    Southbound 17th will remain open.

  16. The stop on Milwaukie & Powell for the Line 70 is moving at the same time (June 15). It will be nearside (next to the gas station) rather than on the north side of Powell as it is currently. The stop will only serve the 70.

    Lines 17 and 19 will turn left onto Powell and serve their usual stop on the north side.

  17. Not directly Portland-related but this could have far-reaching implications:
    Californians suffering from high-speed rail sticker shock

    Wish I could say I was surprised…. I thought the original proposal was ambitious, forward-thinking and a good pilot project for the rest of the nation, but I had a feeling the price tag would inflate dramatically (as has been the case on a smaller scale right here in our own backyard with the CRC). Plus, under the current climate I just don’t believe the will exists to take on land-gobbling multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects, whether it’s for trains, highways or airports.

  18. Not terribly surprising, but the County Attorney for Clackamas County has issued a legal opinion stating that the anti-LRT measure (Measure 3-401) which will appear on the September ballot, does not apply to MLR–it only applies to future rail projects in which the county might participate. The opinion, singed by both the County Counsel and the deputy County Counsel, includes the following language:

    If approved by the voters at the September election, the ballot measure would not have retroactive application; it would apply prospectively only. As such, its passage in September would not impair the County’s exiting obligation to fund its $25 million commitment under the terms of the PMLR agreement.

    The opinion also casts doubt on the legality of the proposed measure, as an impermissible intrusion onto the executive functions of county government.

    The measure will appear on the ballot during the September 18 special election. The Board of County Commissioners will discuss the opinion, and other matters related to Measure 3-401, at a staff presentation tomorrow morning (June 6) at 10 AM in the BCC Hearing Room. The public may attend staff presentations, but aren’t permitted to participate; no public comment is taken at such meetings.

  19. The new WWeek has an article about the Con-Way development: http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-19295-welcome_to_con_way_town.html

    It seems to have a lot of things which have been talked about for a long time, including the large grocery store, but the article mentions that Con-Way has submitted a new plan within the past couple weeks. In any case, I thought this would be relevant as there seems to be a lot of people on this blog who care about development and (new) urbanism (both for and against) and because this plan is likely to have implications for transit.

    I remember from the Streetcar planning a few years ago that the idea of a Streetcar along NW 18th/19th was considered unnecessary unless the Con-Way site was developed on a large scale, and meanwhile this article references plans for a streetcar extension. I wonder if it would indeed be for 18th/19th? In the planning I’ve seen, that route was part of the Burnside Streetcar associated with the West Burnside couplet plan, but that has all changed. I wonder what the plan includes for a streetcar extension? Would love to see this new plan… I wonder if Portland Transit might be able to get their hands on this new plan!

  20. The discussions I am aware of for Con-Way appear to be more focused on leveraging the existing Lovejoy/Northrup alignment in some way rather than a whole new North/South connection to something else (the system plan showed a connection to a line on Burnside if I recall).

  21. Part of this infinite argument is the provincial thinking Portlanders exhibit and express that CRC is a bridge to and from Vancouver or Clark County….and why should Portlanders care.

    The CRC is a component of the I-5 corridor that is currently and regularly blocked by recreational sailboats. It is THE major north/south commercial pipeline for local and interstate commerce.

    It’s about a form of rapid transit that’s up for discussion only because that pipeline is constrained and is being seriously considered for improvement; it is that money that is part of commerce that is constrained.

    Transit riders to/from “the Couv” have the best vehicles in the metro area to enjoy. That’s not the primary problem.

  22. I-205 is a perfectly good option for thru traffic on the I-5 corridor. They don’t have to even get close to Portland. Seeing trucks hauling raw logs thru the middle of the city is reason alone for tearing the entire I-5 alignment out and converting to a city scale boulevard.

  23. Lenny,

    Have you been on I-205 lately? It has become so congested much of the day that its no longer an effective bypass. During rush hour, it takes longer to go I-205 than it does to take I-5 through the city.

  24. I don’t see Trimet on that list but I know they have done some shady business with the MAX cars, selling them then leasing them back.

    And I know they are involved with Goldman Sachs which is frightening of course.

  25. Congestion is a sign of economic vigor. We should be celebrating. I would not go near I-205 in the peaks; only a fool would do that. Time for tolls.

  26. The Ft. Lauderdale transit agency is doing what TriMet did a while back–set up a grid network rather than a radial one. It’s not so much of making sure people can get to work–though commuters are an important customer to consider–as it is to make sure that people can get from A to B, whatever A and B are.

    And frequently, a high-frequency grid is an important part of that.

  27. To Chris, Bob, Cora, or anyone who has actually seen the FY 11/12 PSI budget — could you please help—

    What’s the expected streetcar rider revenue for this year and what percentage of either the total PSI ops or system cost does that represent?

    TriMet’s budget is self-contradictory and doesn’t mesh with PBOT’s, either. PSI’s online budget is for 2010 and only shows about half of what TriMet and PBOT say they contributed that FY. PSI shows riders contributing about 9% of ops costs.

    OPAL has proposed a $3 million cut to TriMet’s contribution to PSI. That sure seems reasonable; given the $1 day pass, the $100 annual pass, and the 9% total ops contribution from riders. Yes, the FRZ is going away, but TriMet says that MAX riders contributed over 62% of ops and 45% of systems costs for FY11 even with the FRZ.

    It also would be great if PSI posted a reasonably current budget.

  28. The Streetcar budget is actually a PBOT budget (not PSI) and is somewhere in the midst of the documents for the Mayor’s proposed budget. I admit it’s not easy to peal apart.

    There is still some variance due to the potential to get a little more BETC (Business Energy Tax Credit) money into to the budget, but it should wind up between $8.5M and $9M. Fares are shown at $1M although that’s only an estimate.

    Since TriMet was the applicant for the Eastside Loop, the FTA will not let TriMet walk away from its commitment to the new service, so you’d be taking the $3M from the west side line. The impact would probably be that the new loop service would turn around in the Pearl (it’s planned to go from OMSI to Market) so you’d have to transfer there. And headways across the system would probably be 20 minutes or more, compared to 12 min on the west side today.

    Yes, Streetcar has new budget for the Loop service. But excluding that we have absorbed a cut in our subsidy from TriMet in each of the last several year matching the same percentage as cuts in bus service.

    I don’t know why people think Streetcar riders are less deserving or needy than bus riders. If you think only the 1% rides the Streetcar you should come down and ride some time. The central city has a very high percentage of low income residents, and trust me, they use the Streetcar regularly. The social service agencies tell us that their clients depend on it.

    And the annual pass will NOT be $100, it will go up to $250 in steps over several years.

  29. Thank you, Chris.

    Page 18 of PBOT’s 2013 requested budget shows this year’s streetcar contribution at about $5.7 million while page 226 of TriMet’s 2013 budget request shows its FY 11/12 support at about $6.2 million. That would bring support to about $11.9 million. Add about $1 million from passenger revenue and we get about $12.9 million, with riders contributing about 7 3/4%, or roughly the same percentage as with WES, and a fraction of what bus and MAX riders pay.

    The problem isn’t that streetcar riders are seen as relatively well off by some; it’s that they aren’t paying their fair share by the way of back door discounts unavailable to TriMet riders and lax fare enforcement. The FRZ has been a major factor, too, but it’s going away.

    I strongly believe that if a major portion of streetcar funding comes from TriMet, then there should be no special cut-rate streetcar fares, especially while TriMet continues raising fares and reducing service. If TriMet reduced its proposed contribution to the $1.25(?) million required by the east side FFGA, then it wouldn’t make any difference what streetcar’s fare structure was. The $8 million retained could go a long way in restoring lost service. So the $3 million reduction proposed by OPAL seems pretty reasonable and should be easily made up if streetcar just adopted TriMet’s fare structure without exception.

    Please post if anyone sees any glaring errors in these numbers.

  30. I think you’re adding some numbers twice. The TOTAL operating budget for Streetcar will be on the order of $9M, not $12.9.

    In the fare modeling that was done, a $1 fare yielded about the same revenue as $2.35 (this was done before TriMet set their prices for September).

    The reason is that people take relatively short trips on Streetcar (doesn’t mean they are less important trips, but destinations are a lot closer together in the central city).

    So all raising fares would do is drive away ridership, it would not save any dollars to allocate elsewhere in the transit system.

  31. I agree with you, Chris, that simply adding the TriMet numbers to PBOT’s may overstate the expense. It’s just that those are the numbers that are available without having access to a separate streetcar budget. Since TriMet would be contributing through PBOT, the PBOT number should be the larger of the two but isn’t. The same thing happened with streetcar’s posted 2010 budget which is much smaller than the contributions listed for FY 2010 in TriMet’s and PBOT’s respective 2013 budget requests.

    What’s really scary is that if the TriMet, PBOT, and streetcar numbers are all real, there is a huge recurring multimillion dollar discrepancy.

    If streetcar ops does cost $9 million and passengers contribute $1 million, they’re still paying only about 11%, astoundingly less than either bus or MAX riders. Streetcar’s posted 2010 budget shows riders paying $1/2 million or about 9%. While TriMet and PBOT contribution numbers are significantly higher for FY 2012, ridership and streetcar fare pricing are not. So why would fare revenue have doubled in two years?

    How would you suggest changing the fare structure so that streetcar riders pay a similar proportion of ops as bus & MAX riders?

    The logic of the fare modeling has some credibility, but it should hold for short trips on TriMet services, too. Why doesn’t it just match streetcar fares?

    It’s reasonable to assume that the loss of the FRZ will cost MAX and streetcar ridership, and we’ll just have to wait to find out if the eastside loop brings anywhere near the 3.5 million riders projected in streetcar’s fact sheet. I think it will be a wash for streetcar, especially if it gets serious about fare enforcement.

    Again, Chris, thanks for your efforts in filling in details on this.

  32. Can you provide a link to the PBOT document you’re looking at, so I can try to reconcile things? I’m pretty sure the TriMet subsidy must show up as an income line in the PBOT budget somewhere.

  33. I just downloaded the FY12 PBOT requested budget. On page 5 of 7 of the Program Summary Template – Adobe page 69 of 146, it shows:

    Requirement: $5,658,000

    Federal, State, Local (would include TriMet):3,030,000
    GTR: 1,878,000
    Other: 750,000

    So that shows $3.03 million of the TriMet money being incorporated into PBOT. This is in the ballpark of TriMet’s numbers for personnel services. TriMet also has a separate line for materials and services for $2.9 million. It’s kind of weird, but maybe PBOT’s $5.8 million is added to TriMet’s m&s $2.9 million which brings us to $8.7 million. Does that reconcile with your numbers? If so, then Portland’s contribution is proportionately a lot less than we’ve been led to believe.

  34. OK, so looking at this document: http://www.portlandonline.com/omf/index.cfm?c=57785&a=383750 (which is the request from the bureau, NOT the council approved budget) on p. 44 you’ll see a summary of operations budgets. The line for Streetcar says $8.3M. That would be the TOTAL (not something you add a TriMet contribution to, the TriMet contribution helps fund the $8.3M).

    Approximately the same number occurs on p. 150, where you can see a revenue split of $200K from grants, $3M from GTR (Farebox plus City Parking meter revenues in this case since we can’t use gas tax toward this) and $5M ‘Other’. I assume the $5M is from TriMet.

    We DON’T add what’s in the TriMet budget to the PBOT budget, the TriMet contribution is a revenue line in the PBOT budget (and there is an expense line for paying TriMet for operators and mechanics as well). Unfortunately the online documents don’t have that level of detail.

    These are just the request numbers, my belief is that the final budget reflects a slightly higher operating budget, being supplemented by some BETC funding.

    Hope that helps clarify things.

  35. Thanks again, Chris.

    This is what I understand from your input and the available TriMet and PBOT documentation for FY 12/13.

    1. TriMet is budgeting $9.3 million for streetcar operations, split in two parts. One part is included in PBOT’s streetcar ops budget and part is not.

    2. PBOT will add about $3 million from GTR, including about $1 million from streetcar passenger revenue. Together with a $200,000 federal grant, PBOT’s proposed budget has about $8.25 million for the streetcar ops line item.

    3. Altogether, TriMet and PBOT expect to spend over $12 million on streetcar operations.

    Anyone see any factual errors?

  36. No, I don’t think we’re on the same page yet.

    “1. TriMet is budgeting $9.3 million for streetcar operations, split in two parts. One part is included in PBOT’s streetcar ops budget and part is not.”

    I see where you’re getting $9.3M from p. 226 of this document: http://trimet.org/pdfs/publications/fy13-approved-budget.pdf

    I believe the two numbers that add up to $9.3M are $5.6M, the cost of the drivers and mechanics and $3.7M which is the subsidy to the City of Portland for Streetcar.

    What I think is missing from this discussion is that there is a payment from the City to TriMet for the $5.6M expense. But I haven’t found where that shows up in the TriMet budget.

    So I think the $3.7M is total net flow from TriMet to the City (which causes me to revise my statement above about the $5M ‘other’ line in the City’s streetcar budget, I think that’s $3.7M from TriMet and $1.3M from BETC and other sources).

    p. 4 of the TriMet document references “payments by the City of Portland for TriMet personnel working for Streetcar operations” but I have not found the dollar line for that payment yet. I suspect it’s lumped in the ‘Service contracts’ line of p. 32

  37. And just to spell it out even more explicitly, you suggest:

    “3. Altogether, TriMet and PBOT expect to spend over $12 million on streetcar operations.”

    I believe the number is $8.3M, not $12M, i.e., the PBOT budget represents 100% of the operations expense.

    (again, with the disclaimer that I think the $8.3M number will go up a little bit with additional BETC revenue included)

  38. To say it one more way:

    1. TriMet spends $5.6M for operators and mechanics (and some misc expenses) for Streetcar operations.
    2. The City of Portland reimburses TriMet for that $5.6M
    3. TriMet then subsidizes Portland for Streetcar to the tune of $3.7M as a separate payment.

    Net outflow from TriMet for Streetcar is $3.7M.

  39. OK – that makes sense and takes away a lot of the frustration.

    So if Portland reimburses TriMet for the entirety of its personnel services, and the agency’s contribution does not exceed $3.7 million, then OPAL’s suggested reduction would have to be limited to no more than $2.5 million after the FFGA requirement.

    PBOT says TriMet contributes 2/3rds of ops but TriMet says they’ll be contributing less than half which would synch with a $5.6 million payment from the city.

    I still think that it would be a reasonable requirement to abandon streetcar-only discounted fares in exchange for TriMet financial support. It’s not too likely that riders would switch en masse to personal cars for the relatively short distances, especially given the parking fees, but ridership would certainly drop in favor of more exercise. I just don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, especially when coupled with riders paying their fair share.

    Once more: Thank you.

  40. The 2/3rds number has been the rule of thumb for the west side (although it has been slowly shrinking for several years), but there was never a commitment to that level for the east side line, which is why the overall percentage is now much lower.

    Rather than argue about whether TriMet subsidies should require matching TriMet fare policy, I’ll re-iterate my position on fare policy, which is that it should be distance-based. I’d be happy for trips under some distance threshold (half mile, one mile?) to be $1 everywhere in the TriMet system.

    Of course, TriMet is going in the opposite direction.

  41. I couldn’t agree more with you on the distance-basing. It was a little surprising that TriMet used the excuse of setting up for electronic fare collection as one rationale for getting rid of zones.

    It’s not just the lower fares; it’s that plus the TriMet subsidies and the fact that streetcar riders are paying a much lower percentage of ops than bus or MAX riders. If Portland shouldered the subsidies or if streetcar riders were paying a proportion of ops on the order of what TriMet [excluding WES] riders pay then there would be little concern. It’s one thing when a streetcar run is canceled and riders have to wait an extra few minutes or walk a very few blocks out of their way for the nearest TriMet service; it’s another when the last line 36 runs are eliminated and riders are faced with walks of two miles or more.

  42. The reason Streetcar fares can be lower than TriMet’s is due to the City’s contribution of parking meter dollars. City policy buys down Streetcar fares, and based on Chris’ numbers TriMet picks up only a bit more that 1/3 ($3.7M)of total operational costs ($9M). A hell of a deal for TriMet.
    If OPAL wants to kill the Streetcar, it should go to City Council and ask that meter dollars be reallocated for parking garages. LO or any other city could use their parking meter dollars (if they have them) to pay down TriMet fares if it chose to do so. Portland does this for a reason…Streetcar provides a powerful connector between Central City neighborhoods as per the Central City Plan of the 1980’s. And it has been a major driver in the redevelopment of the Central City. Both compelling uses of parking meter money. I think meter dollars should be increased, and Streetcar be fareless in neighborhoods that have parking meters.

  43. I think meter dollars should be increased, and Streetcar be fareless in neighborhoods that have parking meters.

    Why limit such a policy to Streetcar?

  44. I’m fine with making the Streetcar entirely free and funding its operation through meters, an off-street parking tax and (if necessary) a small fee for commercial businesses (including hotels) and residences along the line. I’d like to see the same thing happen with MAX from the Lloyd District to Goose Hollow and Rose Quarter through OMSI. Recreate the Free Rail Zone in the core funded entirely by retail/hospitality businesses, residents and parking within 2-3 blocks of each line. In effect, it makes the “central” portion of MAX part of the Portland Streetcar system for purely local access.

  45. Fine, I’m with DK on that, extend Fareless or Free Rail to any neighborhood in the Central City with parking meters. Replace lost fares with meter dollars.

  46. Question for those who are much more in the know than I am: Is there any realistic scenario of extending WES to Woodburn and Salem in, say, the next ten years? It seems like some kind of affordable transit between the two is going to be required at some point soon.

  47. It appears that Walkscore (and related products like TransitScore) will be unavailable on the upcoming iOS version 6, at least for a while. Not because Apple has anything against either product, but because Walkscore uses Google Maps, and Apple is in the process of abandoning as many Google services as it can in its outrage over Google’s development of the Android platform.

    My suspicion is that eventually, these services (or similar) will become available using Apple’s new mapping services–Walkscore won’t be happy about it, but Apple is an 800lb gorilla in this market, and it isn’t afraid to throw its weight around.

    Unfortunately, the Apple/Google feud is not at all beneficial to users.

  48. Clackamas County Commission declines to block the upcoming anti-LRT ballot measure (3-401) from going before voters as scheduled. As noted above, a legal opinion by the County counsel holds that Measure 3-401 would not be retroactive in affect (i.e. would not affect MLR, only future LRT projects), and that a retroactive interpretation would violate the Contracts Clause of the US and Oregon constitutions.

  49. The Oregon State Land Conservation and Development Commission has finally, after several go-rounds with Metro, approved the expansion to the Urban Growth Boundary.

    Links to follow…

  50. PolitiFact Oregon takes a look at claims made by former Wilsonville mayor and current Clackamas County commission candidate, that he was instrumental in Wilsonville’s decision to withdraw from TriMet back in the late 1980s.

  51. RA, I think it’s time for some laws that would protect everyone. I think the problem with bicycling is that people don’t take it seriously enough. Admittedly cars are more dangerous, per se, but I think there are a lot of cyclists who never think they could hurt anyone. Living right on the Springwater Trail I see it; not so much the commuter types, rather those whose only transportation choice is a bike and they never think of things like insurance or identification. Good luck if you get hit by one of them.

  52. Good catch ES. I highly recommend it.
    The author failed to note, however, that the local piece of westside MAX was funded with a $200M property tax bond issue or that the $400M South/North property tax bond vote lost by 2000 votes in 1998. So we know how to fund the SW corridor line when the time comes; put it to a vote.
    And if TriMet were just MAX and FS bus lines, it would have little or no financial problems. Its all those high cost lines (my baby included) that are the challenge. Maybe cities or counties need to pick up a piece of their cost just as Portland picks up a huge piece of Streetcar costs with parking meter money.

  53. I like the idea of the $1 “circulator fare”. They should expand it so it works on the max line from Goose Hollow to Lloyd Center and from PSU to the Rose Quarter. I think this would be a fair balance.

    Oh, and they better improve the fare machines. This is going to be a serious problem with all of the additional people buying tickets.

  54. Unfortunately, we’ll have the same fare machines on the vehicles. But we’ll be adding new fare machines on the platforms (more like the parking paystations you see around the central city). Hopefully this will handle the demand.

  55. As Chris mentioned, new fare machines will be added to the platforms. (My understanding is that this will be most or all platforms.)

    By keeping the existing (slow and unreliable) machines on-board, they become a fare payment method of last resort, in case the platform-based machines are broken.

    I’ve long advocated that TriMet adopt a similar approach with MAX. Put one small payment machine on each MAX car as a backup. This way, riders will not have to worry about fare inspector confrontations when the platform machines are down (and won’t have to comply with ridiculous “get off and pay at the next stop and then wait for the next train” rules), and scofflaws won’t be able to use “the machine was broken” as a lie.

    And if the on-board machine is broken too, that’s the agency’s problem, not the rider’s problem.

  56. A couple of other thoughts/questions on fare inspection.

    1) How will inspections in the presence of on-board machines work? If a fare inspector boards and announces an inspection, will he try to prevent scofflaws from buying tickets at that point (and/or write up anyone not already in line at the ticket machine when he gets on board)?

    2) Right now, the penalty for a fare violation is significant ($175 minimum). The cost of an adult all-zone monthly pass is $100. Any thoughts to combining the carrot and the stick here–i.e. requiring/encouraging fare-violators to purchase a pass, and/or providing them with one in exchange for their fine? In such a scheme, the cost of the pass should still be higher than one bought voluntarily–otherwise people won’t buy passes until they get caught–but a great way to keep someone from not having a valid fare is to provide them with a pass.

  57. I tend to think that on-board machines can encourage people to take chances and become scofflaws, and it means that the vehicle can’t be a sterile fare-paid area. With machines only on the platforms, it makes it clear who does and doesn’t want to pay.

  58. I agree. Fare dodgers can just stand next to the machine and wait till they see a fare inspector getting ready to board. Easy to skip a lot of fares that way and never get caught.

  59. I think we worry too much about fare dodgers, and going after them may cost more in the end. The sweet spot is to have enough inspection to reduce temptation, but not so much that you lose money.
    I see that parking meters are going in on MLK/Grand in SE; I think they should be the income stream, not fares for Streetcar. If your district has meters, then its free. Simple enough.

  60. The on-board fare machines take too long to operate. That used to be a bug, now it’s a feature. A maximum of one scofflaw can play the hang-out-and-pay trick.

    I’d rather err on the side of customer convenience. (Platform fare machines with on-board backup machine.)

    (I’d also rather keep some kind of fareless central city zone via city subsidies, but since we can’t have that, make it as easy to pay the fare as possible.)

  61. If the streetcar is paid, it needs to be enforced with fare inspectors with authority. This situation now is crazy where they have no authority to issue fines or exclusions, its a joke and so many people take advantage of it. It makes the people who do pay feel like idiots wasting money and its sends a bad message of freeloading ‘the system.’

    Just do a few stings with real TriMet fare inspectors every once in while or when needed to do the job. Do what you need to do to get them on the streetcar whether its the authority, work rules, or work territory.

    Portland is extremely lax on enforcing non-serious crimes and these crimes are getting pretty rampant especially in the Central City. NYC figured out that clamping down on petty crime and most especially subway fare evasion led to a huge decrease in serious crime, is Portland the only place that hasnt learned this?

  62. My understanding is that City Council has adopted an ordinance (or perhaps is about to consider one – I’m a little fuzzy on the timing) providing the authority for fines and exclusions.

  63. It’s ridiculous that the city is charging a buck but Trimet is charging $2.50.

    “People who cannot recognize a palpable absurdity are very much in the way of civilization”

    (Agnes Repplier)

  64. I can go from Gresham to Forest Grove for $2.50 on TriMet.

    I can go from OMSI to PSU on Streetcar for a buck.

    Somehow that does not seem ridiculously disproportionate to me…

  65. Hey what happened to my reply? I replied to this already.

    Not everybody goes from downtown to Forest Grove.
    If I want to go from NW to Downtown, I have two choices (albeit they actually go to 2 different places) I can ride Trimet for $2.50 or Streetcar for $1.00.

    The two transit systems should not be in price competition with each other.

  66. Of course, getting from downtown Hillsboro to the Washington County Fairgrounds will cost you $2.50, same as Hillsboro to Gresham, or Gresham to Troutdale. It’s only downtown that you can find a shorter trip for a cheaper fare.

    Of course, that’s subsidized in good part by other revenue sources from the City–if Beaverton wanted to make it so riding the 62 from Murrayhill to Millikan Way only cost a buck, I’m sure TriMet would listen to their proposal…

  67. Portland puts money on the table for Streetcar; other cities can do the same for their transit lines and/or projects. What’s the beef?

  68. Al doesn’t spend time downtown, so he doesn’t understand why the city would want to subsidize short trips. For the rest of us, it is obvious.

  69. I don’t have much problem with the city saying it doesn’t have anything better to do with its parking revenue than heavily subsidizing its own streetcar. The concern is with TriMet joining with the city to subsidize it to the point where the average rider pays a fraction of the fares and percentage of ops that bus & MAX riders do. The $3.7 million dollar TriMet contribution that its board authorized last week could pay for more than 37 thousand bus hour equivalents.

    According to Joseph Rose’s Monday piece, pax revenue on streetcar is only $179,000 this fiscal year, or about five cents a head. TriMet’s annual ridership report showed riders paying $.92 per boarding ride on bus, $1.01 on MAX, and $1.04 on WES. Ops fare recovery was 32.2% on bus, 62.4% on MAX, but only 6.6% on WES. JR’s numbers show that streetcar’s was only 3.2%.

    The loss of fareless square, the proposed fare hikes, and a real fare enforcement program will go a long way towards having streetcar riders pay their fair share. Still, the projected $1 million is only 12% of ops, or less than a third of TriMet’s average.

    There’s still a ways to go. Whether it’s city subsidies or more pax revenue doesn’t make much difference. The important point is that TriMet doesn’t find itself reducing its services just to give streetcar riders a grossly under-market ride.

  70. R A articulates the point that I can’t seem to make , I’ll repeat it:

    The important point is that TriMet doesn’t find itself reducing its services just to give streetcar riders a grossly under-market ride.

  71. I think a more relevant point is this one:

    Is TriMet being forced, by contractural obligations, to fund “low-priority” services ahead of higher-priority ones?

    This is my main beef with WES, and to a lesser extent, Streetcar–it’s not that TriMet funds these routes, it’s that TriMet is COMMITTED to funding them. The same is true of MAX, but the MAX lines are all core trunk lines with tens of thousands of riders per day, which deserve ample funding on the merits.

    The existing Streetcar does 10k rides/day, better than most bus lines, but at a greatly reduced fare; PSI’s studies seem to show that demand for the Streetcar is highly elastic, suggesting that if Streetcar fares were increased to match regular TriMet fares, ridership would drop by more than 60% or thereabouts. WES does about 2K rides per day–which would be fine for an express bus, but is terrible for a commuter rail line.

    From a merit point of view, maintaining the frequent service grid probably rates higher than either of these. Were TriMet unencumbered by contractual or FTA obligations, it might wish to respond to budget pressures by reducing Streetcar service and mothballing WES alogether–but it can’t do these things. So it cuts higher-value services in order to continue to operate lower-value ones.

    While I disagree with the anti-rail attitudes of some TriMet critics, they do have a point in that excessive rail construction (and the promises which have to be maded to get FTA funding) ties TriMet’s hands. If TriMet is going to commit to operation of a transit line, it better be sure that the line is a high-priority one. MAX certainly makes the cut in this regard; the other rail projects, not so much.

  72. it’s that TriMet is COMMITTED

    ~~>Here we go again, the double standards argument!

    They have to fulfill their commitments to other governmental units but they do NOT have to fulfill their commitments to their employees.

  73. I’m assuming, Al, that you’re referring to the fact that TriMet and ATU differed on how to apply the expired collective bargaining agreement when it expired in 2009. TriMet believed it could freeze pay/benefits at 2009 levels, IIRC; ATU argued that the annual adjustments specified in the expired CBA had to go forward until a new agreement was in place.

    Or that’s my recollection–labor contracts are not my area of expertise.

    Anyway, the ATU mostly prevailed on its interpretation, and TriMet was ordered to give its union workforce back pay.

    At any rate–TriMet was indeed made to “fulfill its commitments to (its) employees”. It took an ERB order, but they ended up having to do so in the end.

    Given that, it doesn’t seem reasonable to argue that TriMet’s agreements with the City of Portland (or with Clackamas County) are somehow non-binding, simply because TriMet tried (and failed) to take a hard line with the union.

  74. TriMet believed it could freeze pay/benefits at 2009 levels,

    B.S. total B.S!

    There was past practice and the agreement to go into binding arbitration.

    You make excuses all day long for your buddy Mcfarlane, I know the truth of the man.

    He’s a cutthroat executive and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he had the middle managers set me up just to get rid of me. Which succeeded. But surprise surprise, HE DID ME A FAVOR GETTING ME TO QUIT!

    Now I can do what I want without them
    threatening me anymore!

    Don’t tell me about this management, I spent 15 years of my life at that place and I know who is running it right now.

  75. You guys over here just don’t get it do you?
    You buy all the nonsense of how its all the Trimet union employees fault that there is a problem.

    Nobody cares about the 100 six figure executives, the endless boondoggles, inept management, and endless debt service obligations, free streetcars, god almighty
    its all the union employees benefits that are the problem.

    It’s the unions of the world that are ruining the world, yes indeed, just get rid of those greedy unions and there will be a new day in Amerika and the whole world!

    Gawd, what suckers.

    And Mcfarlane is the trailblazer for the republicans in the state of Oregon.

  76. I dont think anyone has a problem with paying bus drivers a good living wage with reasonable benefits, its the ridiculous work rules, ridiculous retirement benefits (work only a few years, get full pay out) and ridiculous contribution to health care that people have a problem with. TriMet is first and foremost a public agency providing transit service to the public not first and foremost a retiree benefit program, its crazy for that to soon be the biggest expense for the agency. I despise Walker, Thatcher and Reagan but I’d be happy to throw the ATU under the bus with the current TriMet situation which will bankrupt the agency with huge long term commitments that are in everyones eyes unreasonable. The unions need to adapt and pick their battles instead of clinging to unsustainable complete giveaway contracts that suffocate their employer.

  77. Al,

    I’m not defending TriMet’s labor negotiating practices. If you check the archives, you’ll note I’ve been quite critical of TriMet for the way it’s been handling the whole thing.

    I am pointing out, though, that TriMet has been successfully held to agreements it has made. There is ample reason to believe that if TriMet were to unilaterally cut Streetcar funding and impact the service thereof, Bad Things would happen to it; things which likely would negate the savings generated.

    And you’ll also notice I’ve suggested, on multiple occasions, that TriMet (and the region as a whole) be a bit more careful where they make operating commitments, to avoid this situation in the future.

  78. Outside of the Portland area, but interesting (and unfortunate) nonetheless: The New York State legislature is close to passing a bill which would cripple the so-called “Chinatown” bus services which provide low-cost transport to and from New York City; by mandating a byzantine permitting process for any bus company which wishes to make curbside pickups.

    The legislation would only apply to New York City.

  79. The USDOT announces the latest round of TIGER grants. Nothing for the Portland metro area this time around; Southern Oregon gets $7M to rebuild the rail line over Siskiyou Pass.

    Matt Yglesias notes that 25% of the grants go to rural projects compared to only 16% of the rural population. (OTOH, several of the rural projects are multimodal or regional in nature).

  80. Michael Andersen on why TriMet board members don’t ride TriMet. He suspects there’s a bit of a “charity” mentality among some at Center St, that TriMet operates as a “transit bank” analogous to a food bank, an idea which he nails thusly:

    TriMet isn’t a charity for the unlucky. Its goal is not to cure carlessness by helping us all get to work until we can afford to buy a car. TriMet’s goal is to create a viable, sustainable alternative to car use – and to create tens of thousands of people who want to live low-car lives indefinitely.

  81. We didn’t blow anything. You think PMLR was controversial as is, what do you think would have happened if they would have paid out that kind of money for ROW for busses? Or, heaven forbid, try to take a lane away from cars?

    The last line of that article also talks about how they are probably going to have to convert it to rail for capacity issues.

  82. One interesting tidbit about the LA Orange Line (the BRT mentioned in the article R A cited)–it was built over an old freight rail corridor, but a California state law (past at the behest of suburban LA residents during the 1990s) essentially bans light rail, or other surface rail, in that specific area. It was either a subway or a bus; and the area in question is nowhere near dense enough to justify a subway.

    The Orange Line does suffer from capacity issues, and also slowed by the fact that it needs to stop at traffic lights (the road department has declined to enable light pre-emption). Were it a rail line, it (under law) wouldn’t be forced to stop at crossings.

  83. Why would there be a significantly stronger backlash against BRT than LR?

    Capacity does not have to be an issue. Curitiba BRT carries up to 11,000 riders in the peak direction during the peak hour on a single busway. That’s using bi-articulated 270 passenger wide-door buses in conjunction with enclosed platforms and prepayment of fares as well as signal prioritization. All the MAX lines together provide somewhere around 125,000 boarding rides daily throughout the entire system. So there’s no point on MAX which sees more than half the peak flow of a single Curitiba BRT line.

    If BRT reached its full development in western Europe or Japan, we’d probably have a much more favorable view of it. Instead, our own bigotry has it as a less desirable, third world form of transportation for societies that can’t afford to go first class.

  84. A 30m bi-articulated bus can hold roughly the same number of passengers as a single MAX car, possibly less.

    Moving 11 kpphpd would require about 22 2-car MAX trains per hour, about one every three minutes. Doing so with bi-artics would require one every 90 seconds.

    In Brazil, bus drivers are poorly paid, and this is affordable. Here, it’s not. (Though given a decade of austerity politics, who knows?)

    In first-world economies, rail has a significant advantage over bus on high-capacity lines. A good argument can be made over which high-capacity lines in Portland merit rail, or whether some of them are overkill. The Steel Bridge at rush hour comes close to 11kpphpd, from all four lines combined, but that’s the only place in Portland that is even close.

  85. The Curitiba buses are reported to be 25 meters. They might get their super-high capacities by minimizing seats even more than we do with MAX & streetcar. A single MAX unit carries about 170, according to TriMet. Using US rather than Brazilian standards, we should still be able to carry 120-140 in a bi-articulated bus and carry 5.5kpphpd with 90 second headway. Then, with multi-bus platforms and the ability to bypass stations, shouldn’t we be able to have multiple lines use the same busway, thereby raising capacity?

    Scotty, do you have any data supporting “close to 11kpphpd” over the Steel Bridge? TriMet’s Fall 2010 passenger census data suggests that it’s probably well under 3kpphpd after adjusting for current ridership.

    There are at least a couple of false economies in comparing rail systems with open BRT.

    The first is that the greater operating cost of high-capacity rail vehicles compared with buses ends up encouraging operators to schedule longer headways off peak. Very roughly, it costs a little less to run five standard 40′ buses as two MAX trains. So if only one or two hundred riders need transportation on a given route during an off peak hour, they could have 12 minute headway with buses at a slightly lower cost than 30 minute headway with MAX.

    The other is the need for additional end-of-line layovers when using hub-and-spoke systems as opposed to single-seat services. Think of legacy air-carriers v. Southwest. The MAX + feeder line model might be logical for TriMet since it has so little transit competition, but not necessarily for riders.

  86. R A,

    The “close to 11k” is theoretical crushload capacity at peak frequency, not actual ridership. I’m assuming a crushload capacity of 500 people per two-car train (VERY tight), and 20 tph. That’s 10k.

    In practice, trains are seldom loaded that tightly (maybe after a Blazers game). I’m also assuming peak load, 3kpphpd sounds an all-day average figure–one that doesn’t divide by 2 to account for return trips.

  87. The less than 3k was figured as follows:

    For each line, take the total number getting off at all stations east of the Willamette and subtract the total boarding at the same stations. This worked out to 21,250 for Fall 2010.

    Adjust that total by the approximately 6.6% increase in total MAX ridership for May 2012 (excluding the old mall shuttle) to about 22,650.

    Multiply by 11%, which is TriMet’s average peak hour ridership, resulting in an estimated 2490pphpd which was the basis for the “well under 3k”.

    I could see that the 11% might be based on the two-way ridership bringing the peak bidirectional number to about 5,000. Then we’d have to deduct the unknown westbound flow, and still be less than half of the 11,000 peak hour capacity Curitiba has on a single BRT line.

    The point remains that BRT could be designed to handle any realistically forecast demand for the life of these specific projects, not that there isn’t a sweet spot between bus and heavy rail systems that would be appropriate for LR.

  88. Curitiba intends to upgrade their system to light rail when they can afford it. BRT is all they can afford. Metro’s Milwaukie corridor study following the defeat of Soutn/North did NOT include lightrail; it had everything but. That option was returned for study by popular demand from residents of SE Portland and even Milwaukie.
    The capital cost of comparable BRT was as high as LRT with higher operating costs than LRT. Hence all the elected bodies of the region selected LRT as the prefered alternative.

  89. The obvious answer here was to do BRT on 99E and take space away from cars. This could have saved substantial cash. However we are getting a beautiful new bridge over the Willamette so I’m glad for this project

  90. One flaw in your analysis, RA, is the assumption that the origin/destination pattern in the peaks is the same as it is for the entire day. I’d be willing to bet that’s not the case; that a far greater number of peak-hour commuters are heading to/from downtown (and crossing the Steel Bridge) then off-peak travelers.

    But still, you’re comparing apples to my oranges. I’m looking at CAPACITY–how many people can cram in the vehicles, and you’re lookint at actual ridership. That ridership will be less than or equal to capacity ought to be obvious.

  91. Lenny,

    Isn’t Curitiba building a heavy rail subway to augment BRT, not light rail? There really wouldn’t be much point for the latter.

    Yes, if we get projections for a high enough future demand, then we will be shown how LR ops would be lower than BRT’s on a per passenger basis, especially if we overlook things like off-peak costs, layovers, extra buses during rail outages, the size of the BRT vehicles being considered, etc.

    Amazing, isn’t it?

    While the anti-bus bias that so many have is unfortunate, it is valid in a democracy or marketplace. We may never know what public response would be if we were to build a real top-of-the-line BRT where it would make sense.


    You’re right: I am trying to compare the real world MAX operation against Curitiba’s which apparently has at least one line which is operating at or near capacity.

    TriMet has the capacity of MAX trains at about 340. No, it may not be crush-load, but it is what the agency figures people would live with on a day-to-day basis. I also don’t know what the single-direction trains-per-hour capacity of the bridge is, let alone an optimally designed double-track LR system. If TriMet could run trains every two minutes, then the MAX system’s effective [not crush-load] capacity would still be less than a Curitiba BRT line. Again, no one is advocating 270-rider buses here.

    Your guess on ridership patterns is as good as anyone’s. I don’t think there’s much difference between peak and average in this case. If anything, there might now be proportionately more off-peak over-the-bridge ridership because of the doomed FRZ.

  92. The problem is most BRT projects are not “top of the line” which would mean exclusive transit ROW.
    Once you create that…at considerable expense… why not run higher capacity vehicles? Especially when you already have train yards, mechanics, and all the other pieces of a LRT system. It makes no sense, except as a way to give a corridor a second rate product at a lower cost.
    Its interesting to note that the South/North vote in ’98 passed overwhelmingly in Portland and by 2 to 1 in Multnomah county. In Portland only two precincts along the line voted NO, both in N. Portland. And that was for a $400M property tax for local match. Portlanders get it, and luckily for non-Portlanders, cities drive the economy.

  93. 340 is the design load capacity (or thereabouts). 500 is the peak crushload capacity–i.e. how many people actually HAVE managed to be crammed on a MAX train.

    For all practical purposes, the limiting factor on capacity in the US will not be “how many vehicles can we run down a right-of-way?”; an question where bus will have generally have an advantage due to regulatory and signalling issues. It will be “how many drivers can we afford?”, where rail has the advantage due to the ability to connect individual railcars into trains.

    Technology may change things, of course. If we one day have self-driving busses, then the capacity advantage of rail disappears. Another possibility (that may well be more tractable) might be automatic (computerized) stabilization of busses in tow, so that we can connect BUSSES in trains without having the rear sections swaying around like articulated busses are famous for.

    But neither of those are here today.

  94. Lenny,

    I couldn’t agree with you more that agencies in the US have seen BRT as second-rate and that we have yet to see top-of-the-line projects.

    One advantage of BRT to Milwaukie and on the SW project is that riders could continue on to multiple significant destinations beyond proposed LR termini. So passengers from Clackamas, Oregon City, Wilsonville, Sherwood, etc. would have a faster and higher level of service with BRT than they would have on a bimodal trip with a transfer.

    On the blue line, there isn’t the heavy demand beyond Gresham, and just one obvious potential extension from Hillsboro to Forest Grove. The red and green lines were sensible extensions of blue. So LR makes more sense there.

    The question of running higher capacity vehicles is one of demand. Outside of peak hours, smaller vehicles at lower cost could make sense. High capacity vehicles can only compete during most hours by having greater headway.

    MLR is going to require more in terms of the infrastructure you mention. Joseph Rose’s Tuesday piece on TriMet’s furniture spending included:

    “…there’s not enough room for equipment needed to run the 7.4-mile line at TriMet’s light-rail command center in Gresham.”

    Yes there is a large “I ain’t gonna ride no bus” element in the populace and no faulting transit agencies for seeing if there’s a way to accommodate their needs. How many of those folks regularly would get out of their private vehicles no matter how fancy the rail system?


    Siemens says their Portland S70 (TriMet type 4’s) vehicles’ capacity is about 228, or 456 for a two-unit MAX train. 340 really is TriMet’s calculation for effective peak loads. It appears to be based on how much people are normally willing to press against their fellow riders in the real world. Similarly, TriMet figures 40′ bus capacities at 51 or so even though the manufacturers almost always show larger numbers.

    Your idea of connecting buses in trains is intriguing. Perhaps operators could drive buses to a busway staging area, then leave the ‘trailers’ to operate buses coming off the train segment of their runs.

  95. No, the Streetcar is going to be $1. PSU is simply going to purchase fares in bulk for their students and employees, the same way companies by transit passes in bulk in TriMet’s Passport program.

  96. “I think we may have blown it by not having the Yellow line as a BRT, dovetailing with and potentially partially funded by C-TRAN.”

    >>>> That’s right; BRT-Lite with signal preemption and limited service buses with 3 and 2 seating would have been a MUCH better option for the Interstate corridor.

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