January 2013 Open Thread

Happy New Year, everybody!

This is the first Open Thread of ’13, in which you can post on any (transport-related) topic you like, and where Al can record each and every January MAX outage for posterity. :) Even though I’m typing this on the eve of the 31st, I will refer to incoming officials who take office in the new year without the “-elect” qualifier, as they will be sworn into their posts by the time you likely read this.

A few items:

  • TriMet is, once again, free on New Year’s Eve.
  • Local elected officials start their new jobs with the new year, and fellows like Sam Adams and Randy Leonard, long prominent names in area politics, return to private life. Portland mayor Charlie Hales has already asked for his first major resignation.
  • Another incoming politician, Metro Councilor Bob Stacey, has penned an oped for the Willamette Week urging tolling of I-205, and cautioning Oregon lawmakers and transportation officials to make sure they don’t get caught holding the bag. And Hart Noecker takes on what he calls the “build, baby, build” Democrats in Salem, who seem to be the project’s biggest champions.
  • A bit more on Stacey’s new gig.
  • One service that will suffer as a result of budget games in Washington is Amtrak Cascades, which will lose federal operational funding (currently 23% of its budget).
  • In a story that we missed while Christmas shopping (but was alluded to in the prior OT), Clark County is still looking for a way to pay for LRT across the Columbia.

And if you haven’t used them or turned them in already, your non-foil and/or 1-2 zone TriMet tickets will make excellent New Year’s confetti. (Just pick up the trash afterwards…)

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