The (Almost) Ides of March Madness Open Thread

It’s mid-March!  Which means that this weekend Caesar will be stabbed, brackets will be filled out, and the weather starts to look like spring.  Recently, PT has been focusing on the Columbia River Crossing, but there has been plenty of other transit related news, good and bad of late.

  • Two stories on TriMet ridership.  Joseph Rose writes that ridership on the TriMet system is still on a downward trend, even more than a year after the last fare hike and/or service cut kicked in, and while other cities have seen rebounds in ridership.
  • However, TriMet is reporting that its winter numbers are showing improvement.
  • TriMet has released its proposed 2015 budget–and it contains good news, not bad:  Restoration of more frequent service lines (both bus and MAX, no fare increase, continuation of the bus replacement program).
  • The City of Tigard appears to have narrowly passed Ballot Measure 34-210, requiring a public vote for the city to spend money on mass-transit projects.  An earlier measure passed requiring a vote for light-rail; this one adds BRT (or any mode of transit that could conceivably run in an exclusive lane, whether new infrastructure or lanes taken from cars) to the list.  It also requires the city to issue form letters saying that Mass Transit Is Bad.  TriMet GM Neil McFarlane “isn’t sure what to make of” the vote, and neither apparently are city leaders.  The Southwest Enhancement Plan (which focuses on bus service, and is designed to augment the SW Corridor project) continues apace.
  • On the other side of town, the Powell/Division project, originally slated to start last summer, is finally getting underway, with a bunch of public outreach coming up, and the first steering committee meeting next Monday.
  • Bike Portland looks at a recent Supreme Court ruling that many make certain rail-trail projects difficult (and make it easier for adjoining landowners, in some cases, to reclaim land on a rail right-of-way that is abandoned).


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