Rose Festival Open Thread

Starlight parade is tomorrow night, and TriMet wants you to know they’ll be there.

61 Comments

61 Responses to Rose Festival Open Thread

  1. Reza
    May 31, 2015 at 9:42 pm Link

    Why is a tunnel under Capitol Highway/49th Ave not among the potential options? The greater expense compared to a 53rd Ave tunnel?

    • EngineerScotty
      May 31, 2015 at 11:02 pm Link

      I get the impression that due to local soil conditions, a bored tunnel is not practical; instead, a cut-and-cover tunnel would be built. Such things are rather disruptive to surface activities compared to bored tunnels, which only disrupt the surface at the portals.

      Metro now has a detailed technical evaluation of the various tunneling options available.

      One other interesting question: If a tunnel isn’t built to serve OHSU, there has been much consideration of alternate ways for the line to effectively serve Marquam Hill from a stop on Natio or Barbur, including a pedestrian tunnel and elevators, to various surface escalators. The distance, both horizontal and vertical, from 53rd and Barbur to the Sylvania campus is far shorter; yet there seems to be no consideration for some sort of improved pedestrian connection to PCC, other than “walk up the hill along the street”.

      • Anandakos
        June 1, 2015 at 2:17 am Link

        Estudientes no hay Professores o Doctores!

      • Anandakos
        June 1, 2015 at 11:17 am Link

        On a more serious note, it seems to me that the decision comes down to how much more per additional system rider is the region willing to shoulder. Frankly, all of the other issues are just engineering problems or Federally mandated “evaluation” criteria that are subjective to the point of meaninglessness.

        So, the crux of the issue is on pages 31, 54, and 55. There are a number of “common” costs — those which are allocated to the portions of the alignment which has no options — which are not addressed in the capital expenses. So the difference in total cost is not nearly as stark as the apparent differences on pages 54 and 55. But they are what matters.

        So, assuming a “maximum LRT” (both tunnels) and the “best BRT” alignment (e.g. bypassing Hillsdale but using the more reliable Naito alignment and service PCC Sylvania directly via Capitol Highway), the difference in cost is $1.39 billion ($1,860 M – $470 M).

        [As an aside, I have no idea how the planners can think that an alignment along Barbur will attract more riders than one along Naito; it has to contend with the fustercluck that is the neighborhood just south of I-405 at Barbur and in mixed traffic one way no less. Is it because it’s two blocks closer at the ballyhooed “pedestrian improvement”?]

        That extra investment yields an additional system ridership of 19,500 per day, an increase of 59% from the “best BRT” ridership.

        Unfortunately, the document does not say what “ridership per day” means. It probably means “per weekday”, so I’m going to be conservative and use that assumption. Weekend ridership is far too variable to use in planning, depending as it does on event schedules.

        So, over a fifty year period, assuming 260 working days per year and ignoring the lower operating costs for LRT — each of the 235 million weekday rides which would be taken on a “maximum LRT” system would cost $5.50 in capital costs. Since the operating cost per ride for LRT is a bit more than $2.00 while the cost per bus ride is a bit less than $3.00, the net result would be an additional cost per ride on the order of $4.50. That figure would be further reduced somewhat by weekend and holiday ridership, probably to the range of $4.00/ride.

        So there you have it.

        • Jack. G
          June 1, 2015 at 11:50 am Link

          I haven’t had time to do a complete read-through, but two things stand out as worrying if BRT is selected.

          1) It seems that any BRT route would run in mixed traffic right as it gets into downtown. Either on Lincoln (with the map showing it would connect to 5th and 6th via the MAX alignment, which is impossible under current conditions) or at the messy intersections where Barbur, 26 and 4th-6th converge south of 405. This is far from ideal, being one of the most congested parts of the route.

          2) Another part that I noticed, was that they were still open to BRT in mixed traffic in the section near PCC. This is one of the reasons BRT is always done poorly in the US, we start crippling it from the start by thinking “It’s only a bus, it doesn’t need exclusive lanes the *entire* way. It would be so much easier to have it run in traffic for this section.”. I truly believe that BRT (if done well) could be a good fit for this route, but if it’s just going to be closer to BRTish then why bother?

          • Nick
            June 5, 2015 at 10:55 am Link

            This is exactly why I want light rail. BRT is going to be so watered down it will be worthless, because it always is in the US. I’m going to be against this project if it isn’t light rail – all it would be otherwise is an articulated #44.

            There’s plenty of great places in the Portland metro for BRT Lite, but this isn’t a corridor to skimp on.

        • Anandakos
          June 1, 2015 at 12:58 pm Link

          “per additional ride.”

  2. Ron Swaren
    June 3, 2015 at 7:23 pm Link

    p.60 “A deep bored tunnel is a substantial long term mining
    operation which will have significant complexity and unknown
    risks inherent with crossing faults and encountering
    unexpected materials and conditions. ”

    The West Side MAX tunnel was completed at 75 percent over the original estimate.

    • Anandakos
      June 4, 2015 at 3:41 pm Link

      And the U-Link tunnels came in at 85% of budget and six months early. A sample “t” of two is useless.

  3. Dave
    June 4, 2015 at 8:09 am Link

    Surprised no one has mentioned this but the Central Line Streetcar will be closed for 6-10 weeks due to the painting of the Broadway Bridge. Seems like a really weak project plan that you have to shut down the streetcar to paint a bridge. Or maybe no one cares :)

  4. Chris Smith
    June 4, 2015 at 8:45 am Link

    The challenge is that with the Broadway Bridge impassible to Streetcars, we have no way to dispatch vehicles to serve the east side.

    That will no longer be true after September when the Tilikum opens. We’ll have two ways to cross the river, so we can operate even if one of them is temporarily unavailable.

    Single points of failure are a bitch in any system. Glad this one is going away.

    • Dave
      June 4, 2015 at 8:51 am Link

      Why not wait until the Tillikum opens before shutting the east side of the system down? This may not have been the intention but it does send a message that east side of the line doesn’t really matter.

      6-10 weeks is a really long time. Obviously I’m not a bridge painter so I’m not going to pretend that I’m an expert but it seems like you could have closed the line for a week, painted around the wires, reopen the line and finish the rest of the bridge. 6-10 weeks seems really crazy.

  5. Chris Smith
    June 4, 2015 at 9:26 am Link

    It was a negotiation with the County, and I’m not privy to all the details. I can say that we pressed hard to make the shutdown as short as possible.

    We did have a strong preference to get this done before we closed the Loop however. It would have been a very negative message to open the full loop and then very soon turn it back into a “U” again for a number of weeks. We’d like the public to get used to the full loop service.

    • Justin
      June 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm Link

      I don’t know. I think eliminating all service to the Eastside is worse than closing a portion of the loop.

    • Anandakos
      June 4, 2015 at 3:42 pm Link

      How about at least keeping a shuttle on the East Side? Isn’t there a cross-over just west of the Coliseum station?

      • Anandakos
        June 4, 2015 at 3:47 pm Link

        Yes, there is. Surely traffic will be down to one lane in each direction while this painting project is underway. Why not force the westbound merge back a block to the east and allow the cars to turnback at the cross-over?

  6. j
    June 4, 2015 at 5:27 pm Link

    The SW corridor must be MAX or we will be addressing the failure of BRT in mixed traffic in ten years. The longer we wait, the more expensive fixed rail LRT gets. We have the opportunity to do this right the first time. Let’s.

    • Dave
      June 5, 2015 at 8:14 am Link

      I agree with you. But let me add that not building the tunnel under OHSU will later be viewed as a short-sighted decision. Build it right, or don’t build it at all.

      • Justin
        June 5, 2015 at 1:27 pm Link

        I’m curious why you think it will be seen as short-sighted? There is no tunnel there now, and OHSU seems to run pretty well. Why would a max line without a tunnel be so horrible? It’s not as though there will be more development up on Pill Hill. They have pretty much used up all the available space.

        FWIW, I like the idea of tunnel, I’m just not sure it’s worth the price tag.

        • Dave
          June 5, 2015 at 1:51 pm Link

          I prefer the tunnel for several reason.

          1. I don’t believe there is enough room on Barbur for cars, bike, pedestrians and light rail to work well. I would like to see the street grid return to Lair Hill by downsizing Naito and reworking the Ross Island onramps. I think Light Rail will be used as a reason why we can’t fix the street grid around there.
          2. Just like we didn’t want to ruin the tree lined corridor of the Sunset Highway in the 90s with a surface line. Barbur will not look anything like it does today if you add rail in.
          3. I think putting escalators (or whatever the final solution is) on the side of the hill is going to be a ghetto solution that people will laugh at in the long run. The cost will be high, usage low and you’ll have to make huge changes to the hillside.
          4. More development is coming to Pill Hill. As the dental and medical schools move down to South Waterfront, there are plans to either renovate or replace their current buildings for new use. I don’t know what the currently employment levels are on the hill but I have heard 15-20k. That an awesome start for the basis of light rail ridership.
          5. The construction disruption will be less than anyone imagines. Remember tunneling is underground. Just need to find a staging area. Duniway park would be relatively low impact (unless you run there today).

          I guess the Hillsdale community is lining up against the proposal but the 50s auto dominated shopping mall is ripe to be redeveloped with mid-rise housing and shops. This might be the catalyst to get that going.

          • j
            June 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm Link

            “I guess the Hillsdale community is lining up against the proposal but the 50s auto dominated shopping mall is ripe to be redeveloped with mid-rise housing and shops.”

            I am really tired of NIMBYs stopping people from building up land to its full potential. Terribly selfish people.

    • Erik H.
      June 9, 2015 at 9:27 pm Link

      Yes, let’s get it right.

      We can have MAX, and we will eliminate considerable bus service, forcing Southwest residents to drive to a park and ride lot. The pro-rail folks will love it, but they’ll still clog the roads of their cars, or will have to drive to their new industrial jobs that were displaced by transit oriented development along the MAX line.

      OR, we can invest in a comprehensive bus system that serves the entire region. The anti-bus folks will complain, but for those who actually appreciate the accessibility of transit close to where they are and need to go, they will have it.

      You pick. Good transit for all, or gold-plated transit for some and little to no transit for the rest.

      • Anandakos
        June 10, 2015 at 8:38 am Link

        What “industrial jobs” “along the MAX line”? Are you thinking of the Tigard Triangle? Who is expecting population growth there? It’s already built out with fairly recent warehouse/small industry businesses. It’s not going to be filled up with high rises.

        Are you ready to surrender the lanes necessary to make a “comprehensive bus system” workable? There aren’t that many places that it’s critical, but where it is “pro-bus” folks have to demand them. If not, you and they are just bait-and-switching.

        • EngineerScotty
          June 10, 2015 at 9:17 am Link

          FWIW, various planners like to pretend the Triangle will fill up with high-rises. I find that a dubious notion–generally, one finds higher-density housing in places with lots of employment amenities nearby; which is not the Triangle. There, you’re stuck between the freeway and WalMart.

          There are a few industrial areas between Bonita and Carmen along the proposed route; I don’t expect that area to turn into condos for much the same reason (already built out, and lacking the nearby amenities to make that attractive).

          That said, bus service cuts last time around were a product of the recession and TriMet’s other financial issues; not a planned consequence of the Green Line. Much of that service has been restored, and the opening of the Orange Line this fall will produce a net gain in service; the main cut to existing bus service being the 33 north of Milwaukie, which is replaced with the new MAX line. Many of the other bus service changes make a lot of sense; and lines like the 17 and 19 will continue to run downtown, rather than ending at the MAX line and requiring a transfer.

          • Anandakos
            June 10, 2015 at 2:22 pm Link

            Oh, right. The stuff south of Tigard TC along the MAX tracks. I guess he has a point then.

            • Anandakos
              June 10, 2015 at 2:23 pm Link

              WES tracks of course.

          • EngineerScotty
            June 10, 2015 at 8:23 pm Link

            If you like to take the bus to the Acropolis, then PMLR will be bad news for you. :)

      • Ron Swaren
        June 11, 2015 at 4:36 pm Link

        The PCC students could walk one-quarter mile from a stop at 55th and Barbur couldn’t they? Or do they need a $253 million tunnel? And TriMet could establish a dedicated bus line (maybe even with an electric motor from Quebec-Hydro) that connects to ALL the lines serving downtown, not just the MAX. I would think that would be somewhat less than one billion dollars.

        • Dave
          June 12, 2015 at 8:48 am Link

          Yes, PCC students could walk down 53rd to Barbur to catch the train but will they? That’s the billion dollar question. Yeah, it’s easy to say that they will walk but we have seen countless examples where if you don’t make transit convenient, it fails. Built it right or don’t build it at all.

          • Anandakos
            June 12, 2015 at 10:08 am Link

            The question is not so much “will the students walk down to Barbur”, but up? And if they won’t walk “up”, they’ll have their cars at campus, so they won’t be walking “down”, either.

            It’s tunnel or frequent service (e.g. 10 minutes) to the TC. Take your pick.

    • John Sporseen
      June 12, 2015 at 8:33 am Link

      #1 a BRT without designated right-of-ways is doomed to failure. I see that happening on the proposed Powell-Division which, it seems to me should be called, instead of BRT, a LBFBT. (Little Bit Faster Bus Transit) Any bus line that has to operate in traffic is not BRT.
      #2. has anybody bothered to investigate AORTAs proposal suggesting a six mile, four station tunnel? While initially more expensive, it seems to be potentially be more cost effective over the long run. Less destruction of neighborhoods, faster run time, and coordination with standard bus routes would also be easier, it seems to me.

  7. EngineerScotty
    June 5, 2015 at 7:20 pm Link

    The Onion strikes again.

  8. Ron Swaren
    June 6, 2015 at 12:25 pm Link

    1. I don’t believe there is enough room on Barbur for cars, bike, pedestrians and light rail to work well.

    Build any bike paths on adjoining right of way, including the two choke point bridges, using prefabbed sections to span over the steep hillside areas and elevate these far enough above the street that vehicles don’t drive on to it. In fact, I would like to know why sidewalks and a bicycle path could not be combined, as they are on the Hawthorne Bridge where they are both set fairly high above the grade level.

    I don’t know if Barbur could accomodate light rail, in addition to all other existing modes, but if buses are used these are just going to mingle into the traffic stream. Barbur seems to be pretty wide, so a restriping, keeping the same number of lanes, would allow for a more generous-width pathway along it.

    So far we have seen original estimates of light rail lines increase substantially before they were finished. The Westside MAX tunnel came in 80 percent over budget. The Milwaukie MAX doubled. Why shouldn’t there be some opposition when not only are there far less expensive solutions available and neither Tri Met or METRO can’t vouch for their figures anyway?

    I’m also concerned about the proposed PCC tunnel—-estimated now at over $250 million. Go a little further on Barbur, south of the Transit Center, and at SW 53rd Ave there is an existing stop that is about one quarter mile from the Campus. 53rd Ave needs some improvement and there is public space in there too, so, presto, a very short path to PCC from a likely transit stop—without the need for an additional, lengthy tunnel.

    • j
      June 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm Link

      “The Milwaukie MAX doubled.”

      Patently false, anti-MAX propaganda: http://bikeportland.org/2015/03/20/far-budget-trimets-orange-line-may-return-tens-millions-federal-government-135757

    • EngineerScotty
      June 6, 2015 at 5:05 pm Link

      Generally, Ron, when one decides whether a given project is over/under budget, one compares actuals with the planned budget when the project actually starts, and the design work is substantially done, and one actually has things like blueprints and schedules and appraisals of real estate for acquisiton, and bills of materials, and finance and funding plans (including interest calculations and repayment schedules).

      One doesn’t compare actuals with early planning numbers, which are often back-of-the-envelope, make many assumptions that may not hold up concerning the cost of labor, materials, and land, and often exclude finance costs.

      Now you might complain that planning numbers, by negelecting these things (or not including contingencies for them, even if those are somewhat SWAGgish), represent dishonesty on the part of project planners–a type of bait and switch. But TriMet and Metro are using, AFAIK, standard methods of estimating these costs.

      PMLR is coming in slightly under budget, though with some minor cuts to scope to get there. By no reasonable standard has its doubled its budget. It may have well doubled an early planning number, but that’s it. When the project received legislative approval, and the various agencies involved with the planning and development authorized funding of the project, they did so based on a number that was very close to four years of construction and $1.5 billion, year-of-expenditure, including finance charges.

      • Ron Swaren
        June 11, 2015 at 4:31 pm Link

        Well, that’s good to know. Then I guess we cannot go off the $1.7 to $2.4 billion figure entertained for LRT in the SW corridor since it hasn’t been submitted to the Legislature. Based upon what has taken place in the past? Should the public, at this time, be advised that these figures could be very low when the ‘actuals’ actually come in?

        • EngineerScotty
          June 11, 2015 at 11:07 pm Link

          They may well be. And at that time, the public will have the opportunity to discuss whether it is worth the cost.

          Indeed, I share the concern that the estimated costs may be on the low side. This line is about twice as long as the Orange Line, assuming it makes it to Tualatin, and I’m expecting a similar cost-per-mile.

          • Ron Swaren
            June 12, 2015 at 8:18 am Link

            At METRO I made three suggestions:
            1. Instead of the $253 million tunnel to PCC, let students off at the stop on 55th and Barbur. It’s only one-quarter mile

            2. Instead of the much more expensive tunnel to OHSU, begin a dedicated line from downtown to OHSU. I suppose one could go from the OMSI port, too; or have that line go to OHSU, go dowtown, go to OHSU again and then back to OMSI,

            3. Ask an Alexander Dennis Representative to pilot a double tall bus up here, just as they are doing this week and last for Kitsap County, try it out in the real world, and gauge what people think about it, as it operates on actual routes. This would be a more direct and simple method of soliciting the opinion of the public. Also the cost is not likely to double before it would be implemented. On a related note Kitsap transit is also leasing 96 parking spaces from a casino for $96 per year ( $1 each) for a 20 year period. If something like this could be done at shopping centers it could present an alternative to parking garages.

            • Anandakos
              June 12, 2015 at 9:22 am Link

              Um, er, Ron, “letting students off at the stop on 55th and Barbur” is essentially the same as the “letting students off at 53rd and Barbur” option in the Technical Evaulations Results document except that there’s no street heading up the hill at 55th and Barbur. I know, “details, details”.

              And, um, er, Ron, there is a “dedicated line” that goes to OHSU. IT’s called “the south end of the 8”. Are you calling for splitting one of the shortest through routed lines Tri-Met runs? Because “Benghazi”?

              As for the “double talls up the hill” idea I am absolutely certain that people will love to go around those hairpin turns on Terwilleger coming down the hill in the upper deck. Especially when the bus leans toward the guardrail on the lefthand curves.

              It should be a popular tourist thrill ride as well.

              Here’s the itinerary: “For the ultimate Portland Transportation experience, get on the Portland Streetcar (N-S Line preferably) toward South Waterfront for a quaint early 20th Century taste of Portland. Then change to the futuristic ‘Flash Gordon’-themed Tram in order to swoop up the mountain hundreds of feet above the proles below. Finish off your inimitable Portland experience with a hair-raising ride fifteen feet in the air as your narrated bus careens down switchbacks from ‘Pill Hill’ back to your starting point.”

  9. Jack G.
    June 11, 2015 at 10:24 am Link

    Jarret Walker has an interesting post on operating costs. http://www.humantransit.org/2015/06/portland-frequent-bus-performance-approaching-light-rails.html

    He notes that the operating cost of TriMet’s Frequent Service Buses are close to MAX.

    BikePortland is reporting that TriMet will be turning the eastern part (Parkrose-Lents) of the 71 line into a frequent service line in the next year. This will be done as the city does a $8 million dollar improvement on 122nd. It will include better sidewalks and crosswalks.

    http://bikeportland.org/2015/06/10/citys-8-million-122nd-avenue-will-aid-crossings-trigger-new-frequent-bus-line-144280

    One interesting thing that they noted, is that this will be the first new FS line in 10 years.

  10. Ron Swaren
    June 12, 2015 at 11:54 am Link

    Anandakos, as very typical of you, your statements directed to me are full of accusations and innuendo and even statements that you pull out of thin air such as “double talls up the hill.”

    Some of your past “hits” included warnings that I favored wiping out the brown creeper birds on Hayden Island—-even though there are still probably 100 million of them in the Rocky Mountains and eastern Canada. And also some conspiracy with “M&M’s” in Vancouver. ????

    At PCC there is also a Sylvania Natural Area midway between Barbur Bv. and and that oh-so-strenuous climb to the college. Hmmm…. how could this help facilitate the appeal of the otherwise boring bus stop?

    • Anandakos
      June 13, 2015 at 10:01 am Link

      So you were just musing about the possibility of the manufacturer demostrating the Double Talls in a thread about OHSU, but it didn’t have anything to do with using them there.

      OK, well then, where were you proposing to use them? Or did you just want to get a free fun ride at the demos?

      Because, yes, they are fun.

      But as Scotty says down thread, it’s all a moot point. There will be no tunnel either place so it will of necessity be a bus line.

      So you won. Now go gloat.

      • EngineerScotty
        June 13, 2015 at 10:22 am Link

        Just to be clear–a surface LRT alignment along Barbur is still in the mix, possibly with a tunnel under PCC Sylvania.

        But the neighbors around PCC seem opposed to that idea (or to any direct service to PCC that might interfere with the single-family homes on all faces of Mt. Sylvania but the NE fact).

        At any rate, I suspect that funding will be a major constraint on this project. If “new riders per capital dollar” is promoted as a major driving factor, I think that will steer planners towards cheaper solutions.

        • Anandakos
          June 15, 2015 at 12:09 am Link

          Scotty,

          There’s no reason to have Light Rail if it’s not going through the mountain under OHSU; it’s not like capacity is going to be a problem on this line. The rich people in Tualatin and Tigard don’t ride the bus anyway, so why spend even hundreds of millions providing them a nice system with pretty stations and fancy paint that they won’t ride and (because it’s a bus) which won’t provide a focus for development in southeast Portland.

          The truth is, the only reason to build any high capacity line in “The Southwest Corridor” is to build density in what is now the least dense part of Portland. Going to Tigard and Tualatin was always an expensive sop to the local politicians there.

          “Hey! Western Washington County has a train. We should have one too!” [Politician pouts with thumb in mouth]

          Now that majorities in both towns have made it pretty clear they don’t want any kind of high capacity transit, why beat a dead horse. Build a KCM RapidRide style “BRT” line (e.g. no reservations, no signal priority, but including the off-board payment of which His Majesty apparently does approve — he hasn’t yet proposed “omitting” that element of Basic BRT, so presumably it’s still allowable — but for sure include those elevated Bike Lanes!!!!!). Run it right to the border of Portland and Tigard and then provide a transfer there to and from to the little Confederate “secession” bus companies they’re saying they want.

          If they don’t like that option, let ’em stew in the staus on I-5 like the boneheads in Clark County will do for the next twenty years.

          • EngineerScotty
            June 15, 2015 at 10:05 am Link

            I think you overestimate the influence, somewhat, of the anti-TriMet faction in Tualatin and Tigard. They have shown they can win off-calendar special elections when they get to pick the date. OTOH, their slate of mayoral candidates for the last general election in these cities were all sad-sack joke candidates who got crushed.

            As I’ve noted before–the main driver of LRT in this corridor is not Tualatin or Tigard pouting about wanting toys that Beaverton and Hillsboro have. Nor is it TriMet, who seems perfectly happy with BRT. If any local government is insistent on rail, or at least has a strong modal preference for rail, it’s the city of Portland.

      • Ron Swaren
        June 13, 2015 at 11:00 am Link

        No, actually a surface alignment MAX is still in the running. And a tunnel at PCC is still in the running.

        However, I would suggest a different scenario, instead of what could become an argumentative match regarding Barbur Boulevard: Don’t use a “road diet” that takes away lanes to provide either a MAX line or bicycle path. Instead, expand Barbur’s capacity outward and simply use some very simple construction techniques to build a grade-separated path for active transport, set high enough, also, so that no motor vehicle would run up on to it. Thus, the users would feel safe. I believe there is plenty of room along most sections of Barbur; and the lanes are overly generous anyway, so borrowing a foot from each one and building a nice, generous sized elevated track should make everyone happy.

        I sometimes ride my bicycle to the bank in Milwaukie and have to use a trail that alternates between a narrow painted lane, narrow sidewalk, has trees growing into it, bumps, etc. The one going north is equally bad. So I an definitely sympathetic to what people just wanting to get somewhere on a bicycle face. However I think there is additional right of way available in much of the Barbur corridor, so let’s use it.

        And that way, bus usage of Barbur doesn’t have to conflict with private vehicle usage, so there would likely not be a need for a dedicated busway, either. And then if no light rail line is chosen at all, it’s no big deal. There is so much innovation taking place in bus vehicles, it should attract riders who care about environmental quality. The TM4 company, which is a subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec, filled an order to power 250 all electric buses in China. Once this approach is mature and well refined what would stop Tri Met from utilizing it? And for long distance express routes the double decker buses would take less room on the roadway, also, so less conflict with other road users.

  11. Ron Swaren
    June 12, 2015 at 12:14 pm Link

    An idea that would help retain the popularity of riding the bus ( I know that 20-30 minutes is just sheer agony) is the electrification of this mode—such as the quite innovative solutions explored by a little podunk utility company called Hydro-Quebec and their subsidiary TM4. Imagine that—a bus without either a heavy diesel engine or a heavy automatic transmission, but an innovative electric motor with no transmission.
    I wonder what else they could re engineer in a vehicle with thousands of pounds of drivetrain removed? Plus substantial reduction of noise?http://tm4.com/news-events/first-peps-powered-buses-rolling-china/

    • Anandakos
      June 15, 2015 at 12:20 am Link

      Ya know, Ron, no electric traction motors “have a transmission”.

      OMG! How do they do that?!?!?!?!?

      Traction motors have devilishly complex rotors which can be dynamically re-wired in realtime varying between several different combinations of parallel (for high torque) and serial (high rotational speed) circuitry. It’s called “transition” and has been a feature of electric transit since about 1920.

      Now this is not to say that traction motors can’t be improved; no engineering process is ever “complete”. And Hydro-Quebec may have a genuine innovation. But it doesn’t have anything to do with saving weight because of “no transmission”.

  12. EngineerScotty
    June 12, 2015 at 7:08 pm Link

    Metro planners are recommending that tunnels under Marquam Hill and Hillsdale (both the long DBT and the shorter cut-and-cover) be dropped from the project.

    Among the reasons cited: Tunnelling would have substantial impact on OHSU operations (microsurgeries and such), and construction impacts on neighborhoods (along the line for a cut-and-cover, and at portals/staging areas for a DBT). Also, the extra $900M cost or so is only projected to add 8% ridership (assuming decent surface connections to OHSU) and provide minimal time savings over a (LRT) surface route.

    Of course, if you are one who suspects that SWC will be BRT, and that LRT is only still in the mix at the insistence of Portland politicians, the various tunnel options were out of scope anyway….

    • Dave
      June 12, 2015 at 10:18 pm Link

      This had the potential to be a great line. Now its looking like a half-baked solution.

    • dan w
      June 14, 2015 at 8:11 pm Link

      While I was never totally sold on a tunnel under PCC Sylvania, I’m disappointed an underground OHSU stop is no longer in the mix. I can sort of see Metro’s point regarding potential disturbances to Pill Hill operations (IIRC one of the key reasons Sound Transit in Seattle modified its original LRT tunnel route under U of W was due to concerns over disruptions to sensitive campus lab equipment).

      I’m almost inclined to have Barbur LRT share Orange Line tracks between downtown and South Waterfront and then continue south to join Barbur, but the tram to OHSU is already pretty much at capacity (contrary to what the naysayers were predicting).

  13. Allan
    June 14, 2015 at 10:14 pm Link

    I’m telling you: Tram #2 is the answer – PSU to OSHU. It would only need to be about 10-20% longer horizontally to get to SW 6th and Jackson, and it there’s already a ton of wasted space there to have a portal. I think it might need 2 towers instead of 1 to avoid vertical obstacles, but I not that type of engineer

    • Anandakos
      June 15, 2015 at 12:31 am Link

      How do you get by the capacity constraints of a tram? They only ever have two cars, and the cars can’t be infinitely big because, well, they’re hanging by a [granted very tough] thread.

      Maybe a gondola which has many small cars and generally many more supports would work in the downtown-Pill Hill corridor, but not another tram. Flash Gordon has had his way with Portlandia already, and she was shocked with the small cabin in his ship.

      • Allan
        June 15, 2015 at 10:49 am Link

        That’s an interesting question. The current tram was built to handle stretchers for transporting patients. If that wasn’t a requirement, standard ski-style gondola cars could be used, potentially reducing the price a lot.

        • Anandakos
          June 15, 2015 at 3:44 pm Link

          There was a lot of agitation for a gondola from Capitol Hill through South Lake Union to Seattle Center (and maybe “Uptown” to its west) about a year ago on Seattle Transit Blog. But lately it’s been accepted that a “cross-town” subway replicating that route is a better choice. Gondolas are quick to board and alight, but slow to make forward progress. They can’t be too long or people find other means.

          That said, a gondola from the southernmost MAX station at PSU South to OHSU at the summit would be a little more than half a mile. Even at three miles an hour that would only be ten minutes, less time than waiting for even a frequent service bus (average 7.5 minutes wait time) and then navigating up the hill.

  14. EngineerScotty
    June 23, 2015 at 1:50 pm Link

    TriMet announces a new Sherwood-Tualatin bus line to start in 2016, one of the proposed lines that came from the Southwest Service Enhancement Plan. To start, the line will only run in the AM and PM peaks, whereas the SEP appears to call for an all-day line; but the agency plans to add service, and extend it to Bridgeport Village in the future. (The line as envisioned in the SEP would run north to Tigard TC).

    • Cameron J
      June 23, 2015 at 5:17 pm Link

      I’d honestly interline it with the 37. That’d be a wicked and wicked fast line.

      • EngineerScotty
        June 23, 2015 at 7:33 pm Link

        TriMet intends to have the 37 run from LO down Kruse Way, to Bonita, to Tigard TC–and then via Walnut to the Murrayhill/Progress Ridge area.

        I’d like to see a Sherwood-Oregon City line, myself.

  15. Ron Swaren
    June 24, 2015 at 5:04 pm Link

    This sounds like good sequel to Goodbye Lenin but I just couldn’t help putting it in. And like new recycled buses for $89,000? Go Kitsap Transit!!

    WA: Worker-Driver Bus Program Growing With Shipyard Employment Ed Friedrich On Apr 8, 2015
    Source: Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, Wash.

    April 07–BREMERTON — Kitsap Transit continues to grow its worker-driver program, getting permission Tuesday to buy three more buses, pushing the total to 42.

    They can’t be called “new.” The agency, following the strategy it used the past three years to replace a worn-out fleet, will purchase a 1999 motor coach and two 2002s for $219,000.

    It previously bought 36 mid-1990s former tour buses for about $44,000 apiece, sinking another $45,000 into each for rebuilt engines and transmissions and new interiors. That will take them another million miles. A new coach would cost at least $650,000, said Hayward Seymore, vehicle and facilities maintenance director.

    • Allan
      June 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm Link

      Old American school buses aka ‘chicken buses’ are great public transit in central america. I’m sure they’re paying even less

Leave a Reply to Allan Click here to cancel reply.

By posting a comment, you are granting a license to Portland Transport for your comment. Please refer to The Rules.