Archive | Bus

Google Transit Launches with TriMet

We got scooped by News4Neighbors, but here it is: today Google launched a Transit Trip Planner, using TriMet as their first partner, so right now it’s a Portland exclusive.

My favorite part is the comparison of driving costs with the transit fare!

What this highlights is that TriMet has great data, and a real willingness to be innovative. Here at Portland Transport we’re very well aware of this. Tomorrow we’ll be launching a transit tool of our own, relying on TriMet’s data. Watch this space…

It all started on the bus

When Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man 50 years ago, her courage gave face to a movement that would forever change our society and institutions. Her heroic act on Dec. 1, 1955 sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and for 381 days blacks, who made up the majority of bus riders, refused to ride. By saying “no” to inequality, Parks said “no” to discrimination of Black Americans through segregation that included separate drinking fountains, restrooms and schools.

TriMet & community remember Rosa Parks &
50th anniversary of Montgomery bus boycott

When Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man 50 years ago, her courage gave face to a movement that would forever change our society and institutions. Her heroic act on Dec. 1, 1955 sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and for 381 days blacks, who made up the majority of bus riders, refused to ride. By saying “no” to inequality, Parks said “no” to discrimination of Black Americans through segregation that included separate drinking fountains, restrooms and schools.

TriMet, the Albina Ministerial Alliance (AMA) and the community commemorate Rosa Parks’ legacy and the 50th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott.

TriMet is also displaying a historic photo essay commemorating Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement inside and outside buses from December 1 through February. You can also see them at trimet.org/rosa to learn more about Rosa, the boycott and the civil rights movement.

Moment of Silence

TriMet wll also briefly stop all buses at noon to observe a moment of silence for Rosa Parks. Bus operators will make the following announcement: “We ask for a moment of silence as we remember Rosa Parks’ legacy. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ arrest after refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama.”

Rosa Parks died October 25, 2005 at the age of 92.

TriMet Grapples with Energy Costs

TriMet’s board has adopted a corrective action plan to deal with increased diesel fuel costs (about $5M over budget for the year). In addition to conservation measures, the plan includes a 15 cent fare increase…

On a more hopeful note, in conjunction with the Bonneville Power Administration, TriMet has installed a fuel cell at its Powell Garage, testing it as a clean alternative to a diesel generator.

The release doesn’t specify whether the fuel cell is being powered directly with pure hydrogen or with methane.

Unravelling Transit in Clark County?

I got a TriMet alert last week reminding me that TriMet Passport (employer-based passes) would no longer be accepted on C-TRAN premimum express routes as of September 1.

This sent me to the C-TRAN site to see what how else the TriMet/C-TRAN integration might be affected, and I found this page about C-TRAN’s “Service Preservation Plan”, which requires a ballot measure to pass in September.

Do we have any cross-Columbia transit riders reading out there? How has the decrease in resources to C-TRAN since the 2000 ballot measure affected your lives? How do you make your connections across the river?

How is the differing resource level for transit on each side of the Columbia affecting our regional efforts?

End of Day 1 – Transit Enhancers

Finishing up the first official day for Portland Transport, I want to thank a number of folks:

  • Our wonderful contributors
  • The 400+ folks who visited today
  • The “friends and family” who helped us burn in the site over the weekend
  • The four local blogs who gave us a plug today
  • The one blog that trashed us – thanks, Jack, you validated that we’re going in the right direction

In the spirit of blogging stream-of-experience, let me share my transit experience today that highlights two ways to enhance transit that I think are much underused:

  1. Enhancer: Buses + Bikes

    My car and my 17 year old disappeared together about a year ago. Since that time my personal mobility has been largely car-free. Today I had a medical appoint out near Washington Square. I hopped on my bike in NW Portland, pedaled down to the transit mall (downhill) and put my bike on the #56. Thirty-five minutes later I got off at Washington Square and pedaled another mile to the doctor.

    Using Trimet and bikes in combination make it easy to get anywhere in our region (hill in the way? take the bus over it!). I’d like to encourage a lot more people to look at this combo. You don’t need to be a super-biker to make this work.

  2. Enhancer: Real Time Arrival Info

    I HATE waiting at bus stops. After I finished my medical appointment today, I did some errands around Washington Square and finished up on Main St. in Tigard for lunch, on the #12 line that would take me and my bike back to downtown Portland. As I sat down with my lunch I pulled out my Treo 650 and pulled up the real time arrivals to see when the next bus is coming. I was able to finish my sandwich, roll my bike across the street and place it on the bus that just pulled up. While not everyone has a web-enabled cell phone, TriMet has made this feature available by voice from any cell phone. Just call 503-238-RIDE and punch in the stop number (you’ll find it on the sign or shelter)!

    Stop waiting at bus stops!

That’s all for today, please come back tomorrow when Portland Transport will feature a discussion of Portland’s bicycle program!