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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 26, 2010 7:11 PM. The previous post in this blog was Next for your Portland sewer dollars: "rain gardens". The next post in this blog is Once a Jail Blazer, always a Jail Blazer. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Weasels ripped my bus

Portland's mass transit has been ripped apart by the condo pushers. Today Tri-Met hacked away at bus service again, leaving a system that's hardly recognizable as the once-proud network that it was. Oh, and a 5-cent fare increase to go with it, right in the middle of a major recession.

But hey -- light rail! To Milwaukie! Linchpin! Only a billion dollars! The feds will pay half!

What a downward spiral. Neil Goldschmidt and his pals like Fred Hansen all got rich, shamelessly exploiting a city whose motto is fast becoming "Epic Fail." Go by streetcar!

Comments (23)

I was there.

A whole lotta people plead with the board and Hansen to preserve the bus service they rely upon. The public comments were quite good and compelling.
Including a rail transit advocate echoing my call for halting Milwaukie light rail to preserve bus service and future operations revenue.

College students talked about their reliance upon the bus service being cut, etc.

But alas the reporters ignored the publc just like the Trimet Board and Hansen.

Public opinion in oposition to Milwaukie Light Rail is growing. I won't be surprised to see MLR fall by the wayside when those who represent us finally figure it out too. Once scrapped, discontinued lines of bus service can resume.

Sorry, I just needed to be optomistic today. It was a rough one.

Hey, they're only in it for the money. Go by doomsday device. Ride free in Heartless Square!

I think you meant EPIC FAIL.

"Only a billion dollars! The feds will pay half!"
====

Hey, we have all heard the story before. The wife comes home with the greatest deal ever!!!:

"Honey, look what I bought!! The best deal EVER!!! This $4000 purse was discounted 50% off (today only)!! I only paid $2,000 bucks for this Gucci/Coach/ DKNY purse, and saved the family $2,000 bucks!!! What a deal, I can't believe I saved $2,000 today!! I am WONDERFUL!!"

Now this is the Jack Bogdanski that I like to read!

Al, thanks, but please do not read it while you're working!

Al, thanks, but please do not read it while you're working!

Shhhhh Jack, they'll catch me!

Bah, folks don't need buses, they have their bikes!

Can't drive, Portland is not vehicle friendly, can't ride a bike, too old. Can't ride mass transit, services cut and could be mugged on the thing. It might just be time for a age discrimination suite.

Jack, I think you meant to say "please do not read it while you are at work"

Probably not much work happening there.

And if the City of Portland were the wife in Harry's story, that $2000 "savings" would be spent on bike lanes.

"Weasels ripped my bus"

Wow! All you do - AND a Zappa fan!

Last night the family went downtown for an event. Then we stopped for baba ghanouj at the food carts. The cartkeeper insisted, in usual Mediterranean style, on setting up a seating arrangement for us.

The very instant we sat down, someone approached us: "I'm not a liar or a bum, I'm from Salem..." I cut her off rather drily: "please don't start, OK?"
She saw I wasn't a good prospect and left.

Then while digesting, I read the article in the Willy Week about how "an activist" taped her calls to PPS to 'expose" the fact that the poor receptionists there couldn't communicate with her in Spanish. Here we have an outrageously underperforming school distract, and an "activist" really cares about whether the receptionists speak Spanish or not?

In the logic of her world, maybe she thinks if the receptionists spoke Spanish, we wouldn't have a disastrously low 50% graduation rate? Excuse me while I prepare myself a vervaine tea to calm the nerves.

And maybe if we had every kind of service available to everyone, people wouldn't constantly accost people with requests for money in the city center, either.


So we're reducing the frequency of the 15 and 20 lines, which already are packed to the brim each evening. Awesome. Maybe I will have to wait for three packed 15 buses to go by instead of the usual two now.

The Milwaukie MAX line would have been nice for me but the time to kill it is now. Keep the #75 bus which I use now and then (and get 39th fixed so it doesn't have to take the speed bump route on 41st!)

The Republicans have been terrible in recent years but I'll likely vote for Chris Dudley, and hope he kills Milwaukie Light Rail.

Jack, I know we are all getting a little loose lately in using "billion", and it's value is diminishing and round-off becomes easier. But the Milwaukie Lightrail budget is $1.4 Billion-not $1 Billion. I'll gladly take the $400,000 and pocket it.

And lately TriMet, PDC, City have been throwing out even higher numbers because the new ped/bike/lightrail bridge design costs are maybe higher. Plus all the planning/administrative costs are higher than expected.

An insight into this creep-cost is a direct quote I found recently in PDC documents when staff at PDC was asked, "Why does the planning of the project cost almost as much as construction?", The answer was, "Staff replied the going rate for many years has been that 60% of a budget is construction and 40% is planning, engineering and construction management."

Gosh, 40 PERCENT! in Planning!! Planning is what is sustaining our local economy-and that is failing. That's one of our answers to our problems.

I'll gladly take the $400,000 and pocket it.

Lee, you're too generous. Or you're a victim of the same stupefaction in the face of so many zeros. That's only 10% of the missing $400,000,000 you wrote to alert us all to. In any case, $400,000 is enough for me, too, for now. Thanks.

meh. Make that 0.10%.

Confirmed: TriMet admits that they exist (and do figures) in an alternate reality.

I just got this (oddly proud) news release:

--------------------

From: TriMet Email Updates [mailto:subscriptions@trimet.org]
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 3:19 PM
Subject: News Release: TriMet partners with junaio to bring nearest transit information and schedules to riders via augmented reality

Partnership lets riders find nearest transit stops with live schedules by simply pointing their mobile smart phones.

--------------------

What more do you need to say... the worst funding crisis in their history, and they are spending time and money on "augmented reality".

Waiting 20 minutes for a 15 Belmont packed to crush capacity seems like a reality in need of no further augmenting.

Oh yeah, here's the URL:

http://trimet.org/news/releases/may26-junaio.htm

Well, I feel better now. My iPhone can see all zero of the buses coming my way.

As if free Transit Tracker on the phone, web, and in sky-writing wasn't enough... the mobile Transit Tracker works fine in a browser, why do we need eleventy different apps?

Back in the 70's, there was bus service on almost every street in Portland!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7D7JJ-F62A

Allan L, you're right. I should have taken all of the $400 Million remaining but my pockets aren't big enough, even if it was in gold coins-I'd crumble to the ground. That would be approx. 25,000 16 oz. gold pieces, if I didn't drop or add a zero incorrectly.


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