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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 9, 2011 8:16 AM. The previous post in this blog was Two more years for Nate. The next post in this blog is Does Portland have enough police?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Boring meeting is anything but

Folks out in the boonies are tired of paying Tri-Met taxes for a bus that nobody uses, and many of them want out. Last week, in a narrow vote at a hot meeting, the burg of Boring set in motion the process of telling the transit district to go away.

And do you blame them?

Tom Mills, a TriMet service planner, presented a proposed change in schedule of Line 84 buses, adding four more stops in downtown Boring, where now only four people either get on or off the bus each day.

In the proposed schedule, which could begin in the fall, the 5:30 a.m. bus – the only bus that now comes to downtown Boring during a normal workday – would take the Kelso Road/Orient Drive route. That route also would be served by an afternoon and an evening bus.

For one bus, at 5:30 in the morning, you pay the same payroll and self-employment taxes as somebody in the Pearl District? We'd want out, too.

Tri-Met runs that bus down there just to suck up taxes. That's a ripoff that ought to stop.

Comments (13)

Come on, Jack: That's one bus stop per passenger! You show me another big-city transit system delivering that kind of personalized service.

A lot of suburban communities should follow suit.

The whole of Clackamas County should join Sandy, Damascus, Mollala, Wilsonville & Canby and withdraw from not only Trimet but Metro as well.

They've both become the corrupted government agencies for out of control activists to misappropriate billons of dollars from essential needs and every higher priority.

They should still run a bus out to the boondocks, just eliminate the tax scam associated with it.

I live right here in Portland and my bus line runs from 11am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, wholly unacceptable for anyone wishing to go car-free and still have a life on weekends.

Forget about it, Jack. It's TriMet.

According to the article, in their petition they are not proposing an alternative transportation option, particularly the lift service for elderly and handicapped riders. TriMet is going to turn them down, I suspect, in the name of serving those riders (whether or not there are actually any such riders in Boring). They will then have to lawyer up and take the issue to court.

Wilsonville and Sandy were allowed to leave TriMet because they created and funded (or expanded) their own local public transportation services. In fact, IIRC, Boring approached Sandy about extending its service to incorporate Boring, but Sandy turned them down (can't remember what the reason was).

Monetarily, TriMet wouldn't miss Boring much, but I think they can't let the precedent be set that a district or municipality can remove itself from TriMet without offering an alternative for the citizens who (theoretically, in Boring's case) do need public transportation. That and right now they don't want to spook the investors who will be buying the Milwaukie Light Rail bonds.

Eric, there is actually precedent for Boring's actions: Damascus successfully petitioned itself out of TriMet's district, and today has no transit service. Like Boring, it is a rural area with some scattered developments. Damascus's former TriMet area is bordered to the east by the Boring service area, and to the south by TriMet's lone bus line to Estacada.

And it would be easy to provide alternative service: Ride Connection is an agency that provides transit service to North Plains, Banks, Gaston, and other parts of Washington County without TriMet funds, without a general property tax, income tax, sales tax or payroll tax levy. (I'm sure it receives some ODOT and FTA funds, and it is entitled to take possession of TriMet LIFT vehicles that have been retired from service.) Ride Connection provides a dial-a-ride service similiar to LIFT but is available to anyone (not just those with disabilities) and does so at a much lower cost than TriMet (it helps that the drivers are volunteers).

Further, it sets a dangerous precedent for a government agency (TriMet) to insist that it has a right and an obligation to provide a service that is not needed by a vote of the public. The public has the full right to express that they no longer want a particular government service - the public has every right to disband a police department if it wants to. And it's happened (and usually a county sheriff's office has to step in.) Especially for a transit agency that has made it clear that it has little interest in providing bus service to less developed areas, it's very evident that TriMet is after the property tax revenue in Boring.

It should also be noted that TriMet recently de-annexed an area south of Oregon City, and while the areas along Highway 99E are served by a Canby Area Transit bus, the areas along South End Road are now sans transit service, by TriMet's choice.

The whole of Clackamas County should join Sandy, Damascus, Mollala, Wilsonville & Canby and withdraw from not only Trimet but Metro as well.

I have a hunch that West Linn is going to be next. Its mayor has finally come out and said it will consider running its own buses if the Lake Oswego Streetcar goes in.

Tualatin has mentioned it in their city "visioning" process, and Tigard and Sherwood could logically break away from TriMet as could Forest Grove and Cornelius. Hillsboro could as well - Hillsboro has made it clear they aren't too happy with TriMet, but primarily with regards to security on and around the MAX line (Hillsboro Police broke off from the Transit Police, and started patrolling the line themselves within city limits.)

I don't see Beaverton breaking off (especially since Beaverton doesn't run their own fire department, parks department, or water or sewer system - not to mention a host of other public services).

Gresham is a big wild card. It has too many TriMet resources and was the first beneficiary of light rail outside of Portland. It is home to the primary MAX operations center (Ruby Junction). However Gresham is a "full-service" city unlike Beaverton and is Portland's largest suburb besides Vancouver. It very well could go its own way, leaving TriMet to serve just Portland, Beaverton, and likely the Clackamas County areas immediately south of Portland (i.e. Milwaukie, 82nd Avenue/Happy Valley).

Unfortunately, as a Tigard resident, our city is buying into the Metro kool-aid and is starting to plan Highway 99W with Metro/City of Portland dictated "mixed-use development". Of course, WES Works! (insert sarcastic smirk)

TriMet wants out of the bus business. Management wants to keep pulling down those huge paychecks for running a few train lines.

Meanwhile, here in Welches, they have ADDED bus service up the mountain on Saturdays. The Mountain Express, one leg of Sandy's bus service, used to only run on the weekdays. And it only costs a buck to ride it!

My truck broke down. I need some money to get a ride back to Welches.

Very funny Max!

By the way, if anyone here has not seen Happy Valley on the way to Damascus, need to take a look! Does anyone know, how many empty mansions on those hills?

Then other hilltops evidently cleared for more housing that never happened but a paved road leading up to "empty."

Just think, now you know that David can take public transportation to get "home."


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