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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 15, 2012 10:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was The unrest spreads -- wonderfully so. The next post in this blog is In real ink. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tri-Met saves the 9

It appears that Portland's "transit" agency is easing off on some of the harshest cuts to bus service that they're being forced to make as a result of many years of financial mismanagement. Our neighborhood's last remaining bus to downtown, the 9 Broadway, may actually continue to make it all the way downtown after all. But it will be $2.50 each way, and no fair using the same ticket for a return trip, even if you head back just a few minutes after arriving downtown. All in all, our occasional transit ride will likely become even more occasional when the changes take effect.

UPDATE, 4:33 p.m.: Under the revised cutbacks, riders will still be able to use a ticket for a return trip if it's within two hours of the ticket being issued.

Comments (12)

They always play the same game.
Present a draconian picture then 'give back'.
Makes them sorta the good guys.
It's called "low balling" and it should be illegal.

Think back a couple years (or more) years ago.

They threatened employees with layoffs and were taking voluntary leaves for three months or more to save money.

They stopped hiring bus drivers for two years (but non union management hiring continued)

All the demoted 'white shirts' were promoted back to their nice cush jobs and they started hiring bus drivers, and of course MORE MANAGERS.

End of story?

Nope, I'm sure we will go through this over and over as they attempt to manipulate public opinion.

To me, the unreal part is how all of this fuss is over $12 million.

We were presented with this false dichotomy, "Should we drown some kittens, or push Grandma off the cliff? Ignore that pile of gold bars in the corner, those are rail ties essential for the Ultraviolet Line".

They are so adept at reeling in billions for construction, but are strangely incurious about using these finely honed skills to keep the wheels from coming off (literally). Is there no sugar for getting the poor folks to work *today*?

Maybe the agency leaders have privately already given up, knowing that some years from now the operator benefits package will soak up 100% of annual revenue, leaving zero to operate a transit agency of any size.

1 trip downtown = 2 hours and the cost of 1.5 gallons of gas.

Why would anyone who can drive do that?

Proposed Bus Route Reconfiguations.

Lowest Common Denominator? Redesign routes to equalize walking distance, simplify options for riders, and better position Trimet to restore service in the future. Fairness for All. More rate increaseswe much.

I thought they had decided to retain the "short hop" thing, wherein you can take the bus for, say, an appointment, and then return on the same line.

In any case, as Al notes, managers seem to be propagating like flies around this burg. The state is on the right track with their recent mandate that each manager must be "supervising" no less than eleven line staff, but even that seems like an overabundance of managers. At Tri-Met, CoPo, Metro, and MultCo, you can't hit the drinking fountain without tripping over half a dozen "managers".

I've been pleased with one aspect of this debacle....the whole "multilevel multifamily housing" (aka 'condo bunkers') is rationalized to neighborhoods as being part of increasing residential density along established bus lines.

Well, now we know better. That whole line of reasoning has now been made insensible by the clear understanding that those 'established bus lines' can disappear at the whim of a Tri-Met planner. *POOF* Just like that, the 'established bus line' can be gone.

This is complete ruse by TriMet.

They still have the $17 million hole but are pretending as though have already won the labor dispute and savings of $5 million. That's how they
are now only cutting $12 millin

"TriMet has announced revised budget and service cut proposals for FY13. Unlike the prior plan, which contained $17M in cuts, this plan only contains $12M in cuts, with the caveat that $5M more may be necessary if negotiations/arbitration with the union do not go TriMet's way."

This is how they focus blame on the union for any additional cuts.

Instead of on their despicable management practices.

Mary Fetsch, TriMet Media Relations: The Refined Budget Proposal takes the one-way/round-trip idea we initially proposed off the table, at least for now. The Refined Budget Proposal includes changing to a flat $2.50 fare (valid for 2 hours on both buses and rail), which would generate half of the revenue we need to cover our budget shortfall, while simplifying the system considerable for all riders (

A Ten Step Program

1. Declare bankruptsy.

2. Cancel all labor contracts and all building contracts.

3. Form a private non-profit corporation to operate the system.

4. Fire all adminstrators, managers and supervisors.

5. Require all transit emplyees to re-apply for employment if they are interested.

6. Hire only good workers.

7. Hire the best law firm in the country to deal with the ATU in the most aggressive way permitted under law. This will be expensive in the short run, but save the system in the long run.

8. Keep the light rail corridors - they will be needed in the future.

9. Focus now on rebuilding a comprehensive bus system with fully functional on-time arrival/darture information available to customers/potential customers.

10. Start over and do it right this time."

"Just like that, the 'established bus line' can be gone."

Be careful, that's one of the arguments for light rail - someone building a development next to a light rail stop has a high degree of confidence that the light rail route won't change.

Buses, not so much...

Re: the "Ten Step Program".

1. Bankruptcy is certainly an option, but TriMet won't use it. Why? Because it'll all but eliminate TriMet's ability to build new MAX lines (because it won't be able to sell bonds, or at least do it very cheaply). TriMet's management believes its first job is to build MAX, THEN operate transit, so Bankruptcy will not be an option.

2. If you declare bankruptcy, #2 becomes an option. But #2 is not an option out of nowhere. TriMet thus has a decision to make - it can have get its labor concessions, but it'll have to give up light rail. Since TriMet refuses to give up light rail, it's stuck with the labor contracts.

3. TriMet already is a "non-profit corporation". What purpose would this actually accomplish? If it were removed from being a government agency, it'd basically shut down - but the vehicles and rail lines are still owned by the government. So we'd have a non-functioning transit agency, and a non-profit organization that does nothing.

4. Every organization needs a certain number of administrators. But I can agree that TriMet does have too many Managers and other non-operating personnel that need to be axed - IMMEDIATELY.

5. What is the point of this? Basically fire and re-hire everyone at minimum wage? It would quickly backfire as most of the current employees would simply move away and not re-apply; few people would apply for TriMet at minimum wage especially since nearly every school district (or their contractor) is paying $12-15/hour for a part-time school bus driver, with benefits. And the new employees would not perform anywhere near as efficiently as the existing drivers for at least one or two years until they gain experience.

6. Well, duh!!! The problem is that TriMet is too top heavy with management, is over-extended in empire building of new rail lines, and failing to invest in its bus fleet...

7. Why are you going to sue the ATU? Under what grounds? If you declare bankruptcy you won't need to sue the ATU since the contract will be nullified by a court, so there's no reason to sue the ATU. And if you don't declare bankruptcy, there's no grounds to sue the ATU. TriMet agreed to the contract. TriMet is already losing every battle with the ATU because TriMet clearly is breaking the contracts and state and federal labor law. You can't agree to a contract and then break it because you don't like it after the fact...basically TriMet is arguing that it has a right, but then is arguing that Clackamas County (in its fight to stop light rail funding) does not have the same right.

8. All of the corridors are already public right-of-ways.

9. This should be solution #1-1,000. TriMet has lost sight of its primary function and that is the root of the problem.

10. This is part of the solution AND part of the problem. TriMet needs to fix what it has - rebuild if necessary; but also not decide to ignore its bus system and build a massive rail system. It shouldn't start with a blank slate - it should carefully account for what it has, and rebuild the system.

Be careful, that's one of the arguments for light rail - someone building a development next to a light rail stop has a high degree of confidence that the light rail route won't change.

Buses, not so much...

You'd think...

But both the Red Electric and the Oregon Electric systems lasted far shorter lives than many of TriMet's established bus routes over the last 43 years. The Red Electrics operated only 15 years - from 1914 to 1929. The OE just a few years longer, ending its passenger services in the mid 1930s.

While the railroad tracks still largely exist, they haven't hosted passenger trains in decades. With the exception of WES, but the Beaverton-Tigard portion of the track was generally not used by Red Electric passenger trains (and the OE didn't use this track until after the end of passenger services and the abandonment of the OE mainline from Greton to Garden Home, Multnomah and Portland), and during the years of the Oregon Electric Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville were all very small farming towns - not bedroom suburbs and industrial centers. Tualatin, in 1970s, still had fewer than 1,000 residents - despite having not one, but two railroads in town (both the Red Electric mainline from Oswego to Newberg, and the Oregon Electric mainline from Beaverton to Salem).

But many of TriMet's bus lines date back to Rose City Transit days.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
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Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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