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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why Tri-Met is dying

Its inept (or corrupt) managers would rather blow money on empty mystery trains that cost the taxpayers $13 a ride, while passengers on the buses get this. (Photo by Erik Halstead.)

Comments (14)

13 bucks will seem cheap after the mystery train is finished!
More like 50 bucks for that one, I bet.

Thanks for the plug!

And no air conditioning on the SW/3rd world bus lines. I can deal with a half hour of oven-licious environment, but watching my driver with wet towels around the neck, brow sweat dripping into the eyes, and a sopping-wet steering wheel makes me feel really safe. But the management at TriMet needs new offices and furniture.

Here's a new motto for them:

TriMet -- Where the lions' share goes to the pigs.

Gee ... the capital costs must be paid off ... or the numbers you cite are off. When I studied the matter in 1998, the one-way fare was subsidized to the tune of $45.

That's funny, because I had an especially squeezed-in ride the other day. A driver didn't show, so a rush-hour trip didn't happen. I'm used to it, but some riders weren't, which makes it worse than it has to be.

I've noticed a few differences since TriMet won their arbitration case against the ATU. I wouldn't call it malicious, but drivers aren't hiding the decline with usual vigor. It's beginning to feel like I should drive more.

It's going to bring the whole state down. I hope the state doesn't bail out the city. I really hope so.

Molly, your numbers are off. When WES was conceived it was expected to cost $80 million and have 2,500 riders per day at the end of the first year - increasing from there.

WES ended up costing $162 million (and climbing, due to TriMet having to buy additional cars for backup, increased maintenance costs, and signalling upgrades, so it's closer to $165M; ridership is around 1,600 riders after two and a half years.

Adjust your numbers UP.

Are Tri-Met's statistical claims ever subject to an independent audit?

Are Tri-Met's statistical claims ever subject to an independent audit?

They're not literally lying, but they are very selectively releasing the data they do have.

We are a government agency.
Are You Questioning Us ?
Do we need to send a couple of police officers your way?
NEVER question government again or we will start with your food stamps and section 8 housing.

Are Tri-Met's statistical claims ever subject to an independent audit?

You want to make TriMet look good?

Above each door of a MAX train are infrared sensors. Just move so that you trip the sensor repeatedly. Voila, instant ridership increase.

You can do the same for the bus system (look for the black boxes near the door with the little glass windows), but there's a hitch - not every bus has them.

So, effectively, some buses aren't getting counted; other buses are (but again, using an optical sensor that is easily tripped), and every MAX train is getting counted (and you know how many kids will step off of a train to look for someone, and then back on - thus you just counted that person twice).

The only sure fire way is to use an electronic fare system...which, of course, TriMet doesn't use.

There should be an audit of the audit.

And there should be independent counting of ridership. Compare a 24 hr visual count for several days and different times of year and weather conditions to that of the sensors. See if they match.

Above each door of a MAX train are infrared sensors. Just move so that you trip the sensor repeatedly. Voila, instant ridership increase.

I can picture it now... a rotating fan in front of the IR sensor keeps the federal dollars flowing... "During the summer months it can get warm and uncomfortable in the maintenance building Congressman, and it never occurred to us that this could happen... honest"

I noticed that Sam got his way re. free rides for Portland area high school students but I thought it was laughable that he had threatened to withhold money for benches and shelters. Most of the stops I use don't have and never have had any benches or shelters. And the "shelters" downtown are for looks only since they are high, flat and don't protect anyone. Added plus! They have to be cleaned frequently at an even greater cost to the public! As someone with a chronic knee injury and a bad back, the challenge is to figure out which stop gives me the best chance of being able to sit down since I am not visibly disabled and - really - I find none of the other riders seems to give a rip about giving up their hard-won seat, even if Mother Teresa came back form the dead and boarded their bus.

Don't even get me started on the stupidity of "Honored Citizen" rates based on nothing but age. Hello, TriMet? Many aged Portlanders are quite comfortable and don't need the break while others could use it. Why not base the reduced rate on demonstrated economic need, not age?

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