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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 22, 2012 1:55 PM. The previous post in this blog was $60 a year to park in front of your own house? "You wanted it.". The next post in this blog is Multi-modal misery. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

All aboard for Epic Fail

Portland's new east side streetcar looks like a dud before it even starts running:

When streetcar officials pitched the city for Central Loop funding five years ago, they promised transit that would arrive at stops every 12 minutes — about the same as current service in the Pearl District.

But waits on the new line could be as long as 18 minutes on weekdays, 17 minutes on Saturdays and 20 minutes on Sundays.

Records show the new eastside route will so tax the system that the existing routes will run even more slowly: The westside streetcar from Northwest Portland to Portland State University will arrive every 14 minutes instead of the current 12 to 13 minutes.

And Tri-Met riders on the no. 6 have already told the transit agency that they don't want to ride the streetcar:

TriMet is showing signs of lost faith in the streetcar’s performance. The transit agency had considered cutting service on its No. 6 bus, which runs along the eastside streetcar lines.

But TriMet officials now say they will increase No. 6 service. "We did informal onboard interviews with riders and chose not to pursue that realignment," says Ken Zatarain of TriMet’s service division.

What an enormous waste of time and money. But that's what you get when you put guys like Char-Lie and Earl the Pearl in charge of anything. Their buddies get to siphon out of taxpayers' pockets, with little or no public benefit coming as a result.

Comments (14)

“It takes 32 minutes to get from OMSI to Powell’s Books by foot,” he says. “It’s a virtual tie. But if you’re waiting [at a stop] an average of 8½ minutes, the streetcar loses the race. You can get there faster by walking.”

What do you say, Professor? You wanna try it again? I'm in MUCH better shape this time. :)

Peter Fry pretty much sums it up: "“Let’s say there’s a 20-minute [wait]. You can look on your phone, wait inside and have a beer.”

Windbags like Gustafson who spend $45million per mile of taxpayer money simply don't care if we're late, waiting for the painfully slow streetcar to mosey on over to take us to our jobs. The streetcar is clearly only for those that have the luxury of not having to be anywhere on time, you know...folks who can just find a nice warm pub and have a beer...

Wow. Just wow. This is WES 2.0 - no wonder Hales won't comment.

“I think this problem kind of grew on them,” says Peter Finley Fry, an urban planner who serves on the Portland Streetcar citizen advisory committee.
“Government isn’t very good at anticipation,” Fry says. “What can you do? Do you not open it and wait?”
Fry also says he believes the slower service won’t matter that much to riders.
“I think frequency is an overrated thing,” Fry says. “Let’s say there’s a 20-minute [wait]. You can look on your phone, wait inside and have a beer.”

This guy's comments reflect a number of thing, primarily the view that the streetcar is a needless toything for the idle wealthy, who can simply "look on their phone" or step inside for a cold beer should they find the streetcar to be running late. I agree, that sounds like a great life, but the average person I meet on mass transit is to busy wondering how quickly they're getting from Pt A to Pt B to just while away the hours having a beer while they wait for the train to finally show up.

It's for the jobless hipsters. That's who the whole city is for now.

The No. 6 bus is a key route carrying working class people to their jobs and home. The streetcar is meant to carry tourists and sightseers to and from the tony shops and restaurants at a leisurely (some would say painfully slow) pace.

"The transit agency had considered cutting service on its No. 6 bus, which runs along the eastside streetcar lines.
But TriMet officials now say they will increase No. 6 service."

Ha ha ha! Hmmm, so building a (very expensive) streetcar actually... increased... the need for bus service. Total incompetence.

From the WW article: "I think this problem kind of grew on them,” says Peter Finley Fry, an urban planner who serves on the Portland Streetcar citizen advisory committee... Fry also says he believes the slower service won’t matter that much to riders. “I think frequency is an overrated thing,” Fry says. “Let’s say there’s a 20-minute [wait]. You can look on your phone, wait inside and have a beer.”

Wow...just Wow. Does this guy have a job or a life? Waiting 20 minutes to get on a train to somewhere that you can walk to in 20 minutes makes no sense unless it's raining cats and dogs, or you're disabled or too fat to walk that far. If people like this were involved in the process of developing the system it's no small wonder it's one big giant piece of crap.

“Let’s say there’s a 20-minute [wait]. You can look on your phone, wait inside and have a beer.”

I'm sorry, the what? The BUS? And it'll be here WHEN? 4 minutes from now? Ugh, how gauche. Now, I'd much rather sit in this pub and drink a beer for the next 20 minutes while I wait for the streetcar...but really, go and enjoy your "job" that you get to on the "bus," it's all very quaint.

"It's for the jobless hipsters. That's who the whole city is for now."

This is what is seems on the surface, but it's really for the contractors and developers. They want the hipsters to stay and saddle them with this debt, but they aren't from here and will go back to wherever hipsters come from...

"“Let’s say there’s a 20-minute [wait]. You can look on your phone, wait inside and have a beer.”

As the rare twenty-something who actually pays taxes I don't regularly consume alcohol on my commute, see the real employers frown on this.

Fry is an a**hole.

This problem can be fixed wit free t-shirts and water bottles.

Worst case scenario: they can hire another journalist to become a Public Relations specialist at Tri-Met.

Usual Kevin,

That quote really caught my attention as well. Doesn't that just say it all though? A planner who undoubtedly drives everywhere and never relies in Tri-Met service to get around opines that a 20 minute wait is simply no big deal because "frequency is overrated." Not everyone can just duck into a bar to wait it out, especially those with children. Amazingly tone-deaf and ridiculous, but not at all surprising. Just amazing, really.

relies *on* and sorry for the double post!

"Wait inside and have a beer",
Most Portland Companies will then be waiting with a termination slip. A policy put in effect many years ago.
Does one surmise COP still allows coming to work after a beer or whatever?


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