This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 3, 2012 9:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was Portland borrowing even more for empty streetcar line. The next post in this blog is One of two doomed Hawthorne houses is saved. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Not as we do

The City of Portland website should be nominated for comedy awards. It's funny, especially when it isn't trying to be. Here's a good one -- a PowerPoint presentation made to city employees as part of a "wellness" program. It must be about personal finances, because it sure isn't about what city government does with taxpayer funds:

They say the best way to teach is by example. That sure ain't happening in this case.

Comments (11)

Since the city is now "teaching" stuff are they going to provide free meals to help student learn more effectively?

In other words, far too many CoP employees are being told by their parents "Well, now that you have a real job, instead of working for the Mercury, we don't have to keep sending you money to get by, now do we?"


"Outgoing" and "upkeep" are one word, not two.

Wouldn't it be hilarious if the author had to apply her little financial wellness program to the streetcar?

For $30, you can have a copy of this presentation with the leaves removed.

This should be a mandatory slide for all transportation project PowerPoints.

Bullet #1: Know the difference between "want" and "need". We all want sexy streetcars. We NEED basic transportation.

Bullet #2: Think of the true cost. Streetcars cost $25 million a mile, plus additional costs in operations and maintenance. You'll have to borrow that money, so through in borrowing costs (interest payments). A bus costs $400,000. You can afford that up front.

Bullet #3: Buy Quality. Say, how's that United Streetcar working out? The one and only Streetcar sits in the yard more often than actually running; United Streetcar is also far behind schedule (in years) with the other promised streetcars. I hear Gillig and New Flyer have an impeccible reputation for deliving on time, on budget, year in and year out, with hundreds of satisifed customers.

Bullet #4: Live within your means. If you can't afford basic service, maybe you shouldn't buy that fancy toy. It's more important to fix your crumbling foundation and roof, than to add the swimming pool and rec room...

Looks like a prsentation for financial illiterates. Is that what the City is hiring these days?

The irony is painful.


The street car passed in front of me yesterday. I was able to count 19 occupants before it traveled swiftly out of view, but I may have missed one or two. Just thought you should know.

I ride the NS streetcar to and from work when I'm not walking (sometimes it's faster). I rarely get the chance to sit down. Since it's so crowded, I never see a fare checker on board. A fare checker would never be able to make his or her way through the streetcar in time to check everyone on board and it looks to me like few are buying tickets. Some waiting at the Central Library stop still seemed to be under the impression that there was a fareless zone. When I told them that was no longer true, they didn't believe me and of course nobody asked them for proof they'd paid, so they were vindicated.

Conversely, I see the streetcars go by bound for the eastside with only a handful of people on board. And let's not even start talking about WES.

I was trying to laugh but it sounded more like a cry.

Flying home from Boston a few weeks back I heard the elderly woman behind me in the TSA line telling people how progressive Portland was because "all the transit in the metropolitan area was free."
I didn't have the heart to correct her.

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