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Monday, December 10, 2012

Portland's "buy local" streetcar fiasco worsens

This would be funny if it weren't so sad:

Rick Gustafson, executive director of Portland Streetcar, said this week that United Streetcar is expected to deliver Portland's first vehicle on Dec. 16 -- another delay in the oft-delayed schedule.

In October, when Portland's streetcars already were months behind expectations, a city transportation spokesman said the new timeline called for delivery of vehicles beginning Nov. 29. That date came and passed last week.

If United Streetcar delivers its first vehicle this month, Gustafson said, a second could follow about three weeks later.

Yeah, a lot of things could happen. Maybe Santa will bring some streetcars.

Not that they'll work:

Meanwhile, Gustafson acknowledged continued glitches with United Streetcar's only manufactured streetcar -- a prototype model running on Portland streets.

The prototype went into service when Portland's new eastside line opened in September, years later than expected for the vehicle. But it has experienced air conditioning, brake resistor and lighting supply issues, Gustafson said. Those have kept it out of service periodically, increasing wait times for passengers because the city -- lacking its order from United Streetcar -- doesn't have any spare streetcars.

There is a thin line between vision and delusion. Mother Vera, Earl the Pearl, and the Sam Rand Twins crossed it long ago. All that's left now are the crippling credit card bills. Go by streetcar, peeps.

Comments (15)

How long until TriMet takes the company over, and starts meeting payroll and utility bills?

You know, like TriMet bailed out Colorado Railcar.

I hear Gillig and New Flyer have impeccible on-time deliveries of their products...but...God forbid, we actually buy time-tested, proven, buses. Buses aren't cool. Just don't tell that to London.

It's the opportunity costs that get me about the Eastside streetcar, and that I wish more bike-y folks appreciated. Why can't we have nice things? 'Cause we blew all this money on the streetcar. Plus its operating costs exist forever (or however long it takes until we pave over the streetcar tracks) and drain PBOT's and Trimet's budgets that could be spent on so many other things.

If you drive a car, ride a bike, or take a bus the Eastside streetcar has made your life measurably worse. So who benefits from this thing anyways?

Ricky G. has an extensive history of costing taxpayers big money. We need to assign somebody to follow his activity.

The good news is that with non-existant demand for the streetcar, passengers haven't been affected by the delays.

Yeah, but as those 430 apartment bunkers come out of the ground on the Burnside Bridgehead site, Hales and Gustafson will once again proclaim that "streetcars spur developement"...and the dysfunctional funding for this madness will continue and the naysayers will be "proven" wrong.

Streetcars on the eastside loop are transporting tons of cash from the pockets of taxpayers and much needed services to the pockets of developers, contractors and corrupt politicians - this is "mass transit" as Gustafson and Hales define it -- that's why production of the the actual cars themselves is taken so lightly.

Earl Blumenauer skated back into Congress with 77%!

Earl Blumenauer skated back into Congress with 77%!

But he wears a bowtie! And rides a bike! And...well, that's pretty much it, actually.

Idiocracy is here.

Go by streetcar, peeps.

We can't, because the damn thing is a lemon and they don't have any spares.

Oh well, when life gives you lemons, don't look gift lemons in the mouth!

Earl Blumenauer skated back into Congress with 77%

Because the Democrats have decided anyone that runs on a fiscal conservative platform will not be allowed to run...the Republicans are tainted goods and can't bother to put up candidates that are socially liberal, but rather put up wacko candidates that have zero chance of getting elected even by moderates/centrists who are on the Democratic fence.

I'll gladly vote Republican, but if my choice is "dumb and dumber"...I don't really have much of a choice. Unfortunately I live in Tigard which means I don't get any choice - Portland will steamroll over us, and take away our region's transit dollars because Portland is the big bad bully.

Because the Democrats have decided anyone that runs on a fiscal conservative platform will not be allowed to run...

Waaay too lock step and now more than ever we need those who would be a fiscal conservative. The same old names will continue the same old games. Those deviating will not be allowed to run with the D's support. A big cozy club. Are they blind to the downward spiral, or is it only their political careers that matter? I have found attending some of their town halls, very limiting in conversation/topics brought up. They have it down how to maneuver away from critical questions, or to reply it is someone
else's matter to deal with. The run around game works.

All of the streetcars are spares when they are running empty or with very few passengers.
“Mass transit” using streetcars can better be defined as “a transit mess.”
“Progressive Democrats” can better be defined as “Autocrat Socialists.”
Blumenauer wears a bowtie and rides a bike. He may pay for the bowtie but even on a US House of Representatives paycheck, he is a freeloader when it comes to paying for the infrastructure he utilizes when on his bike.

All of the streetcars are spares

Good point. They are all spares.

Unfortunately, the spares are needed in places like Milwaukie, Tigard, Beaverton...you know, when TriMet's craptacular 22 year old buses finally bite the dust on the side of the road with 30 riders standing beside it.

And those "spare" streetcars are utterly useless. But, "nobody" rides transit...becuase they all tried and got screwed over by TriMet!

Fairly-elected politicians making middle-class salaries are hardly "autocrats." Unless you're talking about Bloomberg.

Fairly-elected politicians

Did I get to vote for the Portland Streetcar board, or the TriMet board, that chose to spend millions of regional transportation funds on a City project while simultaneously cutting back regional bus lines?

Please, remind me...when did I have the change to vote for Gustafson? Or the TriMet board? Or for funding the Streetcar? Because I sure don't remember any fair elections for those...

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