Thursday, December 17, 2009
The end of the year is near, and what a year it was. More things made a debut in (West Coast) Transit this year than any other year I can think of.
With that, I bid farewell to 2009, and I am not so sure about looking forward to 2010 yet, but it will be interesting to see what hell will break loose, and what will improve. I spent the entire year unemployed, thanks to the one passenger railroad you never see mentioned on my blog, and never will.
I hope you all have a great Holiday Season, I will be on hiatus until after the First of the year, See you all in the new year!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Free Rail Zone
In January, Fareless Square becomes the "Free Rail Zone"
As of January 3, 2010, Fareless Square will become a free zone for rail only. That means you can still ride MAX and Portland Streetcar for free in downtown Portland and the Lloyd District, but not buses. To help communicate this important change, we're changing the name of the zone to "Free Rail Zone."
The Free Rail Zone will have the same boundaries as Fareless Square: Most of downtown Portland (within the boundaries of the Willamette River, NW Irving Street, and I-405) and MAX stations from the Rose Quarter to the Lloyd District.
This winter, we'll be adding new Free Rail Zone emblems on customer information displays at rail stations within the zone boundary.
To help our Honored Citizen riders who live in downtown Portland, TriMet is offering a newdowntown-only bus pass.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Well, Washingtons first BRT line is in service. This is the second BRT line in the Northwest behind Eugenes EmX. Distinctive stations line Hwy 99 from Aurora Village to Everett and offer almost level boarding, ticket Vending Machines that resemble parking meters, ORCA Taggers at each end, schedules and maps with connecting info, and bright lighted platforms with roomy shelters. The buses are nice, the are New Flyer Low Floor Hybrid buses, they are similar to Eugenes buses, except they are still normal in that they dont have doors on the left side of the bus.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Over the course of the last few weeks, TriMet has been at the center of numerous Media Attacks. From supposed cell-phone photos being taken while driving, a small child getting left behind on a MAX Platform, a man getting killed trying to beat a MAX Train, all of this is leading the public perception all TriMet operators are incompetent and rude. With everything thats going on in the world, the economy, world affairs, do we really need to dwell on more negativity? I know many of you who read my blog, who ever you are, either ride transit frequently or are an operator of a transit vehicle, so this may be obvious to you, to some, its clearly not.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Washington States first BRT line starts up service this Sunday. Service will be free from 4pm to Midnight on Sunday only. After that, it is $1.50 each way, unless you use your ORCA card in which you have a 2 hour transfer. Buses will run every 10-20 min depending on the time of day. Travel time from Aurora Village to Everett is 36-50 min, depending on the time of day. BRT provides a low cost alternative and more flexibility than Light Rail. This BRT line is serving Community Transits busiest corridor, it will provide connections To King County Metro to the south, Community Transit routes along the way, Everett Transit & Sounder Trains to the North. BRT operates similar to light rail in that the fares are on an honor based collection system, random checks are performed and you must purchase a ticket or tap your ORCA card before you get on. You then my board and exit through any door. Lane Transit District in Eugene already uses BRT and has aggressive expansion plans, King County Metros BRT is opening soon and will serve Pacific Hwy from Tukwilas' LINK Station to Federal Way Transit Center. Its a trend that building and expanding, should be exciting.
Monday, November 23, 2009
For Immediate Release:
November 19, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Lind Simonsen, Community Relations
Pierce Transit (253) 581-8034
Ride FREE on Pierce Transit this Thanksgiving Day
On Thanksgiving Day Pierce Transit will provide free rides on local buses and SHUTTLE.
On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 26, Pierce Transit local bus service, SHUTTLE, and Sound Transit Expressservice will operate on a Sunday schedule. Tacoma Link will operate on a holiday schedule. Bus Plus, Olympia Express,Intercity Transit buses and offices, and Sounder commuter rail will not operate.
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Pierce Transit local bus service, SHUTTLE, and Sound Transit Express, Tacoma Link, andIntercity Transit will operate on a normal weekday schedule. Sounder commuter rail will operate on a modified holiday schedule; please refer to their website for the detailed time table.
Pierce Transit administrative offices and the Bus Shop locations on Commerce Street and at the Tacoma Dome Station will beclosed on Thanksgiving Day and on Friday, November 27. The Lakewood Bus Shop sales office will be closed on Thanksgiving and open on Friday from 10am – 4pm; phone information is available from 9am – 5 p.m.
For additional information call Pierce Transit Customer Service at 253.581.8000
Friday, November 20, 2009
But leaves no rider behind. On their website are the modifications, complete with maps identifying the route or segment discontinued, and showing where nearby service is located. After looking at a couple of maps, unlike TriMet, there are actually feasible options on route being discontinued. One route was a thru route, in which two routes serve currently, so the new trip requires a transfer. Another had routes one or 2 blocks on both sides. Some route had frequencies reduced, or hours of service cut. However, some lines had service added too, so its not all bad news. They are doing what they can to offset lower sales tax revenues. SF MUNI also administers the parking in San Francisco, including tickets, regulations and fines.
Read the Oregonian story here.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Also ORCA Cards will be free until Jan 31, after which they will cost $5.00. The ORCA Card website is here, to order cards, or find out where to get one.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
If its KATU's "Special Report" singling out a driver, The Oregonian posting all the cell phone complaints received in the last year, or a blog entry from Oregonians own Commuting Columnist Joseph Rose thats got you outraged, what about the drivers that follow the rules? It seems more and more of the public are aware of what operators are doing while behind the wheel, or throttle. Camera phones are discreet, and easy to use, you could be caught at any moment, when you least expect it. Why do some drivers behave this way? Well, I don't know. In light of recent tragic incidents involving texting, some still think they can drive and text? I have photo enforced a driver before, talking while driving, because he almost ran a light. Its not safe. Now, TriMet is taking stiff action, threatening termination on the first offense. But my question remains, why now, and not before over 500 complaints were lodged over a year, why the red flag now, and not a year ago when these started pouring in? Maybe its the common complaint of too short of breaks at layovers? I don't think it stops some, I had a 14 driver pull up 14 min late to the end of the line, supposed to depart in 1 min, he went ahead and took a 15 min break, him and the next 14 ran back to back, so what IS the real reason? We will never know, but I do suspect those that used to do this all the time might be a little grumpier. One thing is for sure, I see more White Shirts driving on the phone than anyone, I will be looking for them, now that I know the policy applies to them.
San Diego proposes reductions, heres a chart of proposed changes, public outreach meetings are scheduled.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In TriMets TIP Plan, it defines Frequent Service as:
continues until 10:30 p.m. On weekends, it begins by 8:00 a.m. and
continues until 10:30 p.m. Running buses frequently until 10:30 p.m.
matches service levels on MAX. Longer-term improvements (beyond
2010) aim for service at least every 10-12 minutes. While service
on these lines before 6:00 a.m. and after 10:30 p.m. may not be as
frequent as every 15 minutes, service on many of these routes during
the peaks can be as frequent as every three to five minutes.
So, Recent cuts have slashed the following lines from the above definition:
4,6,8,9,12,15,33,57 are all going to 17 min frequencies during off peak times and weekends
14 is ditching Frequent Service on weekends to 17 min
54/56 is going to 17 min increments, but only between Downtown and Olsen/Hillsdale Hwy, so for those along the lines West of that, its now 34 min.
Line 75 is heading for 18 min Weekdays and 17 min weekends.
HOWEVER, in recent searches, I have turned up the following NEW definition of Frequent Service from a "40 years of service" flyer:
TriMet’s 12 Frequent Service bus lines operate every 15 minutes or better during weekday rush hours. These lines offer low-floor, air-conditioned vehicles, shelters and schedule information in addition to increased service frequency. The 164-mile Frequent Service network carries 57% of all bus trips, with 46% of weekly bus-service hours.
>>>>"operate every 15 minutes or better during weekday rush hours"!!!!!!!!!!
So through some sort of secret meeting, or process, the definition has changed.
I am not fooled, as far as most riders are concerned, TriMet now has 1 real Frequent Service Line, Line 72. Line 14 is upholding the Frequent Service on weekdays only, so it does not fit the original criteria. I am not surprised, Decay the bus service, hell they are not even buying new buses yet, as per their own TIP plan! Fred hates buses, we know this, maybe it time to split MAX and Buses into two different operations, then the bus funding can't go to MAX. San Diego Transit operates this way, so It can be done.
After the first of the year, you have the choice of using an ORCA card or paying with Cash. PugetPasses are going away and as of Dec.15, all monthly PugetPasses will be issued on an ORCA card. Don't wait until the last minute, avoid the frusteration of long lines and long wait time, get yours today online.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
November 5, 2009Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, November 5, 2009; New Flyer Industries Inc. (TSX:NFI.UN) (“New Flyer” or the “Company”), the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in Canada and the United States, announced today that the total order activity during the third quarter of 2009 totaled 541 buses (622 equivalent production units or “EUs”) for a total of US $265 million. Of these orders, 223 buses (245 EUs) are new orders and 318 buses (377 EUs) are exercised options.
These orders are from both current and new customers and are for a variety of vehicle configurations and propulsion systems, including 35-, 40- and 60-foot buses with clean diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, gasoline-electric hybrid and compressed natural gas (“CNG”) propulsion systems. Approximately 35% of the EUs representing these orders (or 218 EUs) are cleanpropulsion (i.e., hybrid or natural gas) vehicles, which is a significant segment of New Flyer’s annual production.
Some of the larger order activity during the quarter included:
- Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority in Charleston, NC has ordered 11 35-foot diesel buses with options for an additional 119 buses
- Regional Transportation Commission in Reno, NV has exercised options to purchase 8 60-foot diesel-electric buses
- Calgary Transit in Calgary, AB has purchased 22 additional 60-foot diesel buses
- Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority in Cincinnati, OH has exercised options for 30 40-foot diesel buses, four 30-foot diesel-electric buses and three 40-foot dieselelectric buses
- The Hamilton Street Railway Company in Hamilton , ON has exercised options to purchase 15 40-foot diesel-electric buses
- Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in Washington, DC has provided Notice to Proceed for an additional 48 40-foot diesel-electric buses
- Fairfax County in Fairfax, VA has exercised options to purchase 31 40-foot diesel buses
- The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston, MA has exercised options to purchase 25 60-foot diesel-electric buses
- Milwaukee Transit in Milwaukee, WI has exercised options for 90 40-foot diesel buses
The dollar value of the order backlog as of October 4, 2009 was approximately US $3.86 billion, down slightly from the backlog of US $4.0 billion reported as of July 5, 2009. Clean propulsion vehicles now represent approximately 72% of the total backlog.
New Flyer’s current backlog consists of the following mix of products:
|Firm EUs||Options EUs||Total|
|40 foot and under buses||1,611||3,204||4,815|
|60 foot buses||660||3,474||4,134|
During the third quarter, a total of 106 EUs worth of options expired - primarily from one US Transit Authority. This specific customer holds a multi-year contract with New Flyer and recently ordered buses to be built from their 2010 held options, which allowed the 2009 options to expire.
Options included in the backlog expire, if not exercised, as follows:
|Expiry Year||Option EUs|
Currently, New Flyer has approximately 12,300 EUs in the company’s new potential order pipeline (or bid universe) for heavy-duty transit buses in Canada and the US. This is a significant increase from the approximately 11,000 EUs reported as of July 5, 2009.
NOTE: All dollar amounts are stated in US currency based on an exchange rate of US $1.00 = Cdn $1.08 to calculate the value of the Canadian contracts in this release.