Wednesday, May 27, 2009

King County Metro vs. TriMet Salaries

King County Metros Top Salaries:

Ron Sims, County Executive, $175000

Taniguchi H  Director, Transportation Dept of Transportation
Desmond K Div Director, Transit Dept of Transportation
Brown L Deputy Director,Transportation Dept of Transportation $140814.6

The top Director makes 159k!! compared to Fred at 256 and Steve at 196, and KCM runs a MUCH better system than TriMet, hands down!  Plus they are all taking 11 furlough days, 2 weeks + 1 day, and no one is going to Australia on KCM money.  Come on guys, you can take a bigger pay cut to help Trimet do what your in the business to do, provide transit!

My thoughts about the new Transit Mall

In the last couple of days, we have actually used the services on the mall.  We found some issues:

-Line 14 needs to run ON the mall, at least until Light Rail begins, or could do something like what line 15 does with some of line 14 old routing, have line 14 come in on main, stop between 5th &6th on main, then right on 6th to Alder, right again make the stop between 5th & 6th (no stops on 6th).

-Buses done servicing the stop should go first, as they did in the old mall alignment

-The Yellow Line should have been moved May 24th also to make connections and transfers better.  TriMet is banking on this Mall working best with Light Rail, but they start it up before light rail does, so we suffer in the mean time.

Keeping many buses the same as on the temporary alignment hardly mirrors what the old mall offered,  I guess the object is to get less buses on it at rush hour.  How does this work when you have to make ALL Line 14 passengers transfer to get to the core or North end? Only the 94 and 99 travel on the mall, why are they (express buses) so special that the 92 and 96 cant?  I think a lot of this looked good on paper, but when you out there trying to do all this, its sorta a pain the ass.  I think the Light rail and bus combo is going to snag more than they think, Seattles LINK Light Rail is already having issues, I heard the second day they ran them in the tunnel was chaos.  It seems many of the people that design transit, don't actually use transit.

Courtesy-Minded Metro Stands Up for Riders Who Shouldn't Have To

In today's Washington Post: Social scientists wax philosophical about why transit commuters aren't more courteous. "Protecting their integrity" from too much outside stimuli... Really??

Saturday, May 23, 2009

TriMet is wasting money on Execs!!!!

Thank you Al for the posting of salaries, I could better examine this places levels of management, boy oh boy.

Fred Hansen Makes $1031.94 per DAY!  I used to take a week to make that, now on unemployment I make a little more than that a MONTH!

All the TriMet Execs Pay above $100k equals $7.33 Million.  

Step One, all the execs and directors (non-union) need to look at what everyone else is doing, 20% cut in salaries will save almost $1.5 million a year alone!  Thats just based on the salaries over 100k, I bet there are more, they could save even more!  Why do the tax payers have to foot these outrageous salaries, this is what is wrong with this country, its who can make the most money, while employee moral and loyalty decline, and service declines.  

Secondly, look at some of these titles, some could be combined, or eliminated. 
"Engineer of Light Rail Vehicle", are we paying a Semiens Employee full-time to design Light Rail cars?  I thought that was THIER job, not ours. Pluys, we're good on cars, we don't need any right now!
2 "Software Development Leads"? 2 of them! Are they the ones that can't get MAX Ticket Machines to work right?  Why are there 2?
"Executive Director of Transportation" whom is in charge of "Director of Transportation", combine the job!  theres a level of management too many here.
Mary Fetsch, the voice of TriMet makes $105k a year to babble on TV about TriMets bullshit!
"Director of Commuter Rail" AND "Special Counsel Commuter Rail Project", holy shit your kidding me right???  FIRE THEM NOW, WES is failing left and right, these people are paper weights! The Director of Transportation should be over this as well.
"Director of Mall Project", ohhh heres a money saver come September.
"Executive Director of Capital Projects" whom is in charge of "Senior Director of Capital Projects", who I bet (Is not on the list) is in charge of the "Director of Capitol Projects", oh and I bet there is a "Manager of Capital Projects", get serious, 4 jobs could be one.  For over 100K a year, you can handle it!
I bet the list isn't showing how many REAL levels of management there are, the only "Manager" on the list is Fred.  Managers make 60-90k a year, easy. I used to work for a large corporation that had management levels like this, they were considered "MisManaged" by Bill Gates!  I think TriMet follows the same path.
Its time for someone else to move in, and turn TriMet upside down, The Light Rail BS would slow down, and maybe we could have a transit system we could be proud of.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

LINK Light Rails' Fare Machine

Its the same as Sounders! (its reliable)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Union Pacific with Multnomah Falls

Cool photo I got a few weeks ago when I was there.

Seattle Metro Changes

Link Light Rail Begins July 18

On Saturday, July18, Link will begin operating a 14-mile light rail segment from Westlake Station in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to its new Tukwila/International Blvd Station, at SR-518 just north of Sea-Tac Airport. This initial segment will also serve Seattle's SODO industrial area, Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley. Trains will run every seven to eight minutes during peak commuting hours, and every 10 to 15 minutes during midday, weekend and evening hours.

A 1.7-mile extension from Tukwila to Sea-Tac Airport is scheduled to open in December 2009. Until then, the ST Link Connector will provide a non-stop shuttle bus connection between Tukwila International Blvd Station and Sea-Tac Airport until the airport Link station opens in late 2009.

Besides the four stations in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, Link will serve five new street-level stations at S Royal Brougham Way, S Lander St, S Edmunds St, S Othello St, S Henderson St and the new Beacon Hill and Mount Baker stations. The Beacon Hill station is 150 feet below the street surface of S Lander St. Entrances are at the southeast corner of Beacon Ave S & S Lander St. The new Mount Baker station will be an elevated station just west of Rainier Ave S & Martin Luther King Jr Way S, south of S McClellan St. A new Metro transit center, scheduled to open in September 2009, will be located near this station on the east side of Rainier Ave S.

New Hours for the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel

Beginning Saturday, May 30, the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel will be open from 5 am to 1 am weekdays and Saturday, and from 6 am to midnight on Sunday. All current tunnel routes will operate in the tunnel during these times.

When the DSTT is closed, tunnel routes will operate on 2nd Ave, 3rd Ave, 4th Ave or 5th Ave in downtown Seattle. Please refer to tunnel route information below and your timetable for routing on surface streets.

Major Roadwork on I-90 Floating Bridge

During May, bus service was affected along with other traffic on the I-90 floating bridge as the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) closed the express lanes to replace expansion joints.

From Sunday, July 5, to Tuesday, July 28, the state DOT will close the westbound general-purpose lanes of I-90 to replace expansion joints, moving all traffic to the express lanes. This closure could result in significant congestion on the I-90 express lanes with potential delays of up to 60 minutes. Related delays can also be expected on I-5, SR-520, I-405 and surrounding surface streets.

During these times, please plan ahead and be flexible. If possible, plan your westbound commute for an earlier or different time and stay tuned to local media for current traffic conditions. Use existing schedules to plan your trip, and give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination. Since there are few detours for crossing Lake Washington, consider biking or joining a vanpool or carpool.

Fred Hansen should be fired

They say he can get a job anywhere........I wish he would!!  Go Away!  Your Light Rail Scamming Poor Management style is NOT welcome here.  TriMet needs a major overhaul, and Fred is not going to bring it.  Why? Cause he wants MORE light rail.  I think we can expect the bus system to keep deteriorating as long as he is at the helm.  Of course, being that hes going on a paid venture that has nothing to do with us, what goes without saying he isnt managing at all.  It also seems there are too many levels of management, if Fred is making $250k a year, he can do the job of many hats.  I find it amazing that a transit agency hasnt made the news like this ever, King County is only to promote how they are IMPROVING bus service!  TriMet makes the news for bad ticket machines and its GM.  REPLACE the machines, popular ones seem to reside with San Diego Trolley, CalTrain and LA Metro.  They are easier too, you tell it what station your going to, and it figures the fare, no guessing what "Zone".   Ok, enough with my rant, but this guy has got to go!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Videos

I posted some new videos to YouTube, C-Tran 105 and Trimet 14, 19, 75.  They offer some good views of the city and neighborhoods they travel thru.  Just click the "My Videos" link -->

I will be in Seattle this Friday, look for videos from there over the weekend =)

King County Pushes Ahead on being Smart

Every weekday, King County Metro updates their website to show any issues or delays, in real time!  Before you head out the door, you can check if you can expect any delays, or if the morning is running smoothly.  Unlike TriMet, who only posts if there is a problem or detour, they post if all is well too, so you KNOW they are monitoring operations. They started this in response to the chaos that occurred with the winter storm last year.

If TriMet actually cared about its (Bus) Transit system, they would have the same thing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Xozlahl Streetciz Time is...

This is NOT fake, its what it really said at 1st & Harrison 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fare inspection problem

Have a good look at the photo, there are 2 fare inspectors and a supervisor, 1 is writing a warning/ticket while the other 2 bullshit!!  Maybe if we spent less time Bullshitting, and spend more time working, the fare invasion problem would begin to subside.  If we are not going to check fares, get rid of them, and hire some one that will check fares, same goes for supervisor who should be leading by example!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

RIP Virgin San Francisco August 1995-April 2009

I will miss you.  ='(

Al M and Tim discuss their observations on the 2900's

(Disclaimer for TriMet officals: Video was filmed by me using my own equipment in what is defined as a public space)

New Flyer is jam packed with orders

Except a order from TriMet:

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 orders received during the first quarter of 2009 totaled 659 buses (671 equivalent production units or “EUs”) for a total of US $267 million. Of these orders, 304 buses (316 EUs) are new orders and 335 buses (355 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 and compressed natural gas (“CNG”) propulsion systems.  Just under 35% of the EUs representing these orders (or 233 EUs) are clean-propulsion (e.g., hybrid or natural gas) vehicles, which is a growing segment of New Flyer’s annual production. 

Some of the larger orders placed in the quarter include:

  • Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Austin, TX has ordered 40 diesel buses with options for 152 additional buses.
  • Golden Empire Transit District in Bakersfield, CA has ordered 27 40-foot CNG buses with options for 50 additional buses.
  • Edmonton Transit in Edmonton, AB has exercised options to purchase 121 40-foot diesel buses.
  • San Diego Metropolitan Transit System in San Diego, CA has exercised options to purchase 38 40-foot CNG buses.
  • Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia, PA has exercised options to purchase 40 40-foot diesel-electric buses.
  • Maryland Department of Transportation in Baltimore, MD has exercised options to purchase 100 40-foot diesel-electric buses.

New Flyer’s order backlog as of April 5, 2009 was 9,236 EUs, of which clean propulsion vehicles represents approximately 76% of New Flyer’s total backlog.  This compares to 9,531 EUs in backlog as at December 28, 2008.  The dollar value of the order backlog as of April 5, 2009 was approximately US $4.0 billion, compared to the US $4.1 billion backlog as of December 28, 2008.  Management attributes this minor decrease in total current backlog to transit agencies in the US awaiting approval for stimulus funding before converting options or placing new orders.

Many transit agencies in the US have or are in the process of submitting grant applications to access stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment act.  The US Federal Transit Administration has advised that the deadline for transit agency grantees to submit applications for the first stimulus package is July 1, 2009 and grantees are required to obligate one-half of their apportionment of funds by September 1, 2009.  Projects must be announced by transit agencies within 360 days of February 17, 2009.   The second deadline to obligate funds is March 15, 2010.   Management understands that grantees have until 2015 to spend the funds.  Unobligated funds will revert back to the US Department of Treasury on September 30, 2010. These recovered funds will then be redistributed to other transit agencies.

Thats what we're calling it now?

Might be the Blvd, might not....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cars with Share The Road plates and Bike Boxes

Last Sunday, on Broadway, a Subaru wagon Sporting:

Went from the Left lane, all the way into the right lane, right into one of these:
Occupying the entire box, and as about 2-3 ft in the crosswalk, While the light was still red.

Oxymoron?  Yes. If your going to sport that plate, at least lead by example.  

Monday, May 11, 2009

Community Transit - First Look at Swift Bus Rapid Transit

May 5, 2009

Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor discusses the features of the Swift bus rapid transit service, which will begin Nov. 30.

Washington’s first bus rapid transit line scheduled to start Nov. 30


Snohomish County, Wash. – The launch of the state’s first bus rapid transit line is approaching nearly as fast as the bird it is named after. Community Transit’s Swift is on track to fly on Nov. 30.


Today, Community Transit unveiled the first Swift station and Swift bus at its operations base in Everett, and the mayor of Everett announced plans to build an additional four Swift stations in the city.


“The reality of bus rapid transit really hits home when you take a look at this beautiful Swift bus and great station we have here today,” Community Transit CEO Joyce Eleanor said. “We’ve seen drawings and had an idea what they would look like, but to actually get to see them is very impressive.”


Community Transit, along with its partner Everett Transit, is constructing 24 Swift stations and two terminals along a 17-mile route primarily on Highway 99 between Everett Station and the Aurora Village Transit Center in Shoreline. Today, Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson announced a $3.6 million state grant that will allow the city to build an additional four stations.


“These stations will help fill some gaps in the current Swift route in Everett to provide even greater service to our customers,” said Stephanson. “In addition, this state grant allows us to install transit signal priority along the corridor in Everett.”


Transit signal priority is already installed in the southern portion of the Swift route. The technology allows signals to extend a green light a few seconds when a Swift bus approaches, saving minutes each trip along the corridor.

Swift will stop at stations about every 10 minutes on weekdays between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m.  and every 20 minutes at night and weekends. With only 12 stops in each direction when it opens, Swift will fly down the corridor much faster than local bus service.


The first completed Swift station is a training station at Community Transit’s Merrill Creek base. The station allows bus drivers to practice precise stopping at the station’s raised curb and gives maintenance staff the opportunity to figure out how best to maintain the stations.


Stations will be equipped with two ticket vending machines and two ORCA smart card readers. Passengers will pay their fares at the stations rather than on board so the buses can depart quickly.


Stations also will have markings on the curb to indicate where wheelchair passengers and passengers with bikes should board. Information kiosks display instructions on how to rideSwift as well as local area information. Ample lighting and translucent weather barriers should make the short wait for the bus more comfortable. And each station will be easily recognizable by a tall roadside marker.


The buses are 60-foot articulated hybrid diesel-electric buses with a colorful paint design that sets them apart from other buses. Each Swift bus has three doors, wide seats with extra leg room and plenty of standing room for what is anticipated to be short rides. Bike racks are located on board in the rear of the bus.


Construction on Swift stations began last December, with work being done in two phases. The first phase involves the laying of concrete platforms and utility work; the second phase is the actual construction of the stations. The first phase is mostly complete in Everett and has moved into Lynnwood. The second phase is expected to begin in late May or early June.


“People here in the state of Washington are known for their environmental conscience, and transportation friendly communities,” said William Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association. “Swift fits right into this lifestyle, especially considering this first bus we see here today is a hybrid model.”


Community Transit strives to help Puget Sound commuters think transit first. With an electronic alert system for instant rider information and one of the nation’s first double decker transit buses, the agency is a leader in finding new ways to make alternative transportation an attractive option. Call Community Transit at (425) 353-RIDE or (800) 562-1375 for bus information, or (888) 814-1300 for carpool or vanpool information, or go

Story From:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Link Light Rail in Seattle coming soon!


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Link light rail starts Saturday, July 18th

We're counting down to a milestone in public transportation.

The launch of Link light rail will begin a new era for public transportation in the Puget Sound region, with work underway to expand the first 15 miles of light rail service to a 55-mile regional system over the next decade and a half. Read the news release >>>


Keep an eye out for updates about the grand opening celebration. We’ll see you there! 

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Link light rail runs from downtown Seattle to the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. The 12-station line opening in July serves the downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, south Seattle, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, and Tukwila. By the end of the year, the extension to the airport will open. In the meantime, a shuttle service will run between the Tukwila/International Boulevard Station and the airport. 


Link light rail
service map

light rail map