Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The End of Frequent Service and Free Bus rides is near

Today, TriMet released the following:

Fareless Square Rail Only proposal

When Fareless Square began 34 years ago, there was only bus service in downtown Portland. In September with the MAX Green Line opening, all four MAX lines will travel through fareless, along with the Portland Streetcar. TriMet is proposing to limit Fareless Square to MAX and streetcar only. This makes nearly all trips within Fareless Square easily accessible by rail. The change would also take the confusion out of riding buses in fareless, since not all buses travel the length of the Mall, and buses would operate more efficiently through downtown. If approved by the board, the change would take effect on January 4, 2010.

*I Support this move, and have no further comment on it.


About 2 dozen bus lines will have frequency adjusted 2-4 minutes during non-rush hours

TriMet today unveiled additional service cuts to offset the ongoing recession. The proposal would mean that about two dozen bus lines would operate about 2-4 minutes less frequently during midday, evenings and on weekends. If approved, schedule changes would take effect on November 29, 2009.

Now, my take on it all-

So lets talk about this one. First, lets look at the plan:

Below I charted which lines are effected with what cuts. The midday cuts are adding 2-3 min to the frequency, most being 17 min apart instead of 15 between 9am and 3pm, Evenings are after 7pm and all day Saturday & Sunday.

Line Midday Cut Evening Cut Sat Cut Sun Cut

4 X X X X

6 X X X X
8 X X X X
9 X X X X
12 X X X X
14 X X X X
15 X X X X
17 X
19 X
20 X X X
33 X X X
44 X
52 X
54 X X X
56 X X X
57 X X X X
70 X
71 X X
75 X X X X
77 X

So what does TriMet define as Frequent Service?
A:On weekdays, frequent service begins no later than 6:00 a.m. and

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.

All of the lines currently noted as "Frequent Service" can no longer be if this plan goes through since the service will not be 15 min or better everyday between 6a and 10p. From listening to other bloggers about ridership, I don't think TriMet thought this through. It looks like a lets get this done quickly type of thing. My observations have some changes, and I plan to comment this way. Some of these lines have heavy ridership all day, some are scarce during the mid-day. Weekends dont really have a peak time, but it seems to be after 9-10am to about 6 or 7pm are generally busy.

"My Proposal"
4F/D Service every 20 min during weekdays and eves, and all weekend
6MLK Service every 15 min on weekdays, 20 on weekends.
8NE15 (After Fareless is changed, ridership may be lower) 20-30 min Service Midday, Eves, and Weekends
8JP 15 min Weekdays, 20 min Weekends
9P 15 min service to 98th all day, 30 min service to Gresham TC All day, and Saturdays. 20 min to 98th/40 min to GTC Sun.
9B 30min service all days execpt ruch hour every 15-20min
12S 15 min Service on weekdays to Parkrose, 30min to GTC, 30 min Service to Parkrose, 60min to GTC Weekends.
12B 15 min Service to King City, 30min to Sherwood everyday, maybe 20/40min weekends, this line seems to be busy often
14H Retain Service as is now
15B/NW23 20min Service weekdays and eves, 30 min on weekends
17H/NW21 20min Service to 82nd & Montg Pk, 40min service to 136th middays & eves, 30 min on weekends, alternate with line 15 to provide service to Montg Pk every 10-15min everyday.
19G/W 20-30Min midday and eves, 30 min weekends
20 Retain Weekday service, 20min Saturday, 30min Sunday
33M Retain Weekday Service, 20min Service on weekends
52 20min midday, 12-15min rush hours (this is always standing room only during afternoon rush)
54/56 Retain Service as is
57 (I never rode this route often, so I cant say on this one)
71 20min service everyday
75 Retain current Service levels (this route is hopping midday and early eves everytime i rode it), Improve rush hour service, reduce after 8pm to 20min everyday?
77 20min service weekdays

Ones they didnt touch:
MAX Blue 15 min Service Weekdays until 7:30pm, then 30min, 20 min Service Sat/Sun 10:00a until 7:30pm, then 30min
MAX Red 15 min Service Weekdays until 7:30pm, then 30min, 20 min Service Sat/Sun 10:00a until 7:30pm, then 30min, alternate to provide 7-10 min service weekdays and weekends, 15 min weekend mornings and evenings.
MAX Yellow 20min Service midday, 30 min after 7p, 20min all day and 30min before 10a and after 7p on weekends
MAX Green, See Red/Blue configuration
P Streetcar, 20min service on Weekends
72 10min weekdays, 15min eves/nights, weekends 10min 9am-7ish pm, 15 min all other times (relieve the crowding on this line!!!!!) Another option is to make service VERY frequent b/t 82nd MAX or Cully and Clackamas TC, and a bit less the other side, but I never rode past 82nd, so I cant comment on its ridership.

Whew! The people who make these decisions do not rely on this service apparently, we know NONE of them ride on weekends, they could care less if it all goes away. But they do need to fix service to match ridership. This does not mean they should have deleted routes, like the 47, 48, 67, on weekends, every 60-90 min service would AT LEAST not leave anyone stranded. An option for these areas is to create a weekend only circular type route, for example Hillsboro TC via Cornell, R 185th to Walker, L to 158th (Serve Merlo MAX), 158th to Bethany (67 routing) to PCC to 185th, L Evergreen to Hillsboro TC via Evergreen, and a route that circles opposite. you cover parts of the 47, 48, 59, and 67. This route follows many industrial areas, and LOTS of residential areas being abandoned in the service cuts coming up.

I think thats enough for today, I welcome comments, I may be wrong in some of my ideas, and I know that, but it gets the brain churning.

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