Thursday, December 17, 2009

In 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.
Heres a summary of all the fun we had this year:

New Lines Galore: TriMets WES and Green Line, Sound Transits LINK Light Rail, & Community Transits SWIFT BRT. LA Metro also had an extension to the Gold Line. Phoenix Metro rolled out their Light Rail very Late 2008, much of its new ridership was this year, they only had 5 days of operations in 08.

San Diego MTS, NCTD, LA Metro, San Francisco (MUNI), and Puget Sound areas rolled out SmartCard Fare Payment Systems.

San Diego, Snohomish County, and Seattle all took delivery of new Hybrid or Clean Air BRT style Buses. Portland and Seattle took delivery of new Light Rail cars. Seattle continues to lead by example by purchasing 93 new Orion Hybrid Buses, with an option of over 600 more in the contract. Portland also received a new Streetcar built in the USA, even tho it never comes out to play.

Every agency has suffered some of the biggest cuts to transit ever, many have cut service, raised fares, or both.

We have seen some pretty bad incidents this year, Metrolink had a fatal crash caused by texting, Computer error causes Washington Metros trains to collide resulting in fatalities, Plus a handful of crashes on LINK already.

Oaklands BART work force averts a strike with 6 hours to spare, Philadelphia's SEPTA system Strikes for 6 days, crippling the city and overloading the Regional Rail System. Portlands TriMet employees contract has expired, and negotiations are not looking positive.

Transit agencies are turning to Twitter and Facebook to reach their riders, San Diego leads the pack on both while BART, Metrolink, KCM, ST And PT follow closely behind. OCTA and TriMet use these mediums, but don't really take them seriously.

Here at Home Base for me, TriMet has been criticized more than ever! Cutting Bus Service while MAX grows, the union of bus drivers wants the GM out, Executives are rewarding themselves with hefty salaries and bonuses, Bus drivers running red lights videos emerge, cell phone usage while driving is out of hand, No new bus orders, Portland Mall MAX loop (Waste of money while bus service suffers), MAX disruptions are occurring at least once to twice a WEEK, and Fareless Square for buses will end. Yet, everyone (execs) at the agency acts if they don't care.

Steve Banta is positioned to take over at Phoenix Metro.

NCTD makes bold decision to outsource bus drivers and mechanics positions.

I meet "Rantings" driver Al M, meanwhile his blog has been under fire twice from those whom disagree with him at TriMet.

I started this blog!

Big plans ahead: TriMets controversial Orange Line to Milwaulkie, City of Portlands Eastside Streetcar Loop, City of Seattles First Hill Streetcar, Sound Transits University LINK, King County Metros First BRT line, and Los Angeles Metros Expo Line. San Diego's MTS ordered over 50 new Light Rail Cars.

The next year will be a rough road, many agencies will still continue to feel the pinch from lowered sales tax and payroll tax revenues, and may pass these on to riders. In California, many agencies are receiving $0 in State funding that they have received int he past. In Portland, TriMet relies heavily on the Payroll tax, which is tied to the states high unemployment rate. In California and Washington, Sales Tax revenues are down sharply, causing another blow to California agencies.

I have made a video of the events and videos I have been to and made in the last year. Call it a "Video Yearbook" if you want, I can tell you this, it was fun to make. (Make sure your sound is on, its part of it all)

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!

1 comment:

Al M said...

And we transit bloggers are gosh darn happy to have you out there Chad old buddy!