Friday, January 15, 2010

Bantas Departure for the best?

Today is Steve Bantas Last day! A Video found on Als Blog, has Steve talking about his accomplishments at TriMet. He was here for 30 months, not even 3 years.

He claims hes done a lot, brought in commuter rail, brought in the Green Line, brought in new buses, built a Transit Mall and taught drivers how to drive on it. He has worked with a "Talented" team, He says its important that Fred holds himself accountable than anyone else. The Board is proud, and it a compliment that other agencies come after him.

So lets take a look at his "accomplishments".

"Brought in Commuter Rail" - aka, WES. After TriMet Bailed out the Railcar company for more than $5 Million, They opened on Feb 2nd 2009. The system broke down for a week in Feb shortly after it opened, Spurred anger from Tualatin Residents for horn noise, Broke down in May, TWICE in October, Then spends ANOTHER $150k for back up cars! During all this, TriMet continues to be at the center of attention of how much this is costing Taxpayers!

"Brought in the Green Line" - As the Green Line came online, TriMet deeply cut bus lines. Each NEW MAX train costs 3.5 Million dollars!!!! 3.5 X 22 = $77 million, not including the cost of putting in the line. The entire project cost $575 million. The line has had more than a half a dozen disruptions since opening in September, 4 were in the last 30 days alone! Signal problems, mechanical problems and more! Yet Bus service continues to suffer.

"Brought in the New Transit Mall & Trained 1600 how to use it" - This was in line with the MAX Growth. Spend more money to train bus operators to maneuver an already confusing street, including breaking laws autos are not allowed to do, like crossing the double white line.

"Bought New Buses" - if he was here 3 years, that makes it early 2007, in which since then only 40 buses have been purchased. In the 5 years before that, TriMet took delivery of over 100 new buses! So I don't give him much credit for this!

"He Has worked with a Talented team" - Really?? I would think talent would have foreseen and stopped the ongoing WES Spending venture. Talent would have found ways to sacrifice so bus service wasn't cut as deep. I understand some cuts would have been unavoidable, but bus cuts went way ahead of MAX cuts. Talent would have worked better to find ways to make the system perform its function as best it can, providing transit services, not entertaining Australia visits, Copenhagen visits, 2 or more spokespersons and the over paid GM.

I have said this once before, but if agencies come knocking for good talent, and they are not knocking for Fred in over 10 years, time to can him! hello!!!!!

I don't know how he did in day to day operations (no one wants to comment on it), but in his "accomplishments" have done nothing but bog down the agency, I hope Phoenix sees this coming. I hope the new Director, whomever it will be, will make changes for the people, I mean whoever was before Steve did it with buses.

1 comment:

J said...

Well at least he used "we" instead of "I" for listing those.

His best accomplishment was probably negotiating that $15,000 retention bonus that he received from TriMet for still being employed January 1st of 2010. It makes a lovely departing gift from all of us in the greater Portland Metro area. Well done, Steve!