Nothing better that comparing agencies in the same region. Sound Transit has released some info recently that shows they at least can appear like they know whats going on.
Joni Earl, CEO of Sound Transit has passed on a raise of her already 23.6% lower salary at 195,467, than Fred Hansen, GM of TriMet, who makes about 256,000. The cost of living difference is about 21% more in Seattle than Portland, meaning these salaries should be swapped.
Sound Transit has also posted their list of milestones they hope to complete in 2010. They include installing a Layover Track at Everett, Ordering 40 new buses, Ordering more Sounder Equipment, Finalizing the long awaited Tukwila Station Plans, Adding additional Bicycle parking at stations, reducing Fuel consumption by 5%, and Light rail plans that are on track. Ironically, the Sound Transit board approved the purchase of 24 of the 40 new buses on Jan 14th with New Flyer. TriMet still lags on purchasing buses, and refused to do so with at least some of the stimulus money, which mainly went to behind the scenes projects that passengers could care less about. Keep in mind King County Metro has already ordered 93 new hybrid buses that are supposed to begin arriving this year.
These are 2 of the biggest things circling TriMet that is lowering the public acceptance, Portland riders are tired of poor, deteriorating bus equipment and service, while the General Manager is making a wage that is WAY above average, for a below average job being performed. I have always compared Seattle to Portland, as much as Fred wants to toot his horn on being the most fuel efficient and greenest system in the country, Seattle now has 275 Hybrid Buses in service, 15 on hand being tested, and over 200 Hybrids currently on order (not including remaining contract options yet to be exercised) & Seattle runs 159 electric trolley buses over 14 routes. Sounds a bit greener to me. I know I should stop pointing out TriMet failures, but every time another agencies steps up to the plate, we can't help but notice TriMet passing on upgrades and new bus orders. Sound Transit has set a goal to be more fuel efficient, on top of working that way already today! Lessons can be learned from our neighbors to the north, but Fred needs a pay cut or a visit to the unemployment office to get that thru his head!