Saturday, February 27, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

TriMet Open Houses Coming, now WES is in the picture!

From a news release:

WES service

TriMet is exploring WES frequency reductions of up to 15 minutes and/or reducing hours of operation.

Also another Open House in Happy Valley has been scheduled:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 5-7 p.m.

Happy Valley City Hall
Council Chambers
16000 SE Misty Drive
Happy Valley, OR 97086

With all the pressure of WES, we will see what takes shape on this one!

For complete details, and videos from the new conference, see my earlier blog post.

Customer Service is available, sometimes

Over this last weekend, I went up to C-Tran land for Happy Hour. I took Line 4 to Line 3B. Well, for some reason I-5 was backed up like a Friday afternoon (on a Saturday) and we got in to Downtown Vancouver at 4:00p, the 3B leaves at 4:02p, but it left at 4:01p and chose not to wait for 1) his scheduled time to depart and 2) a bus coming up behind him. I thought I'd call the ride number to report it......someone ANSWERED! Thats right, little 'ol C-Tran mans the phones on weekends!!! In chatting with a fellow blogger, I looked how other transit agencies match up in this area. Now because a certain someone a few of us know, swears by "Ridership by Capita", because it puts TriMet higher in ranks, we will use that data in order for the following hours of operations list (as of date this was written):

1 New York City (MTA) Open 9a-5p weekdays, relies heavily on the website for info
2 San Francisco Bay Area (511) (MUNI, BART, and others) open 24 hours every day
3 Wash DC (WAMTA) 6a-8:30p M-F, 7a-8:30p SS
4 Honolulu (Bus) 5a-10p everyday
5 Boston (MBTA) 6:30a-8p, 7:30a-6p SS
6 Chicago (CTA) 4:45a-1a everyday
7 Portland (TriMet) 7:30a-5:30a M-F Only, (C-Tran) 6a-7p M-F, 8a-5p SSH
8 Philadelphia (SEPTA) 6a-8p M-F, 8a-6p SS
9 Seattle (King County Metro) 5a-10p M-F, 8a-7p SS Closed Holidays
10 Los Angeles/Orange County (Metro) 24 Hours everyday
11 Baltimore (MTA) 6a-7p M-F only
12 Las Vegas (RTA) No Hours could be found
13 Denver (RTD) 6a-8p M-F, 9a-6p SSH
14 Salt Lake City (UTA) 6a-7p M-Sa, Closed Sundays
15 Atlanta (MARTA) 6a-11p M-F, 8a-10p SSH

So in comparison, The largest Transit agency has banker hours, but they run all the time for the most part, but as you can see, out of the top 15, most are open everyday, because they provide service, everyday. If a little agency like C-tran can be open on weekends, and 11 other agencies with higher AND lower ridership can be open for service on weekends, so should TriMet, end of story!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Portland Streetcar Eastside Loop Progress

Muni Workers angry?

SFMTA Update on LRV/Streetcar Collision

This morning at approximately 6:24 a.m., a J Church Muni Metro light rail vehicle (LRV) traveling toward downtown on the dedicated Muni right-of-way on San Jose Avenue (near the Highland Avenue overpass) struck a stationary F Market historic streetcar that was puling out from its storage yard to enter regular service. The F Market was stopped at the proper distance behind another Muni vehicle at the San Jose/Randall traffic signal.

Information from the initial investigation indicates that human error is the most likely cause of the accident. No problems have been found with the vehicle or the tracks so far, though the investigation is ongoing. The Operator of the J Church, who has been with Muni since 1980, is on non-driving status and has been tested for drugs and alcohol per normal procedure.

According to readings from on-board equipment, the LRV was traveling at 39 miles per hour (mph) at the time of impact; the Muni speed limit on the right-of-way is 35 mph under ideal conditions, but Muni Operators should always travel at a speed that is safe for conditions.

“This accident is completely unacceptable,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO. “We must and we will continue our efforts to ensure the safety of our customers.”

Video surveillance equipment on the J Church LRV was not functioning; the SFMTA is working to determine the problem with the equipment. F Market streetcars do not have video surveillance equipment.

According to the San Francisco Fire Department, three people (F Market Muni Operator, two J customers) were transported to the hospital and two additional J customers were treated at the scene for a total of five injuries.

Bus shuttles provided service to J customers until 8:35 a.m. when regular J Church service resumed.

The total number of Muni collisions per 100,000 miles continued a downward trend in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 and the first quarter of FY 2010 (the last full reporting period). The FY 2009 total of 5.46 is the lowest of the last five years. In January 2010 there were 106 collisions involving Muni vehicles compared to 110 in January 2009.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Portland Needs Express Service, Fare Change

#1, MAX is not an Express Service! Period! It makes every stop, every time. The loopdy-loop at Gateway that the Red Line uses is a time waster, as is the u-turn at Sunset TC. Making every other block stops in Downtown on surface streets is not a helper either.

TriMet has 4 "Express" Lines. (In this case, not according to TriMets definition, but to the tune of the rest of this post). 92 to the Southern Beaverton 'Burbs, 94 to Sherwood (this is more of a limited), 96 to Tualatin and Wilsonville, 99 to Oregon City (also more of a Limited Service. Limited Service is provided on Lines 4, 9, 14, and 31. 31 is about the only one worth mentioning. Also Special service is provided for OHSU employees.

Express Service is a route that travels to a distant location with little to no stops en-route. In looking at other locations to live, the lack of express service makes much of these places undesirable. Express Service I think Portland could use:

Portland-Tanasbourne-Orenco Station via HWY-26 and Cornell/Evergreen
Portland-Troutdale via I-84 or near by arterial
Portland-Wilsonville, someone can run this (SMART?), the Barbur idea isn't working
Tanasbourne-Sunset TC (Southside of Hwy-26 Bridge)-Wash Sq-Tualatin Crosstown
Tualatin-Ore City-Clackamas via I-205

Limited or Rapid Service that could be provided (Service that skips stops over an existing local route, no special stops are required):
Limited=Rush Hour Skip Stop Service, Rapid=All-day Skip Stop Service

9 Powell Rapid
12 Sandy Rapid & Barbur Rapid
20 Burnside/Stark Limited
15 Belmont Limited
57 Rapid
72 Rapid (Clackamas TC to Portland Airport, Split Killingsworth portion into different line)

Just a few that come to mind. TriMet can purchase nice buses for these runs, and charge a bit more since it provides a faster service, people will pay a little more to get there faster!

TriMet could also dump the fare zone system, and charge for service type, Like San Diego.

Bus Fares, no matter distance traveled:
Local Fare $2.00
Rapid/Limited Fare $2.25
Express Fare $2.50-3.00 (depending on length of run)

MAX should have distance based travel fares. Riders understand zones and distance fares when it comes to rail travel over bus travel.
Fareless Square, Free Ride area, Free Rail Zone whatever, gone!
Downtown is $1.50, outside Galleria, Old Town, & Union Station the following fares apply:
1-3 Stations $1.50
4-5 Stations $1.75
6-7 Stations $2.00
8-9 Stations $2.25
10-11 Stations $2.50
11+ Stations $2.75.
Tickets are valid for travel away from the station printed on a one-way Ticket in one direction. If you originate travel in Downtown and travel beyond the stations above, $1.75 is the minimum Fare + stations traveled (ex Pioneer Square to Goose Hollow is $1.75, it is the 3rd station outside the DT Zone, Beaverton TC would be $2, it is the 6th station) Travel Through DT counts as 1 station for cross town trips. Downtown Station tickets are valid in any direction for 2 hours within Downtown Only.

WES should have its own fare, $2.50 for one station, $0.25 for each station traveled to a Maximum of $ 3.50, as does any other commuter rail system in the US! (would help recoup some of the money tossed at it)

No Transfers. Day Pass is 2X the one-way fare needed. Ex, $5.00 day Pass will allow travel on any vehicle up to $2.50 fare. $6.00 would allow Regional Travel except on WES. No Day Pass for WES.
Monthly Passes are based on fare most commonly used. If you use an express bus most, a $3.00 Monthly Pass would be needed, $105. You can ride anything up to $3.00 fare.

SmartCard fare collection would be best for this system, it can determine stations entered and exited. Tap on MAX, get charged $2.75, Tap off 3 stations later, get 1.25 credit (for a trip entirely outside Downtown). Don't Tap off? you paid $2.75 for that trip, you get 2 hours of free transfers on a smart card from your first tap. SmartCard would also max out at $6.00 of fare, the maximum Day Pass fare available.

Obviously, if this fare structure was put in now, only the Local Bus fare would apply, But MAX and WES could take on the new fares as is. We Need REAL express routes before Express fares can be charged.

WES (doesn't) Ride Again!

WES service update

The disabled train has been removed from the tracks. Remaining morning commute trips made by that train will be served by shuttle bus. Trips departing Wilsonville at 8:21 a.m. and Beaverton Transit Center at 8:58 a.m. will be provided by shuttle buses. Riders can take the shuttle, ride a local bus or wait for the next WES train, and should add up to 30 minutes to their commute.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The full TriMet News Conference and details regarding cuts coming Sept 2010

Details follow the videos.
Originally recorded Feb 10, 2010. Video was recorded by me.
Full Press Release:
Fred Answers the Medias Questions:

"Afterhours" video, after the news cameras were off, the Oregonian and myself asked a few more questions:
So heres a rundown of the Service cut information:

In June the following changes will take place:
-6,8,9,12,14,15,33,70,73,96 will have some schedule adjustments, up to 2-3 min
-10,19 a few select trips with low ridership will be eliminated
-35 expand headways on Sundays from every 30 min to every 45 min
-72 will gain headways to adjust to new ridership due tot he Green Line Opening
June service changes begin June 6 and will save approx $2.5 million.

In September, the following changes are PROPOSED:

-Discontinue (or CUT) lines 27,65,154 & 157
-Cut 32 Saturdays, 45 Sundays, and 80 all weekend.
-Route changes, in which some areas would no long be served: 33 Cut Arlington Loop,
43 Cut Nimbus &Macadam Shortline, 53 cut Mercer Trips, 67 cut Cornell Oaks Trip.
-4,6,8,9,12,14,15,17,20,33,57,70,71 will have weekday headways increased by 2-3 min
during peak periods, 2-10 min off-peak.
-16,24,32,43,44,52,58,62,68,73,77 will have weekday headways increased 2-10 min, peak
and off-peak
-33,57,70,71 will have headways increased 2-3 during Peak Periods
-4,6,8,9,12,14,15,20,33,54,56,57,71,75 will have weekend headways increased up to 6 min
-58 headways will increase from 30 min to 60 min headways on Sundays only
-1,51,85,92,94,99 will have some entire trips cut due to low ridership
-8,9,24,28,32,45,48,51,55,70,73,85,87,88,155 will have either the first trip of the day, or last trip
of the day, or both cut, a few will have more trip shaved off
-MAX increase headways by 2min during mid-day, Eves and weekends (from 15min to 17min),
schedule adjustments up to 4 min in early morning and late eves.
-FARES may increase by 5 cents on single trips, and $2 for monthly passes.

This is all to fill a recession driven economic shortfall of $20 million.

Care to Comment on these? Heres some options:

Open Houses are:
-Downtown Portland, Tues Feb 23 @4:30-6:30p in the Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave,Room C
-Oregon City, Weds Feb 24 @4:30-6:30p at the Pioneer Comm Ctr, 615 5th st, held in rooms 1 & 2
-Beaverton, Weds March 3 @4:30-6:30p at the Beaverton Community Center, 12350 SW 5th St, Ste 100
-Gresham, Thurs March 4 @ 4:30-6:30p at Gresham City Hall, 1333 NW Eastman Pkwy (Gresham City
Hall MAX Stop), Oregon Trail and Springwater Conf Rooms

You can also:
Call 503.962.5806
Fax 503.962.6469
TTY 503.238.5811 (7:30a - 5:30p Weekdays)
Mail TriMet-MK2, 4012 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202

The comment period ends Friday April 23rd!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Storm shuts down Septa

Bus: CCT (paratransit) will provide dialysis, medical appointments and work trips ONLY on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010

All SEPTA Bus Service has been cancelled, normal service will resume on Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 5am

Norristown High Speed Line: Norristown Hign Speed Line is suspended.

Regional Rail: All Regional Rail lines are operating, with delays, service exceptions listed below:

Wilmington/Newark (R2) service only to/from Marcus Hook, pm service adjustment:
Southbound Center City to Marcus Hook: Trains #9245, #5251, #9257 are cancelled.
Northbound Marcus Hook to Center City: Trains #4652, #9254, #9260 are cancelled.

Paoli/Thorndale (R5) pm service:
Train #551 will operate outbound local service
Train #578 have been cancelled.
Trains #553 and #7565 will run local to Thorndale.
Train #9559 will run local to Paoli.
Trains #567 and #5571 will run normal service.
Trains #9555, #5561, #9563 will be cancelled.

Trenton (R7) train #4650 is cancelled.

Airport (R1) train #4756 is cancelled.

West Trenton (R3) train #369 has been cancelled.

Fox Chase (R8) train #4844 has been cancelled.


Rt. 10 No Eastbound service on Lansdowne Ave due to switch problems. Service will operate on 63rd St to Girard Ave, Girard Ave to Lancaster Ave then regular route.
Westbound is on regular route.

Rt. 15 Rail service west of 26th St., Bus service east of 26th St.

Rt. 101 outbound service restored, expect delays.

Market Frankford Line: Normal service currently operating. The Market Frankford Line will operate every half hour from 12am to approx. 5am.

Broad Street Line: Normal service currently operating. The Broad Street Line will operate every half hour from 12am to approx. 5am

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Car Break-Ins Spike near Clackamas Mall

The article says car break-ins around Clackamas Town Center have spiked in the last 6 months. What they don't say in the article, is it could be the new MAX line, wherever you bring light rail, brings crime with it.

Although the article does not mention it, its all over the comments at the end of the story.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Eastside Streetcar Line Starts to take Shape

The first track is being laid in the ground on NE Grand today.