To go into service with the Fall 2010 Shakeup:
Saturday, September 25, 2010
TriMet has decided to send a Bond measure to voters to help buy new buses. Despite being mentioned in a few places by a fairly vocal bus rider, TriMet could apply for funds for new buses just like they do Light Rail. But, shortly after TriMet announces they are short on the Light Rail project no one wants, this bond measure magically appears.
TriMet had targeted this measure to "Help improve service for those with disabilities and the elderly". This is like the qualifications to get on Home Makeover, you win over the producers of the show by giving your story, and they pick the one mostly likely to "Touch Home". Thats exactly what TriMet is doing here. You would think that is this group of people is what TriMet is interested in serving, then they would stop cutting bus service! You would see more Rail cuts, but TriMets rail agenda won't allow that.
TriMet keeps telling us the economic downturn has delayed bus purchases, meanwhile the same place the MAX money comes from seems to remain untapped for bus purchases. TriMet says "We can not use those funds for operations". We get that! But why are you building a new Light Rail line, which when open will come out of the already cash strapped operations fund? This is what the public means by "STOP BUILDING LIGHT RAIL". Sure you got the money to build it, but you do not have the money to operate it, unless you continue on the unpopular path of slashing more bus service.
TriMet has only mismanaged money from the start, otherwise they have more newer buses already. They would make it a priority. Rail is priority, because they spent so much money buying it, now they have to run it. So why not spend so much money buying buses, Hybrids, Artics, state of the art, and run them with the same logic as light rail!!
"Why do this now" they ask...the elderly population is growing, we are all growing, Fred Hansen grew old, its what happens, why are we taking a bond measure to projected elderly population, when there is already an elderly population crying out at the cuts TriMet is making to where they already live. More of them depend on buses then rail, and if that was a true TriMet priority, they would have answered to that long ago.
Personally, I think this is an embarrassment to the agency, this only brings to the forefront how poorly management and the board of directors have run the place, approved cuts and spending with asking questions, finding more information to make an INFORMED decision. Why didn't any Board members come up with this idea before the Milwaukie light rail plan was adopted? Because the public, those they serve, were not first priority.
Its time to step up, and "Say No!" to this act of desperation because they have made a big mistake. This needs to be brought to the attention of the FTA, and congress, and get the light rail money moved to buying buses and making improvements, which ARE capital projects. TriMet, you are not fooling anyone with your "It can not be used for operations" bit in regards to the light rail money, it CAN be used to buy the new buses your asking for money for, in which you plenty to do so, if not more. Do not build light rail if you can not afford to run what you have now, period, simple business economics.
There is a poll to the right to vote on your take.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Most agencies are on a Sunday Schedule this Monday, other details below. Also many changes are in store around this time each year.
King County Metro service change is October 2. Major changes are small, route 174 is out, RapidRide is in. Also note, Sounder does not run Monday, all Customer Service offices are closed for the holiday on Monday. Community Transit will have NO service.
TriMet Raised fares 5 cents, and passes $2 on 9/1. Also they increased the shipping charges for the online store due to "Increased Costs". Stamps only went up about 3 cents didn't they? Also look for more cuts effective 9/5, as usual bus riders suffer the most, but MAX was included this time, and the WES was spared once again.
BART is making minor changes to schedules on 9/13, mostly to benefit transfers, which is a good thing!
SF MUNI RESTORES service effective 9/4!! 61% of the service reductions are being restored. Much of the service is in headways, notably the OWL and evening routes. Also many later trips that were cut are returning.
Sacramento RT implemented some minor changes to 4 weekday routes.
OCTA will have minor schedule and route adjustments. The bus book will now cost $1.
NCTDs Coaster will run on Monday for a Padres Game only!
And Americas #1 Transit agency, San Diego's MTS, is also Restoring a lot of service due to extra funds from the state. No cuts or fare increases here.
Have a great weekend!