Wednesday, February 8, 2012

TriMets Budget Woes, Part Duex

Well, TriMet has got out its ax again, and its trimming more off from you. Although this time MAX cuts are on the table, WES however is not. A way over the top fare increase, and bus restructures are proposed as well. Ridership is up tho! Read on to see my crazy, and maybe good ideas.


Fare increases are never easy, but this time TriMet has not only raised it, they have pushed it a bit too high. The proposal is $2.50 for an adult one-way fare, and monthly passes would go for a whopping $100 a month. Currently fares are $2.10 within 2 zones of travel, and $2.40 for 3 zones of travel. Monthly passes are $81 and $92 respectively. I have two recommendations for this, while it may not raise the "Revenue" TriMet wants, it is important to keep fares where riders from all walks of life can afford them, and choice riders still see it as a value.

Proposal #1: Fare is $2.25. Meet the zones half way, plus finally gets it to a quarter increment. The Pass would be $85 (I really favor even denomination numbers). Transfers would be valid in one direction only. Day Pass is $5. MAX Tickets are only valid away from the station of origin. WES fares are $3, Pass is $105/month.

Proposal #2: Fare is $1.25 per boarding on all local routes. Express Routes (92, 94, 96) are $1.75 per boarding. MAX is $1.25 per boarding within Portland city limits, $1.75 outside of Portland. (buying your fare from a TVM would need to know where your going, and that fare would be charged). This means any trip that starts and/or ends outside of Portland is $1.75. Monthly Passes are $85 for all routes except WES, which is $105. WES Single Ride cash fare is $3 per boarding, Day Passes not accepted. Transfers are eliminated. (2 boardings equals the current proposal of $2.50 for a trip.) Day Passes are still just $5. This fare structure is very similar to what LA Metro does.

In both proposals, Youth fares would be half price, rounded to the nearest quarter. Honor Citizen fares are $0.50 per boarding, $2 Day Pass, $1.50 on WES, $25 Monthly Pass.

Tickets would be sold at a 10% discount to encourage prepaid cash fares for the occasional rider. Proposal 2 is my favorite, its simple, pay $1.25 each time you board a vehicle, buy a day pass or monthly pass. Express and Rail fares are a premium fare for farther/quicker travel (1.75). Day Pass solves all fare differences except WES.

Bus changes-

Much of this i support, as a matter of fact one idea I was wishing they would do, they proposed.

The 48 will now travel Cornell from Sunset TC to Hillsboro, skipping the "way out of the way" trip to Willow Creek. The 48 would also return to Sunday excursions! I have also always felt the 67 should term at Merlo MAX (sorry AL), that should improve some on time performance. The 47 will also share with the 48 on Cornell, but will serve part of the old 59 routing.

The 70 is becoming evil-ing-ly long. How to change that.....

The 12 is being shortened and will term at Tigard TC. Now, we need that bus from Tigard to Sherwood. But WAIT, dont stop there, run that bus down Tualatin-Sherwood Road to Tualatin Park & Ride. A long disconnected corridor, can be served.

Moving the 77 off of the Streetcar path is a long overdue change, and the 17 probably wont be missed with the 77 going on its old routing.

While there are a handful of bus cuts, it appears most are late at night, or early morning, and many of those types of changes have been made here in Seattle. Also, TriMet needs to consider splitting route numbers. The 12 should not be 12 to park rose and Sherwood, should be 12 to Sherwood, 13 to Parkrose, or something like that. Routes that pass thru downtown should change numbers as they leave.


MAX Cuts, No Way!! I think it is almost about right. But its just cuts, what about a little restructure?

Red Line: Runs on 5th/6th Av Mall, runs 15min Mon-Fri 6a-7p, 20 min Sa-Su 6a-7p, 30 min all other times.

Green Line: Runs to Beaverton Mo-Fr 6a-8:30a, 3p-6p. Turns into Yellow Line at Rose Quarter all other times. Headways are 15 min Mo-Fr 6a-8:30a, 3p-6p, 20 min all other times except 30min after 7p.

Yellow Line: Runs to Galleria Mo-Fr 6a-8:30a, 3p-6p. Turns into Green Line at Rose Quarter all other times. Headways are 15 min Mo-Fr 6a-8:30a, 3p-6p, 20 min all other times except 30min after 7p.

Blue Line: Routing as-is. Schedule as is, retain 15min service except 20min service on Sundays, 30min service after 10pm Mo-Sa, 9p Su.

Headways are "roughly", but it will stop a lot of downtown duplication. There will be less demand for trains downtown due to no free rides.

Ads on websites and trackers-


Sell more ads inside those buses!! The trackways along the tops of the buses are filled with TriMet cards, sell those spots! Sell more Light Rail Stop advertising, currently theres none. Sell advertising at WES stops. TriMet seems to think every rides the light rail, advertise there! Theres ad tracks on the inside of MAX cars too, fill those spots!

Eliminate the Free Rail Zone-

I'm Good With it. Ours is going away here.

Cut Programs/Staff-

Ummm, so I get theres been a salary "freeze" & positions cut, however, Bonuses need to be cut. Your cutting service, your not doing a good job, no bonus. Also at least a 5-10% salary cut to non-exempt employees. You need to re-evaluate the amount of supervisors you have. If I see 2 or more shooting the bull at a transit center, I see resources that can be better used as operators. Also, theres doesn't seem to be a hiring freeze of non-exempt employees, that needs to be employed NOW!


Stop spending money on past date technology, like transfer printers, those are going away under proposal #2 above. Spend that money getting Smart Card technology on board NOW, which will save on operating expenses as soon as its up and running, so why wait?

And stop blaming the union for everything. The unionized force delivers the service that you have nothing but excuses for, so knock it off!

So TriMets orignal proposal is here, along with ways to comment, including open houses. Be sure to weigh in if you like any of my ideas, or have ones of your own, either way, speak up!

Theres a poll over there ----->
Vote on your desired Fare Structure.

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