TriMet received approval from the FTA for preliminary engineering of the Milwaukee extension of light rail.
That’s awesome in my book, it gives me X more options that I can get to comfortably by 2015. That is, if things go as planned. There are a few things I have to nitpick though.
- Why do we put up with these plans & construction taking so long? It should take about 8-12 months to do all construction and get a line running once the blue prints/engineering plans are signed off. It shouldn’t take longer than a month or two to get the plans verified and signed off. I understand what the problem is, and I find it absolutely unacceptable, it’s morbidly sickening how long it takes to do a project like this and adds vast amounts of money to the cost.
- The line will create 12,300 jobs. I don’t know why they prospect such nonsense. There won’t be a 12,300 job increase in the area, they can’t accurately estimate an increase in the area, basically it is a found-less accusation. I hate it when the Government(Government entities) makes these asinine projections. Please TriMet, and other entities working on this, try to keep it to the facts and facts only. If you’re going to market something, at least market it with some truth standards.
- They don’t mention a key fact. TriMet has in the news release, “The Portland-Milwaukie project funds are a combination of federal, state and local funds and cannot be used to offset the agency’s $13.5 million general fund shortfall for FY2010. Federal funding is expected to cover 50-60 percent of the light rail project.” Why don’t they mention the fact that operations along this line for persons carried will drop drastically when the light rail is opened. Of course they’ll put some money into it, but the Feds will pay most of it enabling TriMet to keep more money by eliminating redundant service along the corridor and working toward arterial feeder lines instead. They don’t mention that at all, even though it is a MAJOR selling point for light rail.
Oh well, now that I’ve got the partially negative grumpiness out of the way I’ll hit on the good news.
- This extension connects to one area that will absolutely use light rail extensively.
- The motivation for individuals along this route to go car less will increase.
- The travel time will be more sustainable than the current #33 (in theory).
- The light rail will most likely attract a 5-25% increase in transit usage in the corridor.
- The opening of this line, in 2015, will possibly push Light Rail MAX usage past bus ridership levels.
…and the most important reason to me. It will motivate me to actually go explore the areas south of downtown along the corridor every once in a while, just as it will others. Currently there isn’t much reason for me to jump on the bus or something to go down that way, but the light rail I’d board to go explore. Same goes for Clackamas Town Center. When the Green Line opens I’ll definitely head out to that mall every once in a while as I’m sure hundreds of others will also. The mall could prospectively see an increase of 2-6% in sales. Just the corridor alone will get a boost. The I-205 mall area will definitely get some more visits by myself and the GF. Currently we travel out that way via the #15 maybe once every 2-3 months for bulk commodity (like dish soap) just for fun. The Green Line will enable us to cut costs by traveling there more frequently to buy bulk items. However that same event will decrease some of the commodity items we end up getting at local areas in the south east, but not significantly. Most of it will be 100% new purchases.
That’s it for my rambling on the new line(s) and the prospect of the Milwaukee Line.