I knew there would probably be more, it isn’t like people are actually becoming re-employed. Most of the people who pay the taxes (i.e. upper incomes) that actually pay the bulk of TriMet’s costs haven’t increased employment in the area either. So no matter what way one looks at things, more cuts are coming.
So I wasn’t terribly surprised when I saw this list of frequency cuts. But at the same time I wanted to know when this list came up. Rightfully they haven’t cut any rush hour services on these routes, but even these off hours seem like they’re really starting to stretch for areas to cuts. I know also that MAX isn’t in this round of cuts, and rightfully so as it is cheap to operate compared to buses. Going car-less and moving back downtown is definitely going to help cope with these cuts, as I will barely need transit for anything really, but it is getting kind of awkward.
It seems TriMet needs to get a grip on things and maybe start cutting something besides actual transit service.
$1.8 Billion for ALMOST 10k jobs (re: Oregonian)
That pans out to $180,000 dollars per job – WTF?! I doubt many of those are economically sustainable, useful, or even needed. The bailouts are extending our uselessness as a nation and perpetuating our inability to generate actual wealth (i.e. create something vs. just shift money around). These types of numbers, also not surprising, are still unsettling no matter how prepared I am for them.
As Oregon has blown through $1.8 Billion, and gotten dozens of millions for random work around the transit system, the state can’t seem to manage to get a measly $23-26 million to TriMet to stave off these service reductions. Yo, politicians WTF are you doing? You guys break laws and distort all sorts of legal lines to push money into less legitimate things than transit all the time. Get on the ball and get the buses moving again – at least on the frequent service lines.
Anyway, that’s all I got for today. Go have fun on Halloween… because I’m just loitering about and observing the mayhem! : )
On an upside I as a drive may get weekends off. Silver lining on the cloud of cut backs
See today’s post on this topic here:
Excellent write up Jarrett.
It’s clear TriMet has no idea what they are doing.
On the 12B line – the times this bus is packed is during the off-peak hours. Why? Because during rush hour, much of the "choice rider"ship jumps off and takes the 94. So the 12 is actually quite spacious during the rush. I’ve been on a few PM Rush 12s in which you could count the riders on one hand. But the 94s (which at that time of day run every five minutes) were packed to the gills and denying ridership.
So, in TriMet’s infinite wisdom they are going to cut bus service on a route that has proven, high ridership – while MAX trains often run empty west of Beaverton and north/east/south of Gateway – and MAX is not getting cut back. Likewise TriMet added new Mall Shuttles which the second they start their run they lose money (since they run entirely within fareless square, they cannot claim any revenue).
Why isn’t TriMet forcing 20 minute service on the outer extremities of the MAX system; which would provide three trains per hour beyond Gateway, but nine trains per hour – or one train every six or seven minutes – in the core Gateway-Steel Bridge segment (which is the same exact level of service in the corridor prior to the opening of the green line)?
And why isn’t TriMet telling the City of Portland that it can no longer support the Streetcar service, which is **not** a TriMet operation? Certainly TriMet could use that $5M/annual to fund its own service, rather than taking the money from other areas and giving it strictly to the City of Portland as a handout.
?? I’m confused by what you are saying Erik.
The MAX is cut to 30 minute headways for most of the day past rush hour. In addition the Green Line was cut from its original frequency also.
As for the mall shuttle, that was already funded – it is paid for… but yes you are correct they shouldn’t be putting out the money or running the route for that matter. The "pay ahead" idea they run under is stupid. One of the reason they got screwed on the fuel also. Hopefully they aren’t still paying $4 bucks a gallon!
The City of Portland pays for the streetcar, in addition it doesn’t cost $5 million annually. I’ve never seen a $5 million per year operations number, nor have I heard TriMet doing anything more than providing the Union Employees to operate the service as the Union demanded in the first place.
As far as MAX @ 9 trains per hour during rush hour, that’s like th2 #72, at that frequency and the number of riders during rush hour, it more than covers the operational costs. Technically it is most likely running at profit then. To add, many of those trains immediately go into the "barn" as soon as they run their "extra runs". So yes, they could cut the MAX level some, but wouldn’t make any sense to do it during Rush Hour. They’ve already significantly cut the out of rush hour service pretty extensively.
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