Thursday, September 8, 2011
From an economic perspective, it’s the total cost that has to be considered. On that front, BUSolutions is projected to lower the cost of ownership by $170,000 per bus as compared to a conventional diesel bus. With the average local transit authority operating approximately 300 buses, the savings could reduce a city’s cost of transit bus operation by approximately $50 million.
Now that is cool! HERE'S a video of a ride somebody took on one of these kind of buses. I like it.
A bit belated – but I wanted to offer my own Labor Day salute to the employees of TriMet. You offer a great service to our customers and our region, and you do it in circumstances that are always changing and often challenging. We ask a lot of you, and you deliver. I am proud to work at TriMet with such a dedicated and talented work force. We have grown an amazing public transit system together – now carrying 100 million rides a year. We’ve grown from 15 million riders annually when TriMet was formed. We’ve grown with strong partnerships and community support. And we’ve grown to be a strong ‘can do’ organization. The good service we offer every day may be taken for granted by some – but I know it is key to our continuing success over time. I thank each of you for your contribution to our success! We all know the contract between ATU 757 and TriMet remains unsettled – currently headed for arbitration. There are inevitable stresses and strains between the Union and TriMet management. We are all living through difficult times – pundits are calling it the ‘new normal.’ I hope that’s not the case, and that economic growth returns to our region in the future, and that threats to our funding diminish over time. Until then, we have some real financial challenges to overcome. I know the local union leadership is working hard to represent its members during these difficult times, and I highly regard that responsibility. Similarly, there are responsibilities we in management have to our taxpayers, to our riders and all of the communities we serve -- and certainly to all of our employees. We’ll come to a balance point in time. For now, I just want to offer my salute to the great job our TriMet employees do and the challenges you overcome daily. From getting a safe and reliable fleet out on the street to the operators that safely transport thousands of people each day to the friendly service from our customer service staff – as well as all those in payroll, facilities and all the other behind the scenes functions – each day you’re there to make TriMet work! Thanks for the work you do every day. Best Neil
Commuter unhappiness is one reason IBM attributes to consumers turning to public transportation. Forty one percent of people surveyed in 20 cities around the world believed that public transportation would reduce traffic congestion. Of the 35 percent of people who changed their commuting mode last year, 45 percent are going for public transportation.
First of all, Carollo is getting darn good price. It's no. 2 in usage, but it's no. 17 in what it paid the city for water. For its 291 million gallons, it paid the city just $0.000643 a gallon. Compare that with what the school district was charged for its 165 million gallons: $.003688 a gallon. The schools got charged more than five times as much per gallon as Carollo. The parks bureau paid about the same as the schools -- $0.003428. Siltronic, the city's top non-wholesale customer, paid $.003227 a gallon -- again, five times what Carollo paid.
About 400 union longshoremen blocked a train for about four hours outside the new EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview, but the train passed through Wednesday evening after the protesters were confronted by about 50 officers in riot gear.
The folks running the Portland Streetcar say they want to pull out of Tri-Met's "free rail" zone. Once upon a time, all public transit through the downtown core was free, but Tri-Met jerked the buses out of that program, leaving it strictly to the MAX trains and streetcars, just after the pointless renovation of the downtown transit mall was complete.
Now the streetcar folks are finding that they're running out of money, just like Tri-Met, and they're proposing to end their participation in farelessness. That would leave only the MAX trains free through downtown. One less reason to go down there.
The streetcar staff is also talking about increasing fares (and maybe even figure out how to get people to pay them) and jacking way up the price of an annual streetcar pass. But hey, we're going to bring this wonderful exercise in fiscal stewardship to Lake Oswego and beyond, doggone it! Go by streetcar! [Via Portland Afoot, which dissects the whole package here.]