Thursday, December 24, 2009


Posted by SP Red Electric
December 20, 2009, 4:50PM

Tri-Met - $ 1,900
Metro Regional Government - $ 1321
Multnomah County - $ 1,282
City of Eugene - $ 1,256
City of Portland - $ 1,246
Portland Public Schools - $ 1,217
Oregon State University - $1,188
Portland State University - $ 1,129
City of Gresham - $1,120
University of Oregon - $ 1,084
State of Oregon - $ 1,006
Beaverton School District - $ 921
Multnomah County ESD - $ 768
Lane ESD - $ 750

If memory serves me, most insurance companies set rates based upon risk.

Someone who works at an ESD, for example (notice they're at the bottom of the list) is pretty darn low-risk. They work in offices, rarely outside, rarely driving, and very few ESD employees come in contact with the public (i.e. students). ESD employees basically shuffle paper. They may be essential but they are in the eyes of insurance companies - low risk.

As you move up the ladder you get University employees who are a little higher risk - generally office work but sometimes outside; rarely use automobiles. Only a few university employees are involved in anything that could cause claims - maintenance folks, maybe some researchers - and most of the researchers (students) aren't under the plan, so those in the university system most subjected to health claims are on mommy and daddy's insurance anyways - not the school's.

Further up the chain we have the cities and counties. They employ firemen and policemen, plus the road maintenance folks. So the risk goes higher and higher.

And then we have TriMet.

Hmm. I wonder why they are up there:

Bus drivers dealing with very rude passengers who assault them.

Bus drivers constantly driving - subjected to possible motor vehicle collisions, non-ergonomic buses, heat stroke from non-A/C buses, etc.

Rail maintenance crews - working in all weather, working on energized overhead catenary and energized signalling systems, fixing rail and ballast.

Fare inspectors - no different than police.

If you compare TriMet to the City of Portland - you have a lot fewer paper-pushers, and a lot more blue collar workers doing manual labor. Whereas the City has a lot of paper pushers. The universities more and the ESDs are 100% paper pushers.

Compare TriMet not to other governmental bodies, but other similar activities. I bet the U.S. military spends more (and rightfully so). If the City of Portland were forced to buy different policies for its different employment groups I would bet that PPB and PFB would be much higher than TriMet. OSP and DOC would certainly be higher than, say, Consumer & Business Services or the Department of Agriculture or DMV.

How does TriMet compare to OTHER TRANSIT AGENCIES - King County Metro and Pierce Transit up north; SF Muni, LACMTA to the south; UTA and RTD-Denver to the east? CTA? NYCMTA? Nobody has bothered to do a like comparison between TriMet and other agencies. Where is C-Tran, or Cherriots, or LTD for comparison?

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