Saturday, July 10, 2010



July 09, 2010 at 6:49PM

Mr. McFarlane,

I am a daily BUS rider. Sure, on the TriMet surveys, I'm counted as a MAX rider because once a month I might ride a MAX line to downtown or to the zoo from some westside park and ride, but DAILY I am on a bus. Twice, if not more a day.

This is what I read.

record numbers of riders on MAX and WES

No mention that bus riders are turning away from TriMet and going back to their cars because the bus fleet is old and bus stops are poor.

safety, expanding service, continuing to work with regional partners to strengthen the system

Hansen said this too, and he did nothing about the bus system. Your record of a MAX project manager does not bode well for the bus system. What are you plans to improve safety on the bus system, expand service on the bus system, and work with regional partners to strengthen the bus system?

With lower revenues, most have cut service and raised fares

MAX service was not cut, and MAX (and Streetcar) riders continue to receive free service downtown. Why do bus riders, who receive a lesser quality of service, pay more for longer waits?

My goal is to first restore our frequent-service bus lines

Does that mean that restoring frequent service bus lines, being first will occur even if it means postponing Milwaukie MAX or other MAX projects? You said it is your first priority, so let's see it happen.

investment in rail has brought $1.3 billion in federal discretionary funding

While TriMet has intentionally, and purposely, refused bus investment funding. TriMet has one of the oldest, least reliable bus fleets in the nation. Have you been on my 94X bus these last few days in the 95+ degree heat? Were you on vehicle 1430 a month ago when it died in the center left-turn lane on S.W. Barbur, requring an evacuation from the bus while the bus driver simply said "I can't keep you on the bus, but if you get hit by a car it's your own fault!" and the responding supervisor - who drove a full-size, Ford F-150 truck with flashing lights and wearing a safety vest who could have blocked off a lane and helped up across, parked his truck in front of the bus and stood outside the driver's window smoking a cigarette instead of taking care of the 30 passengers on the disabled bus (while another 94X drove right past us without stopping to take on the continuing passengers)?

it created more transportation alternatives

While eliminating bus service and leaving some to resort to single-occupant vehicle trips

reduced fuel consumption

Because bus trips are being cut and replaced by a light rail train whose "tailpipe" is in Boardman,

created thousands of family-wage jobs

How many of those thousands of jobs exist right now, today?

I invite Dave Lister and others to join me on my frequent bus and MAX rides to experience our great system and to share ideas on how to improve it.

And I invite you, as I have invited Fred Hansen (who repeatedly turned down my requests) to ride with me on the 94X bus, where we can talk about the "great" system of 20 year old, non-air conditioned buses and to share ideas on what you can do to ensure that when I pay $2.30, I get the same "bang for the buck" that a MAX/WES/Streetcar rider gets. We all pay the same fare, we all deserve the same quality of service. Can you tell me that a bus rider gets the same quality of service as a MAX or WES rider?

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