Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Posted by SP Red Electric
February 09, 2010, 7:48PM

1. Eliminate WES.

2. Eliminate all "Service Planning" employees, staff, and office space.

3. Eliminate all TriMet business vehicles (the Tauruses, the Cherokees, the Escapes, the Rangers) and require TriMet business personnel to use scheduled bus/MAX service on company business.

4. Reduce MAX to 20 minute service west of Beaverton and north/east/south of Gateway, as well as the Yellow Line north of Rose Quarter. 30 minutes during off-peak hours.

5. Eliminate the MAX Transit Mall Shuttle Train.

6. Eliminate Fareless Square for MAX.

7. Eliminate the $3 million per year subsidy to the City of Portland Streetcar; demand Portland pay TriMet to operate the Streetcar, or tell them to find their own Operator.

8. Stop all work for future light rail expansions to Vancouver and Milwaukie. Lay off all employees involved in such. Tell Metro that if Metro demands more light rail, that TriMet will not be involved in planning or operating it.

9. 20% salary cuts for all salaried employees. Fred Hansen gets a 35% cut (or fire him, that'd be fine by me.)

10. Eliminate the 84 Kelso/Boring route, TriMet's worst performing bus line. Reduce TriMet district boundaries accordingly.

11. Require those who park in TriMet owned Park-and-Ride lots to pay for parking. (Sorry, but as a door-to-door bus rider I see no reason to subsidize those who drive to a park-and-ride, usually to inflate MAX ridership.) $5-8/day for parking is not unreasonable.

12. Reduce MAX operations to start at 5:00 AM on weekdays, 6:30 AM on weekends, and end MAX operations at midnight on weekdays, 11:00 PM on weekends (midnight on the Blue Line only, between Gateway and Beaverton.)

13. Next service investment will be a fleet of 100 articulated, diesel-hybrid buses (read: greater capacity, reduced maintenance and fuel expense, no increase in labor cost), a fleet of 200 40' diesel-hybrid buses (to replace TriMet's antiquated 1400, 1700 and 1800 series buses, providing greater reliability, reduced maintenance and reduced fuel expense with no additional labor cost), and a fleet of smaller buses to replace the 1600s and 1900s for lower maintenance cost; these bus purchases will be paid for 80% by the federal government requiring only modest local investment. The 60' buses cost $650,000 each or a local cost of $13 million; the 40' buses cost $450,000 each or a local cost of $18 million - that's $31 million in local investment for 300 new buses providing region-wide reliable bus service, compared with the $100 million invested in WES for just 1,200 daily riders (600 unique riders) for just a few hours a day, weekday rush hours only.

14. Require additional fares for express service. (Most transit services require a premium fare for express trips.) Consider a purchase of 20 MCI D4505 buses (similar to a Greyhound bus) for express routes so that express bus riders will feel like they're getting "better" service (they don't cost that much more than a regular transit bus, about $400,000 each - see above. They are very popular on Tacoma to Seattle express buses. Also with express buses, better utilization of the buses - currently each express bus only "makes money" less than 50% of the time they are on the road, because they spend too much time deadheading from garage to assignment, from Portland back to the 'burbs (or vice-versa), back to the garage...)

15. Reduce or eliminate overlapping bus service in Streetcar areas.

16. Consider outsourcing the less patronized neighborhood routes to the LIFT provider, using LIFT buses (that get two to three times the fuel economy as TriMet's larger buses, yet still seat about 20 riders.)

17. LIFT costs need to be brought down, period. Why does TriMet need to use those large mini-buses for just one or two people; why not use more sedans and mini-vans? Consider farming more of the work to the various non-profit organizations that provide the same or similar service.

18. Eliminate ALL out-of-city travel by TriMet employees. If they need to attend a major conference, they have internet access and a webcam. (Hey, why not cut TriMet's office internet access?)