Friday, May 21, 2010


Who am I going to listen to...

Bus drivers, who drive TriMet buses day in and day out, and who are repeatedly ignored by management when they bring up legitimate safety concerns...

or a reporter who has had five minutes experience behind the wheel of a TriMet bus, who has repeatedly demonstrated an anti-bus bias, whose reporting clearly shows an ignorance towards bus riders issues with the transit system; who frequently lauds TriMet and its management on pro-rail issues, and who ignored the fact that the issue of the mirrors and the blind spot WERE in the D.A.'s report and mentioned as a contributing (albeit minor) mitigating factor, and which could very well have led to the decision by the Grand Jury not to indict Ms. Day (even if she said the mirror did not pose a problem, it was still in the report as creating a blind spot).

Talk about an opinion piece. This shouldn't be in Metro, it should be in...well...the Editorial section.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


A couple days ago while walking to work I saw one of these C-Tran hybrid buses driving past me and noticed the windshield design, with the corner post window as well as the single-piece windshield that doesn't have the center post.

Here's a picture of the driver's side:

(40' variants)

(35' variants)

(29' variant)

Notice that the mirror is attached to the body from above, not below the driver, so a shorter driver can simply look below the mirror. The corner post appears to be smaller than a D40LF, and that corner window is also there.

C-Tran also has a smaller bus called the Opus (manufactured by Optima Bus, now a component of NABI bus).

Same mirror design, but I can't tell from that corner post if there's a window there or not. Like the Gillig Hybrid, it also has a one-piece windshield without a center post.

Compared with a TriMet D40LFR:

Mirror attaches below the driver, large corner post, center post (although on the 2900s the post is much smaller than the older versions)

And for kicks:

Mirror attaches much higher than on the New Flyers so Operators can look below the mirror; windshield slightly wraps around to the side of the vehicle, smaller corner post.

Mirror just below driver's eyes; driver sits higher on these vehicles and is looking down at the mirror, larger corner post than other vehicles (but not a Gillig Phantom - they have pretty large corner posts); large center post.

Just something to chew on and discuss with Dan. And make "eastcomom" have a tissy fit because she can't for the life of her understand that there are mitigating factors, as Dan has clearly demonstrated, and as the above pictures show, there are better designs than what TriMet uses on half of their buses.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Whereas, after serving at the helm of TriMet for 11 ½ years, General Manager Fred Hansen has left an enduring legacy for the agency, the City of Portland and the region; and

Whereas, Fred Hansen created a culture of a caste system of "haves" (light rail/Streetcar/WES riders) and "have nots" (bus riders), whereas Hansen has devoted himself to catering to developers at the expense of dedicated, long time riders...

Whereas, during his tenure, transit ridership has surpassed more than 101 million rides a year as the transit system has grown and is now 7th per capita in the nation; and

Whereas, transit ridership today is a lower percentage of trips taken as a whole in the Metro region (meaning transit ridership has not kept up with population growth)

Whereas, TriMet opened the region’s first commuter rail line and three light rail lines, and is well along the way in the planning and design of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project; and

"the region's first commuter rail line" - a planned joke that the Federal Government didn't find cost effective, that has sucked over $160 million dollars, has directly contributed to the loss of many bus service hours, resulted in the bailout of a company with little track record, whose ridership is abysmal and has no signs of improving

Whereas, TriMet grew from four to 16 Frequent Service Bus Lines; and

And none of those "Frequent Service" bus lines exist as "frequent service" (meaning buses show up every 15 minutes or less, all day, every day) - many of these bus lines don't even have 15 minute service during rush hour,

Whereas, TriMet developed the award-winning Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, significantly expanding inclusive contracting and workforce diversity; and

Whereas, sustainable transit operations and construction practices became a guiding principle of the agency; and

Yet TriMet is the largest transit agency to eschew environmentally friendly, high capacity buses

Whereas, TriMet dramatically improved the customer experience with new signage, better buses TransitTracker and an award-winning website; and

The new signage has not improved the customer experience, and in fact TriMet stopped installing schedules at bus stops and even went so far as to REMOVE schedules from bus stops; I'd sure like to know what these "better buses" are because they don't exist at TriMet; Transit Tracker does not exist at all but a few bus stops.

Whereas, during his tenure, the agency has built strong and effective partnerships with the City of Portland, other city and regional governments, and the community; and

...for those communities who bought into TriMet's light rail demands; and for those cities who eschewed light rail, TriMet effectively shut out from all service upgrades and planning,

Whereas, the region has gained national distinction for creating livable communities;

Which has nothing to do with TriMet,

Now, therefore, I, Sam Adams, Mayor of the City of Portland, Oregon, the “City of Roses,” do hereby proclaim Wednesday, May 12, 2010 to be Fred Hansen Day in Portland, and invite all residents to join in honoring the work of Fred Hansen.

Yes, Sam. Ride the bus with me. Yes, a TriMet bus. And let's honor the work of Fred Hansen, together, on one of TriMet's oldest 1400 series buses in the 80+ degree heat tomorrow, with 50 other bus riders (hint: there aren't 50 seats on the bus), and let's hope the bus doesn't break down. When we get to our stop, let's hope that there is a sidewalk we can get off the bus at, and a crosswalk to allow us to safely cross the street. Let's hope that we have a Transit Tracker sign or a schedule to tell us when the bus might show up, and that the bus actually shows up on time, and doesn't pass us up for being at crush load.

This proclamation clearly shows Sam Adams is so out of touch with the bus riders (two-thirds of TriMet's ridership) that once again he is only catering to his special interest group rather than Average Citizen.