"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty."
The design and branding is one of the standout features of the systems, with bus stops free from clutter and without advertising detracting from the BRT brand, while artworks give them a community identity. Comprehensive and reliable real time information provides up-to-the-minute journey advice, while the product quality was improved dramatically by speeding up journey times through schedules that reduced stops, and routes with high levels of bus priority. Wow...this can be done...WITH BUSES? Why, yes it can! Except at TriMet. For some reason this concept used by dozens of other transit agencies seems to be impossible at all-knowing TriMet.As a result, window blinds and high quality air-conditioning were installed to provide protection against the desert climate, and large overhead lockers provided. Facilities like on-board coffee machines and TV were rejected after they were not deemed important by non-users.You mean...LISTENING TO RIDERS AND WOULD-BE RIDERS, and not developers and politicians? Again, WOW! Another foreign concept at TriMet - but commonplace everywhere else.Research has shown that within a short space of time one third of the patronage on both systems was made up of people who did not previously use buses. In Los Angeles, ridership reached the level forecast for the 25th year within two years of opening, and over 75% of passengers said the bus was quicker than if they had gone by car. In the case of Phoenix, Lin says a premium fare has not detracted from the appeal of the service because it has added to its premium image.But...but...according to Metro, TriMet, all the pro-rail folks...people just WILL NOT choose to ride a bus, only trains and rail. Absolute. Again - elsewhere (even as close to home as Eugene and Seattle), incremental investments in the bus system have quick paybacks. That $165 million in WES? We're nearly three years into operation and STILL not even anywhere near the "projected" first year ridership levels...which were of course revised down several times...and the actual ridership is STILL below that.
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