Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Matt Taibbi: "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?" (Complete Interview)

Gov. Walker Informed That Bill Targeting Unions May Cost State $46 Million In Federal Funds


Music takes calming influence to the MAX

Bad morning knocks MAX service off track

Boring, TriMet find compromise difficult

Comments at US News and World Report seem to disagree with Portland as #1

How TriMet Bus Riders Want to Fight Back

Another person attending the OPAL rally was 16-year-old Cameron Johnson. The teen-ager started volunteering with OPAL last summer after he spoke at several TriMet meetings last year. Johnson says his father recently lost his job and that the family couldn't afford to keep their car. Now everyone in his family takes the bus to the grocery store, to movies and to school. With the shorter transfer times, he says, they can't get to all of the stops they need without buying two tickets. And if that wasn't bad enough, when they miss their connection they must walk home with their groceries. Johnson says he's already collected over 700 signatures from bus riders and is excited to keep spreading the word. 

Ah the light rail has been performing so well lately!

Investigation of bus driver?

San Francisco bus crashes into light pole

Interesting stuff

Teenager Joseph St Hilaire banned from Huddersfield Bus Station - Local West Yorkshire News - News - Huddersfield Examiner


Please show your support for civilian oversight and accountability

Getting the biggest bang for our transportation buck
5 C. Ore. transportation projects get $1.3M |




Authorities identify man killed by light-rail train |
Union decries planned transit cuts

No ordure-nary shift: TriMet driver at Sunset Transit Center says, 'I take crap all day, I'm not going to sit on it'


And even more LIGHT RAIL problems!

The beauty of light rail!

One person was taken to a hospital after an accident involving a MAX train in Hillsboro this morning.
TriMet officials say one person came into contact with the train. The person survived and was alert and talking when taken to a hospital, officials say.The incident happened near the Tuality Hospital and Southeast 8th Avenue Station.MAX blue line service was halted in the area to allow for an investigation. Shuttle buses carried riders between the Southeast 12th Avenue and the Hatfield Government Center stations.By 7 a.m., MAX blue line service resumed, but riders were told to expect delays as trains returned to regular schedules.

Woman injured by train 

Those Bad Unions

Those bad unions!

Published: Sunday, February 20, 2011, 8:33 PM Updated: Monday, February 21, 2011, 7:49 AM-in the Oregonian


I've read books (What's the Matter with Kansas?), articles, stories...trying to understand why people will vote for, and support, issues that work against their own self interest. Case in point. Public Employee Unions. Among them are Police, Firemen, and Teachers. You know, the people who protect us, fight our fires, save our lives, and we hold responsible for preparing our children to win the global intellectual wars to come.

Over the years, through collective bargaining, some have gained benefits richer than many in the private sector. That must be acknowledged by every thinking person. Equally fair, is to acknowledge that on average salaries for Public Employees are lower than their private sector counterparts. It is not uncommon for unions to negotiate wage concessions for benefit enhancements or ,when times are bad, just to maintain the benefits they had previously negotiated for.

The key word here being "negotiated." No one blackmailed anybody, held a gun to anyone's head. The wages and benefits and working conditions were NEGOTIATED. Both sides at the table. It is through negotiation that American workers today have sick leave, overtime laws, health insurance (the lucky ones), child labor laws, disability benefits, etc. In fact, you can thank the labor movement for just about anything having to do with improving the lot of the American worker. Not to mention growing the Middle Class.

But Republicans and the right-wing media would have us believe that we no longer need unions. That we have all the rules and regulations we will ever need. That businesses and corporations will always do the right thing. They will always pay fair salaries. They will always protect our jobs if we become sick, or need to care for a sick child or parent. They will always allow access to health insurance for us and our families, and they will always, always, put our safety above corporate profit.

Even more amazing than expecting us believe that bunch of malarkey, is the fact that...we are. Thanks to the right-wing media machine, a great number of us believe that Public Employee Union Members are greedy leeches sucking their tax dollars with free health care for them and their extended families including cousins and aunts and uncles, before enjoying cushy retirements in the Bahamas. Oh yeah, and Public Employees make 10 times more than their counterparts in the private sector. You know, all those rich policemen, firemen, and teachers. Lots of new BMWs and Mercedes in those employee parking lots, I'm sure.

But the head shaker is that people across this country, working people, believe unions are bad. That Public Employee Unions are particularly evil and a major cause of state budget deficits. Not the bankers who caused all the home foreclosures driving down property values and in turn state property tax revenue, or Wall St. that brought about a financial crisis that cost people their jobs and their retirement nest eggs. No, the problem is with Policemen, Firemen, Elementary School Teachers. People who protect the beauty of our national parks, and make sure our letters are delivered thousands of miles across the country, on time and to the right location, for 44 cents. Who says government doesn't do anything right.

Most of those who demonize unions have never experienced a union first hand. And for that they can thank Republicans. They have successfully demonized unions, made it harder for workers to unionize, so that now only about 8% of the private sector workforce is allowed to collectively bargain for wages, benefits, and working conditions. The other 92% has to shut up and take what they are handed.

Meanwhile, corporate bosses are making 300-400 times what their workers make. They are paying less taxes, sending jobs overseas, and doing quite well thank you. They can affording sending their children to the best private schools,giving them the best chance of success in a global market, while our public schools teach with outdated books in overcrowded classrooms. And school days have to be reduced just to make the budget.

What happened to the Eisenhower Republicans? Republicans that supported organized labor. That appreciated that unions helped grow the Middle Class. Helped to make workplaces safer, children not be abused, and workers not taken advantage of...not thrown under the bus of corporate greed.

And when might Republicans understanding that business needs customers. And customers need livable wages and good health. That in a world without unions, the American worker will be left depending upon their corporate bosses' benevolence.

Good luck with that.

© 2011 All rights reserved.

Union Busters


An open bus as Sunset Transit Center last night was raided by some teenagers who smeared dog feces all over the driver's seat!
Dispatch asked the driver to bring it back to the garage!
Obviously the driver objected!
A union rep had to be called in to negotiate the terms of bus retrieval!
Things are getting bad out here folks!
There are no buses, no replacement drivers, and conditions keep getting worse!


Rachel Maddow makes the connection between Governor Scott Walker and Wackenhut Security (TriMet's contracted security firm)

Monday, February 21, 2011

His royal highness speaks

YouTube - Neil McFarlane, General Manager of Portland TriMet, talks about the Oregon Convention Center

Flasher Alert!

Forget Transit Tracker...

  • The Bus Shelter kiosk unit can be fixed to the ends of most types of bus shelters.
  • An overhead roof extension shelters the public.
  • The usage on these types of units at Bus Stop locations is consistently higher than any other outdoor location.

I Love The Bus

I Love The Bus, another TriMet blog from a bus rider.

What is a "Good" bus stop?

A BRT success story in Seattle

King County’s RapidRide A Line tops expectations for ridership, customer satisfaction

New findings show A Line ridership up an estimated 25 percent

King County Metro Transit’s RapidRide A Line has become so popular in its first few months of operation that ridership along the 11-mile route serving Pacific Highway South/International Boulevard in South King County has surpassed expectations. Not only has ridership increased by about 25 percent, overall satisfaction with service on the corridor is at an all-time high with 84 percent of riders giving the A Line a thumbs-up.

“These new findings confirm that people will leave their cars and take the bus if they are assured of reliable, frequent, and improved bus services and stations,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Within a matter of months, the A Line has proven how effective bus rapid transit can be as Metro restructures service to increase efficiency and achieve greater customer satisfaction."

The new ridership data shows that during the first three months of operation, the RapidRide A Line delivered about 1,500 additional daily bus trips compared to the Route 174 it replaced. The 25 percent increase in passenger boardings means King County Metro is halfway toward achieving its five-year ridership goal of a 50 percent increase on the A Line.

And a recently conducted on-board survey of more than 500 A Line passengers reveals a variety of reasons why RapidRide has become a popular travel alternative. In addition to achieving an overall 84 percent satisfaction rating compared to a 52 percent satisfaction rating on the route it replaced, the A Line scored high with passengers in several other areas, such as:

* 81 percent overall satisfaction with how long their bus trip takes,
* 83 percent satisfaction with how often buses run during peak hours,
* 88- 90 percent satisfaction with Metro’s new hybrid-electric RapidRide coaches and on-board features, and
* 81 percent satisfied with the A Line getting them to their destination on time.

Suggestions noted in the survey for improving the A Line ranged from further reducing stops along the route to adding even more service, especially at night and on weekends.

“This success proves the A Line was a great choice to be Metro’s first bus rapid transit route”, said King County Councilmember Julia Patterson. “The steady increase in ridership shows RapidRide will continue to play an instrumental role in supporting the creation of good paying jobs while offering a good travel option for residents and students in South King County who are highly dependent on transit.”

“This feedback tells us that Metro customers already view the A Line as a quality product that is making their daily travel easier and more convenient,” said County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “These numbers suggest RapidRide will also be an important factor in supporting job-producing growth in South King County as our local economy improves.”

The RapidRide A Line combines the best features Metro has to offer by providing 10- to 15-minute service much of the day with additional improvements, such as new three-door hybrid coaches, station lighting, off-board ORCA card readers and WiFi on the buses.

Together, these RapidRide features have cut travel times by up to one-third along the busy line serving the cities of Federal Way, Des Moines, Kent, SeaTac, and Tukwila.

The high customer satisfaction expressed in the survey is expected to be a strong indicator of future ridership and customer satisfaction on future RapidRide lines.

“Given its strong start, we’re confident the A Line will be a great model for what riders can expect when additional RapidRide lines are added,” said Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond. “This fall, riders on the Eastside will be the next to experience the benefits of RapidRide when the B Line begins serving neighborhoods between Redmond and Bellevue.”



Oregon teachers attend education rally and show support for Wisconsin colleagues



STEVE FUNG GOES GOLFING (cameo by "that merlo guy")


Portland MAX Yellow Line train bound for Expo Center and friendly Train Operator
Portland Streetcar departing SW Park/ Market
Portland Streetcar arriving at SW 11th/ Taylor
Portland MAX Red Line bound for Portland International Airport Washington Park- Goose Hollow
Portland MAX Blue Line bound for Hillsboro going through The Robertson Tunnel
Portland MAX Blue Line bound for Hillsboro on SW 10th/ Galleria
Portland MAX Red Line bound for Beaverton TC at SW 10th/ Galleria
Portland Streetcar arriving at Cebtral Library and funny train operator
Portland MAX Red Line bound for Portland International Airport arriving at Library/ SW 9th Ave
Portland MAX Blue Line bound for Gresham arriving at Library/ SW 9th Ave


“I think (safety) really is a cultural thing,”

Beutler and Foster said in addition to holding monthly safety meetings and employing a full time safety committee, CVTD has created a work environment where employees can talk openly about safety concerns. “We want to hear from the workers, mechanics, operators who are out there and see the safety hazards that exist,” Foster said. “We’ve changed routes based on safety concerns from drivers.” 

Cable Car Smashes Into 30 Stockton Muni Bus, Two Injured



But you union employees must pay for you benefits so we can keep this hiring of bean counters going on

Leader Of Wis. Law Enforcement Association 'Regrets' Endorsing Walker


The Claim: A Fake Smile Can be Bad for Your Health

The Claim: A Fake Smile Can be Bad for Your Health

When was the last time you flashed a fake smile at the office?

For some, it may be just another mundane aspect of work life — putting on a game face to hide your inner unhappiness. But new research suggests that it may have unexpected consequences: worsening your mood and causing you to withdraw from the tasks at hand.

In a study published this month in the Academy of Management Journal, scientists tracked a group of bus drivers for two weeks, focusing on them because their jobs require frequent, and generally courteous, interactions with many people.

The scientists examined what happened when the drivers engaged in fake smiling, known as “surface acting,” and its opposite, “deep acting,” where they generated authentic smiles through positive thoughts, said an author of the study, Brent Scott, an assistant professor of management at Michigan State University.

After following the drivers closely, the researchers found that on days when the smiles were forced, the subjects’ moods deteriorated and they tended to withdraw from work. Trying to suppress negative thoughts, it turns out, may have made those thoughts even more persistent.

But on days when the subjects tried to display smiles through deeper efforts — by actually cultivating pleasant thoughts and memories — their overall moods improved and their productivity increased.

Women were affected more than men. Dr. Scott suspected cultural norms might be at play: women are socialized to be more emotionally expressive, he said, so hiding emotions may create more strain.


Research suggests that an inauthentic smile to hide unhappiness can further worsen your mood.


Columbia River Crossing Fatcats Continue Assault on Citizens



My Comment: The statement above is a never ending circle of he said, she said and she said, he said. The fact of the matter is no one has been able to sit the author and me together and get all the facts on the table. After four years of this I feel it is time to get the facts out and that is why I have filed the “Preferring of Charges”. This will give us all a chance to present our facts and allow a Trial Committee place judgment on us. The author of that statement is concerned about me having anger or interpersonal problems? OK I bite, what kind of help should I get?


Sunday, February 20, 2011

A tale of two new transit services

I find it interesting that in the last two years, there were two transit systems, seemingly so similar in scope, but so different in service - and so different in the outcome.

WES, billed as the nation's first "suburb to suburb" commuter rail line, between Beaverton and Wilsonville.

SWIFT, Washington State's first Bus Rapid transit line, connecting suburbs north of Seattle within Snohomish County.

Both routes are around 15 miles long - WES is 14.7 miles long; SWIFT is 16.7 miles long.

Both are suburb to suburb routes.

Both are new services opened in 2009.

Both expected to have 2,500 daily boarding rides at the end of the first year of operation.

That's where the similarities end.

WES cost over $160 million to build. It required the construction of four specially built "Diesel Multiple Unit" railcars from an unproven builder whose only experience was luxury coaches used up in Alaska.

SWIFT cost just $29 million. It used restyled New Flyer D60LFR buses - a proven workhorse in daily service throughout the Puget Sound region and throughout Canada and the United States.

WES required expensive, high level boarding platforms at each stop; transfers to buses are tedious and sometimes a good walking distance away. Ticket Vending Machines only accept debit or credit cards.

SWIFT uses platforms that integrate seemlessly with sidewalks in the neighborhood, and other bus routes can also use the exact same platforms. TVMs accept paper or coin currency, credit or debit card, or ORCA cards.

WES barely cracks 1300 rides after two years of service, and still fails its first-year ridership goal. WES is one of TriMet's most expensive services, costing nearly $18 per boarding ride (at one point it was as high as $30 per boarding ride.) WES does attain nearly 94 boarding rides per revenue hour, but loses its efficiency in wasting 36 minutes of each 90 minutes by sitting at either Beaverton or Wilsonville (resulting in a drop down to 56.25 boarding rides per operating hour), while many TriMet bus routes far exceed this kind of productivity.

SWIFT met its first-year goal within months, and had 3,300 daily riders at the end of its first year of operation. SWIFT has become Community Transit's most productive route with 21.5 boarding rides per hour - impressive, considering that Community Transit serves only Snohomish County, a suburban county, and not higher populated areas like Seattle proper (except by express route) nor does it generally serve Everett, Snohomish County's largest city.

WES provides just weekday rush hour service every 30 minutes - a total of eight trains in the morning, and eight in the afternoon (first train leaving Wilsonville at 5:21 AM and first afternoon train at 3:28 PM; last train arrives Wilsonville at 9:55 AM and in the afternoon at 8:02 PM.)

SWIFT provides weekday service starting at 5:00 AM and continuing every 10 minutes until 7:00 PM; then every 20 minutes until midnight. SWIFT also provides Saturday service every 20 minutes from 6:00 AM until midnght. (There used to be Sunday service, but due to budget cuts all Sunday service across the transit agency was slashed.)

Wisconsin Governor Walker Reacts to the 14 Democrat State Senators

Interesting bus concept from Kitsap Transit

Worker/Driver Program

The Worker/Driver Program offers yet another option for commuting. This unique program originated during WWII, with the need to transport thousands of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) employees to and from work. This was a time of fuel rationing and the use of buses proved to be most efficient. Kitsap Transit inherited 12 routes when it took over the transportation needs of Kitsap County residents in 1983. Today, the current program operates 28 routes; 27 travel to PSNS and Naval Station Bremerton and 1 to Sub Base Bangor.

Worker/Driver buses are driven by full time employees (“worker”) of the military facilities who are also part time employees of Kitsap Transit (“drivers”). Buses operate much like a large carpool. The driver boards their bus near their home in the morning and travels to work, picking up co-workers along the way. After work, they hop back in their bus with their co-workers and drop them off on their drive home.

Our ridership today is made up of both civilian and military personnel. We design and alter Worker/Driver routes to meet the needs of our passengers whenever feasible. Our current service area extends from Port Gamble to Burley in Kitsap County. (See the area map).

For more information, please see below links:

* Worker/Driver Routes & Schedules
* Worker/Driver Bus Fares


I'm not sure where this would work within TriMet but it's an interesting concept, especially with the express routes and OHSU routes. Let's say, oh, the 94, as an example.

The 94 would overnight in Sherwood at a designated location. The Worker/Driver would go to the bus, and drive the bus on a run to Portland, leaving the bus at a designated location while he/she goes off to their regular job. (TriMet would then send a driver or hostler to the bus so that it can be taken to the garage for maintenance.) The worker/driver would then pick up the bus in the afternoon, drive it back home and park it.

The benefit is that it provides additional bus service at low cost to TriMet.

As for the impact to Union drivers, I of course would make sure that no jobs are eliminated - impacted drivers would be moved to other routes. The worker/drivers would only be permitted one morning and one afternoon trip, so TriMet couldn't try and squeeze work out of them. And of course if a driver had a day off or couldn't drive the route, the route would go to a regular TriMet employee driver so there would need to be several drivers who could get to the bus and drive the route.

Of course, these routes would get TriMet's oldest buses...


Unlike bankers and bondholders, the European social model is being given a haircut -- a light trim in Nordic countries but a brutal short-back-and-sides in some others. 

Someone In Egypt Ordered a Pizza For the Protesters in Wisconsin

Transit management abusing workers

Light rail wrecks-Manilla

Luxury bus transport

Story here

Wis. man killed by tire dislodged from Ill. bus,0,785435.story

Another transit strike

Local ankle biters are filing their fangs

Divide and conquer

Conservatives use divide and conquer rhetoric in Wisconsin union protests

The View From the Front Lines of the Wisconsin Protests

Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill Protest from Matt Wisniewski on Vimeo.

ATU757 President Hunt nonfeasance or misfeasance?


Solidarity Forever

Send a pizza to protestors in Wisconsin supporting workers' rights. Ian's Pizza has put normal in-store and delivery orders on hold in order to keep up with the orders donated to protestors. At last count, they've gotten donations from 30 states and 5 countries, including Egypt, South Korea, Australia, and Canada.

608-257-9248 for Ian's Pizza

608-251-5299 for neighboring restaurant Michelangelos if you want to order coffee or hot chocolate for protestors.

Saturday, February 19, 2011



StopID Numbers

The stop ids actually _do_ have some sort of order to them. It looks like some time ago they took all of the stops, put them in alphabetical order and then numbered them accordingly. Stops on A Ave, Abernethy, Alberta tend to have very low stop ID numbers (< 75) while stops on Woodstock, Yamhill, Yeon tend to have high numbers (~6400). MLK stops are located in the "U" section (5885 = Umatilla then 5886 = MLK & Ainsworth) because it used to be named "Union Ave." Numbered stops are after the alphabetical stops. New stops are generally at the end, but sometimes inserted in random places in the middle.

Go see for yourself

TriMet System Map

What do you think this looks like?

Full post here (it's a little old)

Why the Protests in Wisconsin Matter

The Nation's Chris Hayes laid out very plainly why the protests in Wisconsin matter. This move by Gov. Scott Walker is one of a series of power grabs by Republicans with the intent of achieving some of their long time goals; destroying unions and the middle class and getting rid of our public education system.

And as Chris noted, it's a reminder of the fact that when our political institutions fail us, people mobilizing outside of those institutions through the process of peaceful protests as we've seen in Wisconsin have brought about some of the greatest moments of progressive transformation in the United States.

Chris' fellow contributor to The Nation, Naomi Klein discussed how what Walker doing is a classic example of the Shock Doctrine, where politicians create a crisis and then using that crisis as an excuse to push through horribly unpopular economic policies. And as Hayes and Klein both explained, what ends up happening in Wisconsin is not only going to have local implications, but national as well.

(I wonder whether the drivers who are Tea Baggers and vote republican are getting the message yet.)




Portland's Federally Funded Rail System - Seattle Transit Blog

World in chaos

Strikers stone local drivers -

Lives of bus drivers..

Councillor appeals for more tolerance after bus driver bust up

Lives of bus drivers

Woman Smacks Broward County Bus Driver In Face - West Palm Beach ...

Best Bus Driver In New York Sings Happy Birthday On The Intercom

911 callers report theft aboard Seattle bus, denied help by dispatch

Bus driver nightmare

Boy struck by bus in Wilmington

Court pares $27.5M award to woman hit by NYC bus

Wall Street Journal



For three decades Wall Street - and the top 2% of Americans -- have sopped up every dime of economic growth that has resulted from the increased productivity of American workers. Often those in that top 2% don't even work for a living - or if they do, they don't produce a good or service. Instead they speculate for a living - they gamble with other people's money - they spend their time scheming about how they can get richer, not how they can produce a better product. 

Bus drivers injured more than cops!

 Local transit and inter-city bus drivers had a higher rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring time off from work than did police and firefighters, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Labor.
(Thanks Neil for adding to our stress)

Washington Post

February 18

Untitled from al m on Vimeo.

Working in America: Public vs. Private Sector


The Assault on the American Worker: Wisconsin Is the Beginning




And another $1.5 million!

Earth Times

Money money everywhere...just not for buses or benefits


No more streetcars!

Reasons to oppose streetcar seem pretty clear

The troubled mind of Ellen Fox

From her latest attempt to liable me:

Cyber Stalkers hide behind FREEDOM OF SPEECH as permission to bully, intimidate, control and abuse others when in fact they're using it as an excuse to promote hatred and acting out behaviors.   Cyber Bullying/Stalking can take many forms but all through the internet.  In previous postings I've provided links to sites that compare the characteristics of online abusers vs perpetrators of domestic violence.precarious situations. He doesn't understand personal violations and he doesn't care. If he get's terminated he'll enjoy his 15 minutes and that'll be the end of it. His behavior is revolting, beyond abominable! His conduct is on purpose which makes him criminally liable. Cyber Stalking laws will be enforced in the near future and when they are he will spend time behind bars with his buddy Jim Stenger. His conduct is blatant disregard for other people. This is not a civil situation but criminal!

Poor thing, thrashing wildly  like  a wounded animal.
Ellen, you really need to seek out help, there are many physicians  available to help you with your problem.

My history with Ellen Fox here!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Koch Brothers Behind Wisconsin Effort To Kill Public Unions

As the nation focuses on the efforts of Governor Scott Walker to take away collective bargaining rights from public employees in Wisconsin, new information is coming to light that reveals what is truly going on here.
Mother Jones is reporting that much of the funding behind the Walker for Governor campaign came from none other than uber-conservatives, the infamous Koch Brothers.
What’s more, the plan to kill the unions is right out of the Koch Brothers play book.
Koch-backed groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Reason Foundation have long taken a very antagonistic view toward public-sector unions. Several of these groups have urged the eradication of these unions. The Kochs also invited Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an anti-union outfit, to a June 2010 confab in Aspen, Colorado;
If you are reluctant to believe that this is a coordinated attack, consider this-
This afternoon, Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin Public Workers Union, sent a message to the Governor’s office agreeing to the cuts to pension & welfare benefits sought by Walker in his bill.  The governor’s response was “nothing doing.”  He wants the whole kit and kaboodle – the end of the collective bargaining rights of the public unions.
As noted in my earlier post, this is, indeed, the first shot in the final battle to end unionism in America.
UPDATE: The Americans for Prosperity group, a Tea Party group that is a Koch Brothers front, has put up a website and petition called The website attacks all collective bargaining – not just for public employees’ unions. Americans for Prosperity is also organizing a rally tomorrow in Wisconsin to support Gov. Walker.
Why are the Koch Brothers so interested in Wisconsin? They are a major business player in the state.
This from Think Progress:
Koch owns a coal company subsidiary with facilities in Green Bay, Manitowoc, Ashland and Sheboygan; six timber plants throughout the state; and a large network of pipelines in Wisconsin. While Koch controls much of the infrastructure in the state, they have laid off workers to boost profits. At a time when Koch Industries owners David and Charles Koch awarded themselves an extra $11 billion of income from the company, Koch slashed jobs at their Green Bay plant:
Officials at Georgia-Pacific said the company is laying off 158 workers at its Day Street plant because out-of-date equipment at the facility is being replaced with newer, more-efficient equipment. The company said much of the new, papermaking equipment will be automated. [...] Malach tells FOX 11 that the layoffs are not because of a drop in demand. In fact, Malach said demand is high for the bath tissue and napkins manufactured at the plant.
You really have to wonder how long it will take for Tea Party devotees to realize just how badly they are being used.

Bus on Shoulder

To battle congestion and reduce travel times, transportation officials will begin a long-awaited test of an innovative "bus-on-shoulder" express service on the Stevenson Expressway (Interstate Highway 55) in November, officials said.

The new service will be an expansion of existing Pace express bus service between Plainfield and downtown Chicago, with the goal of getting commuters out of their cars and into mass transit, said Leanne Redden, senior deputy executive director of the Regional Transportation Authority.

Read more here.

Erik's Entries for Worst TriMet Bus Stops

(in no particular order...)

#1:  Highway 99W outbound, south of Tualatin River bridge - there are two very large apartment complexes just across the highway, but to get from this bus stop to the apartments requires sprinting across four lanes of a divided, high speed highway with no safe crossing anywhere nearby.

#2:  Barbur Boulevard outbound, north of I-5 - a bus stop sits on the north side of Barbur with no crosswalk whatsoever.  The nearest traffic signal doesn't have a crosswalk signal or a crosswalk, since the sidewalk on that side of the road doesn't extend onto the I-5 overpass - or, anywhere except for the bus stop.

#3:  Barbur Boulevard inbound, at Parkhill Drive - a bus stop on the east side of Barbur where the only destination is on the west side of Barbur.  No crosswalk whatsoever, no safe boarding place except the shoulder of a high speed boulevard, just minutes outside downtown Portland.

#4:  Naito Parkway inbound at Harrison - this barely paved bus stop frequently is muddy and offers nothing for riders - yet, it's in the heart of downtown right next to the most unnecessary Portland Streetcar stop, yet the Streetcar stop has a full paved platform, lighting and shelters, as well as Transit Tracker signs.

#5:  Harrison outbound at 2nd Avenue pedestrian path - absolutely nothing.  Barely ADA accessible - and this is next to one of Portland's prized apartment-turned-condo developments.  But the Streetcar stops are awfully nice.

#6:  Barbur Boulevard/4th Avenue inbound at Carthurs - this bus stop is located IN a driveway.  Does it make sense to have waiting passengers wait in a place where cars will drive into them?

#7:  N.E. Broadway inbound at 17th - At least this stop has a shelter, but it's in a tiny location requiring the buses to block a driveway.  It'd make more sense to have the bus stop across the street to the west, where bus riders could at least wait in front of businesses that should be bus rider/pedestrian friendly, instead of in a parking lot.

#8 and #9:  Broadway and Grand.  The worst place for a bus stop is at a gas station - why would a bus rider need anything at a gas station?  And here's two bus stops - the #9 stop doesn't even have a shelter.  On the plus side, transfers should be a breeze...for the huge number of riders transferring from the #9 to the #6.

#10:  Front Avenue at 15th.  You'd think they could extend the sidewalk another 40 feet...this is the edge of the Pearl District, after all...

#11:  Front Avenue at 19th.  This bus stop is marginally better, now that the railroad spur between Front and the Dockside Saloon is abandoned and paved over, but seriously - TriMet expected riders to stand on a railroad track to wait for a bus.

#12:  Front Avenue at 21st.  Here the railroad tracks are still there (although disconnected). But very ADA inaccessible.

#13:  Front Avenue, 3800 block.  Yes, you are expected to stand next to an active railroad track.  Did TriMet not think that Operation Lifesaver actually means something besides around WES?

#14:  T.V. Highway at Cornelius Pass, eastbound.  This one is interesting, considering that Rick Van Beveren owns the Reedville Cafe just behind this view.  Oh, and he's a TriMet Board Member.  I guess he must not ride the bus often to see this bus stop across the street from his own business.

#15:  S.W. Watson at Broadway and Farmington, southbound.  This is in downtown Beaverton yet it's a very plain jane stop - hardly "welcoming" or inviting to people who might want to walk around the pedestrian oriented downtown core.

#16:  Scholls Ferry Road inbound at 88th Avenue.  Passengers are expected to wait right at the intersection; there's no sidewalk and thanks to the guardrail, must stand literally on the roadway.  This isn't no residential side street.

#17:  Hall Boulevard nortbound at 217 offramp.  This is the bus stop for the Hall/Nimbus WES station.  It's in the middle of a driveway for an ODOT storage yard.  While TriMet finally built an improved bus stop on the other side of the WES tracks, the #43 still has to stop here because there isn't enough safe distance for the #43 bus to make a safe lane change and turn left at Nimbus.

#18 (and probably 20 others):  Garden Home Road.  Many stops on Garden Home served by the #45 bus are in locations with no sidewalks or shoulders.  This one at least has some sort of a shoulder, but definitely not ADA accessible.  Sucks when it rains.

#19:  S.W. Troy Street at 35th outbound, Multnomah Village:  There's no way a bus can get to the sidewalk, so bus riders are forced to board/deboard in the middle of the street, once again at a driveway.

#20:  Taylors Ferry Road inbound at 74th Avenue.  On a corner of an intersection in a drainage ditch; riders are forced to stand on the roadway with no shoulder.

#21:  12000 block S.W. Lesser Road.  There's a bus stop for the #78 bus on both sides of the road here.  Exactly where do you safely wait for the bus?

Get your job!

TriMet: Jobs - TriMet Career Opportunities


In the last two weeks we have had 2 operators transported to the hospital with inhalation problems and another operator had respiratory damage that had to be seen by a physician.
 What’s going on with Trimet buses?
We can’t even drive them without fear of hospitalization?
I thought safety was important at Trimet?
I guess safety only applies to operator conduct not equipment or management malfeasance.


I really wish Trimet management would step into the modern day and begin recording as a matter of procedure all its meetings with employees. I asked Robert Romo if I could record the meeting I had with him then GIVE HIM THE FILE so he could keep it on the Trimet computer. That would allow referencing things that were said in prior meetings. He said no, now basically everything that was said in our last meeting is gone and forgotten.

The Trimet managment will not entertain the notion of recording the meetings we have with them!

Why not? What are they afraid of?


This is a total nightmare as far as I am concerned!





I just had a very positive communication with a management representative, unfortunately I can't comment on the context of this communication but it reminded me of the Fred Hansen, Steve Banta, Peggy Hanson days!

An open and honest communication between two people who are trying to work together to find a solution rather than DO IT MY WAY OR ELSE  which is the  normal operating procedure since Neil Macfarlane took over!



I found this, this morning on the 51, bus 1624:

Sorry that this one is blurry, but you get the gist.



Workers are rallying in my hometown

Fri Feb 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM EST.

Not just Wisconsin: Ohio workers rally
by Laura Clawson

The Ohio legislature is considering its own version of Scott Walker's attacks on state workers. Senate Bill 5 would:

abolish collective bargaining rights for state employees. It would also affect state agencies, commissions and boards, state institutions of higher education and set new restrictions on school districts.
Additionally, the bill required merit-based pay for most public employees, including teachers, and it removes seniority from decisions regarding a reduction in work force for certain public workers.

The bill would also give cities the ability to "opt out" of collective bargaining.

And as in Wisconsin, thousands of Ohio workers are jamming the statehouse to make their voices heard.

Proposal for new TriMet Contest WORST BUS STOP IN THE SYSTEM

I have a idea for the TriMet marketing department.  Citizens can nominate the worst bus stop in the TriMet System.  Some great prizes could be offered like a free ride on the WES, lunch with Mary Fetsch at a Center Street food cart, or priority seating at the ribbon cutting for the Milwaukie Light Rail Line.  Submit your suggestions today!



February 17

Untitled from al m on Vimeo.


I was asked by one of my confidants if I would consider removing references to Ellen Fox from my blog?

I responded:
“What? Are you on drugs? Why would I do that? This is a woman who has been in court with me twice and maintains a slander blog about me! I have no intention of removing any information about Ellen from my blog. When she gets rid of her blog and stops harassing me I will stop referencing her on my blog.”

My history with ELLEN FOX IS HERE!

For the record, I would be happy to remove all the material about Ellen Fox that I can find and never mention her again, if 
she removes her slander blog about me and stops making up stories about me!