Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Diary of a mad bus driver-June 1


I have it from very reliable sources that the management has now implemented a new “SIP” profiling system.

It supposedly involves a “green folder” where all SIP’s will be kept and inventoried.  

After a “threshold” of SIP’s have been accumulated, substantiated or unsubstantiated, the operator will be hauled into the office and subjected to some sort of disciplinary retraining!

So beware Trimet operators, all complaints lodged against you will now count against you, they do not have to be substantiated!

GAIL E. LOWY, Wilsonville

As The Oregonian reported May 28, TriMet has shelved the $46,000 warning system it purchased from ProTran1 because it either overactivated or underactivated and could not be properly calibrated. Because the agency purchased the units outright, TriMet says, they cannot be returned. Spokeswoman Mary Fetsch says, one can only assume with tongue firmly planted in cheek, that "if there are other transit agencies that would like to try it, we'd be happy to help them out."

I guarantee you, if I had purchased an expensive piece of equipment that malfunctioned or otherwise did not work properly, I would go, receipt in hand, right back to the business where I purchased it and ask for a refund. And I would get it. Is there a reason TriMet can't (or won't) do the same? It seems to me a simple matter of consumer satisfaction.

Fred still rides the MAX!

Michael Anderson

Metro North To Bill Driver Of Car Struck by Train

I love this quote from the spokesperson:

"The train was where it was supposed to be, and the car was not," said Metro-North Spokeswoman Marjorie Anders. "The car caused damage to our train."

Sock Puppet gets new post

Clark leaves Pamplin Media Group for OSU post

War on the workers

The 2011 right wing war on workers: How is the Workers’ Rights are Human Rights fightback movement faring?


Keiser Report Here!

History of Greece Here! 

Cell Phone threat

The World Health Organization has designated cell phone use as potentially cancerous for the first time. The announcement follows a peer-reviewed study conducted by 31 scientists from around the world. Cell phones were placed in the same potentially carcinogenic category as exposure to lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. The panel’s chair, Jonathan Samet, said further study is needed.
Jonathan Samet: "Here, fortunately, the evidence says only 'possibly,' and I think it’s an indication that we need to continue to watch and track what is happening with brain tumors and do studies that will inform us as to whether there is a potential cause, causal link."

Stupid bus drivers

Police Probing T Bus Road Rage Case - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

Sagging pants banned from transit system

Saggy Pants Riders Banned From Fort Worth, Texas, Buses -

Transit district in trouble for prohibiting photographs of their system

MTA warned: Let photographers shoot -

Jobs with Justice Rally and Picket Outside June 2 Regence Hearing

WHAT:  Public Hearing by State Insurance Commission on Regence Blue Cross/ Blue Shield proposed  a 22% rate increase to policyholders who hold individual health plans.

WHO:  Jobs with Justice Health Care Committee and allies

WHEN:  4pm, Thursday, June 2 --

            RALLY & PICKET outside hearing

            4:30 - 7pm -- Testify and Witness --
                            -- Our health care system is broken,  we need single payer!
                            -- anyone can sign up to testify

WHERE: University Place Hotel, 310 SW Lincoln, (southeast of PSU campus,  just s. of College, off 4th)

***If you are unable to attend, consumers can also visit the Insurance Division’s health insurance rate page to learn more about rate review and review documents connected with the Regence request: People who can’t make the hearing can comment online through June 15. The rate page will explain how to do this.***

United States of Morons

Palin uses her hand as note paper

Green Transit



The pink thing drives by

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An open letter to the union on health care

Falling into line

Clackamas County commissioners expected to support $458 million Lake Oswego to Portland streetcar |

May 31

5/31/11 from al m on Vimeo.


Be on the lookout for this thief


Technology & Unemployment

Dick Cheney-Welfare Queen

63&Washington Park shuttle duplicate each other?

King 5 News Bus Accident on Memorial Day Weekend 2011

Cyclist seriously injured after being dragged under city bus


Transit bus incidents

Bus Passenger Attacks With Knife | Corpus Christi, TX | |

Video Here!

Seen at Merlo

Some interesting stuff that Adri has dug up

They do love Portland don't they?

Monday, May 30, 2011



I have been participating in reviewing some of the financial documents of our local and there are questions that need answering.

Here is just one example:
According to the March year to date financial report our union was $170,936.00 in the hole.
Now according to the April monthly report the union went a further $ 66,727.00 into the hole.
Obviously accounting standards will show that the year to date should show that our union is now $237,663 in the hole.
But our year to date report shows that the union is $282,122.00 in the hole!
There is $44,459.00 unaccounted for!
Where the hell is it?
We need answers, NOW!

Trimet general manager says people do not FOCUS on their jobs!


Making a difference

Stories of TriMet employees going the extra mile to make a difference in our community—and beyond.

The Subtlest Of Actions

I regret not tackling this earlier.
So, I looked on the Service Alerts today- it's Memorial Day- to see what to look forward to should I take the bus today. That, and I'm a geek and feel a need to know. I noticed that just down the street, line 19 would not be running to Lincoln Memorial due to the possibility of excessive traffic. 
Now that on it own seems like an inconvenience, but take a second and think about it. What a flimsy, flimsy excuse that is to cancel service to the Memorial Cemetery.
The Memorial Cemetery.

On Memorial DAY. 

Trimet's Bekki Witt

YouTube - Sometimes the Sky is Falling, Sometimes It Isn't: Challenges in Social Media

Steve Fung's movie of the week

Checking out the addition to the street car garage

Millions Need Not Apply

Millions of Americans who lost their jobs to the recession and fell behind in payments to creditors are being penalized again, this time by companies that use credit records to screen job applicants. Five states have limited the use of credit histories by potential employers and about 20 are considering similar measures that deserve to become law 

From a reader

Line 58 stops with transit tracker ID's

9976    Beaverton Transit Center
8271    SW Canyon & Broadway
13042    SW Canyon & 115th Ave
908    SW Canyon & 110th
906    SW Canyon & 107th
12405    SW Canyon & 103rd
899    SW Canyon & Walker

Blowback in Wisconsin

Union victory in Illinois!


Investigation of Astoria Transit District

Feds probe transit district’s cruise ship service - The Daily Astorian: Free


TriMet: See where it doesn't take you

Nova Bus Plattsburgh wins $231 million MTA contract

Transit bus crashes

7 hurt as city bus, car crash in Los Angeles - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

The Netherlands decides to create black markets and crime

Dutch government to ban tourists from cannabis shops - Yahoo! News

Memorial Day: Enter Hitler, Release 2.0

Sarah Palin
    As the sage Robert Crumb once remarked about our homeland: "You can't make this shit up." 
      Sarah Palin entered the race for president this week (without stating it in so many words) with a national bus tour, itself kicked off with a motorcycle parade through Washington.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The short history of early pedal powered machines


Police state goes way back in Amerikan history

YouTube - Crips and Bloods: Made in America (2008)

Jack Bogdanki comments on the talking bus fiasco

They worked about as well as WES

Tri-Met has abandoned its odd experiment to have a robotic voice on the outside of its buses automatically announce each turn the bus makes. Apparently they had the squawk boxes hooked up to the steering wheel of the bus, set to go off on a full turn of the wheel, and the system couldn't tell whether the bus was turning or just pulling in or out of traffic.
It is not surprising that that didn't work. But assuming that one thinks it's a good idea, why not hook it up to the turn signal? The little lever that the bus driver uses to illuminate the signals could have two stops in each direction -- the first one without the announcement, and the second one with.
Of course, that would require the drivers to use the signals, and even learn new devices, which might defeat the purpose. Part of the original system seemed designed to warn pedestrians and cyclists even when the driver was screwing up -- as one did with horrible results in the incident that initiated the latest flap about dangerous turns.
In any event, we think the robots, which were on some of Tri-Met's lines for about three months, should get a week to say goodbye. Every time the wheel turns, they could say something in the nature of a valedictory. Like "I'm retiring with free medical care for life." Or "So long -- this bus route won't be here much longer, either." Or "As you could tell, I never liked dealing with you, but the pay was great."
Then they can be re-deployed on other government vehicles -- the mayor's pickup truck, Earl the Pearl's SUV, and Fireman Randy's flotilla of custom-built fireboats, to name a few.



38,159 MISSING

“War is when the government tells you who the bad guy is. Revolution is when you decide that for yourself.”

Update on the police state vs the dancers



Salem-Keizer transit contract includes raise|topnews|text|News 


It becomes more and more apparent to me just how tyrannical our management really is compared to the other transit districts around the country.  Now is the time for our management to get together with our union and settle this  dispute once of for all! 

How do we democratically settle the great transit debate?

The bus vs rail argument might have started here in Portland but it has spread around the country like wildfire!

Lazy TriMet Teens


(something I am prohibited from doing by the way, cause I live in the LAND OF FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY!)

Transit executive criminals


Transit bus crashes

Woman hit by bus takes turn for worse - Winnipeg Free Press

Adam Kokesh Arrested!- True News from Freedomain Radio

Deadly Mix: Hubris and Cowardice

Admitting failure in Iraq and Afghanistan is anathema to Official Washington, especially to the still-influential neocons whose status depends on maintaining the illusion of “victory” or at least limited success, even at the cost of more blood and treasure. But Daniel N. White says only a frank acknowledgement of failure can free America from even worse calamities ahead.

Don't plan on taking Trimet to any Memorial Day Cemetary services

Land of the Free? BULLSHIT!

'Nothing stops big banks from ripping off people again'

Weekly report

Milwaukie boondoggle moves forward

Remembering the worst bus crash in US history

Treat Yourself to Lunch Today

This was the lunch at Nakwon on Watson Avenue in Beaverton.It is on the #76/78 line.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Part time bus driver positions

Looks like First Transit is looking for people, also Part time, like Trimet.
Nobody wants to hire full time employees anymore in this sick, unethical country of ours! 


The General Counsel (GC) is the Chief Legal executive within TriMet and represents the agency and its officials in all legal proceedings. The GC is accountable to the General Manager and oversees 8 staff attorneys and 5 support staff. Specific areas of accountability include:

What the heck to 9 attorneys do all day anyway?


But they have the gall to publish their rosy press releases showing how great the Max and WES is doing! The governor needs to send all the executive Trimet management to an ethical standards workshop!

Closest stop to Al's childhood home

This is the closest bus to my house, used to take this bus into Boston to stay with my Grandmother
This bus would take me to the trolley bus that took me to her house.
 But the Best way to get to Downtown Boston Combat Zone which all us kids growing up used to skip school and head into was the commuter rail to the south station stop where we took the Red Line into Downtown Boston to look for trouble
This was 44 years ago and the same transportation is available today!

Trimet takes me where I wanna go????(not worksafe!)

WalMart Transit System

I saw this bus (or one just like it) for the first time today on S.E. Holgate Boulevard headed towards the Eastport Plaza WalMart.  There are signs at the store entrance telling customers to call a toll-free number for shuttle info, but no other info - no brochures or anything inside the store.

Love or hate WalMart, I have to appreciate their ingenuity to bring customers to their store...especially in a city that claims to be so transit-friendly, WalMart is going out of their way to provide an additional service and bringing customers right to the front door instead of TriMet's 72 bus whose stop is 1,140 feet away (for the northbound stop, add another 270 feet for the southbound stop), or 1,170 feet away from the eastbound 17 stop (however the westbound 17 stop is a mere 540 feet away).  Of course, no idea who actually operates the bus, or how much the Operators get paid...

Closest Stop to Max's Childhood Home

Inspired by Erik, let's play a little game. Find the closest bus stop to your childhood home in Google's street view and post the picture. Of the 4 stops (each 1/2 mile away) from my parent's house, here's the only one that had a shelter. Lovely little gem isn't it? The sidewalk extends only the length of the bus stop, as the cars in the back indicate. Be sure to click the image to get the full picture.

Now it's your turn!

Major transit expansion in Paris France

Speaking of safety

 American Public Transportation Association makes it's safety awards, an no, Trimet gets no award from them. I guess US News and World Report stands alone in its ratings.

The 2011 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Award winners are as follows:
Category I: Bus systems with fewer than 4 million passenger trips annually
Safety Excellence Award:
o GOLD Award for Safety – Southwest Transit – Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Category II: Bus systems with more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million
passenger trips annually
Safety Excellence Awards:
o GOLD Award for Safety – Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority – Des Moines, Iowa
o Certificate of Merit - Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority – Cincinnati, Ohio
Security Excellence Award:
o GOLD Award for Security – Pierce Transit – Lakewood, Washington
Category III: Bus systems with 20 million or more passenger trips annually
Safety Excellence Awards:
o GOLD Award for Safety – Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority – Cleveland,
o Certificate of Merit for Safety – Maryland Transit Administration – Baltimore, Maryland
o Certificate of Merit for Safety – Orange County Transportation Authority – Orange,
Security Excellence Awards:
o GOLD Award for Security – New York City Transit – New York, New York
o Certificate of Merit- Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County – Houston, Texas
o Certificate of Merit- Regional Transportation District – Denver, Colorado
Category IV: Private contractors providing transportation management and
services to bus transit systems
Safety Excellence Award:
o GOLD Award for Safety – Forsythe Transportation, Arlington Transit – Arlington, Vir

Transit systems that need a better ethical roadmap ...

This article has a ring to it that sounds familiar!

Sound Transit fined over lobbying

OLYMPIA, Wash. —
The state Public Disclosure Commission has fined the Port of Seattle and Sound Transit for failing to report publicly funded lobbying of the Legislature.
The News Tribune reports the conservative watchdog group Freedom Foundation complained to the PDC last summer, and the agency approved a settlement Thursday with the Port of Seattle. It agreed to pay $3,750 for failing to comply with reporting requirements. Sound Transit agreed to pay $7,500 in another recent settlement.
The Port of Seattle didn't report $270,000 in expenses over more than four years. Sound Transit failed to disclose lobbying expenses worth $682,000 over three years.
Sound Transit called the lapse an administrative oversight caused by staff turnover. Staff changes also played a role in what the Port of Seattle called a lapse in procedures.
Information from: The News Tribune,

Transit buses do crash into rivers unfortunately

And what is the point in all these stories?

Transit buses do crash down the steps and into marathons unfortunately

Speeding bus hits 6 during Stockholm Marathon -

Transit buses crash into stores unfortunately-dramtic video

People do get killed by transit buses unfortunately

Pedestrian killed in bus accident - National - Video - 3 News

The transit bus">How to build a transit bus

YouTube - How To Dispose of an Old Transit Bus

YouTube - Bus driving

YouTube - Bus stunt

YouTube - Birth of a 35' American Built Bus

Freedom my ass

Labor-market deregulation boils down to three things: weak unions, weak worker protection laws and weak overall employment. In addition to protecting wages and benefits, unions also protect jobs. Union contracts prevent management from indiscriminately firing workers and shifting the burden onto remaining employees. After decades of imposed decline, the United States currently has the fourth-lowest private sector union membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
America's low rate of union membership partly explains why unemployment rose so fast and, - thanks to hectic productivity growth - hiring has been so slow.
Proponents of labor-market flexibility argue that it's easier for the private sector to create jobs when the transactional costs associated with hiring and firing are reduced. Perhaps fortunately, legal protections for American workers cannot get any lower: US labor laws make it the easiest place in the word to fire or replace employees, according to the OECD.
Another consequence of labor-market flexibility has been the shift from full-time jobs to temporary positions. In 2010, 26 percent of all news jobs were temporary - compared with less than 11 percent in the early 1990's recovery and just 7.1 percent in the early 2000's.

Global financial crisis

Trimet related photo's (scroll down)

Portland Trimet Images, Pics, Wallpapers, Photos

Trolley bus! (sort of...)

"Patriot" Act is reauthorized

(The power or propaganda)

Gil Scott Heron Dead

Beaverton Transit Center Graffiti




BLOGGERS RIDE THE 84-PART 2 from al m on Vimeo.



The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada's MAX bus rapid transit system connects downtown Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Strip, Henderson and North Las Vegas.

Los Angeles, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Eugene, Ore., and Pittsburgh were rated as the nation’s leading cities for bus-based transportation because of their high-quality bus rapid transit systems (BRT), according to a new independent study, issued by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). 

Rail projects top $83 billion in U.S., Canada

Friday, May 27, 2011


BLOGGERS RIDE TRIMET ROUTE 84-PART 1 from al m on Vimeo.

On the Max with Jason and Erik, who argue all the way to Gresham

Follow up, Jeri Ellsworth vs Talking buses #Trimet … Jeri won

Flop of the day: an audible warning system intended to alert pedestrians that a TriMet bus was turning.
The transit agency announced Friday that after three months of testing the system, at a cost of $46,000, the tests had come to the end of the line. Announcements broadcast over external speaker systems on 10 buses didn’t activate when they were supposed to and did activate at inappropriate times, such as when buses were changing lanes.
“It was determined,” a TriMet news release said, “that the technology has not advanced enough to make it an effective tool to help alert pedestrians and people riding bikes that a bus is turning.”
The system was made by ProTran1 of New Jersey, and because the agency bought the book-sized units, they can’t be returned.
Spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said she didn’t know what TriMet would do with the units, but “if there are other transit agencies that would like to try it, we’d be happy to help them out.”

Max and Henry interview the lone 84 passenger (bloggers ride the 84)

Locating Marjama Nursery per Steve Fungs instructions (bloggers ride Trmet 84)

The Boneyard at Merlo

My hat is off to all the mechanics at the 3 garages
who keep the dinosaurs running by scrapping parts off the wrecked buses.

Arguing over the real reason for the "talking bus" project (bloggers ride Trimet route 84)

That new "art" at Rockwood (bloggers ride the 84)

Erik Halstead says something nice about Trimet (bloggers ride the 84)

Respect the union waterfront

Fixing the problem of illicit TriMet tickets not so easy

Trimet general manager says the "spring thaw" has arrived


Not very impressive as far as I am concerned.

Complaints r us...

Complaints are coming in to the Trimet office by the hundreds about operator "misdeeds", most notably running red lights.

I'm not sure if the management is aware of it but with each silly complaint that comes in and routed to the individual another operators morale goes down the tubes.

Any experienced bus driver will tell you that it is IMPOSSIBLE to stop at every single red light that they encounter during a work shift.

On the west side there are no walk light countdown clocks and many signals wont change for quite awhile even after the walk light has stopped flashing.
This sets up a situation that forces bus operators to frequently run yellows, some of which might actually turn red before the bus is all the way through the intersection, technically a violation.

Making a fast stop is more hazardous than going through an intersection as stopping quickly causes passengers on the bus to fall and other consequences.

We operators are between a rock and a hard place nowadays, a blood thirsty public that has been prodded by the vampires of the mainstream press and a weak kneed management that finds it easier to blame its drivers than understanding the problem as we do!

The Silly Argument Over BRT and Rail

What is clear is that for the majority of American cities — excluding only a few in the Northeast — buses will remain the predominant mode of public transit for most riders, even after major expansions in train networks planned for cities from Charlotte to Phoenix. So even cities that choose to invest in rail projects must also spend on the improvement of their bus lines.

Click here for story

Pdxrailtransit's Blog

Hand Throw « Pdxrailtransit's Blog


Fairmont Boulevard as an OHSU park-and-hike? (Jack Bog's Blog)

Eye in the sky (Jack Bog's Blog)

Gatsby's got a secret (Jack Bog's Blog)

LaVonne wants power (Jack Bog's Blog)

You're only dancing on this earth for a short while (Jack Bog's Blog)

Portand cops on beatings: "We do things different" (Jack Bog's Blog)

More on those new Nextrip bus stop signs

This new signage – the first part of a larger initiative to update all bus stop signs – brings Nextrip information to each and every bus stop in the system. It’s a project that shows Metro’s commitment to the real time arrival system by making sure that all riders are aware of the service and have access to the neccessary information. 

What to Do at a Yellow Light? And Other Things American Drivers Don’t Know

More on the internet "filter bubble"

Old TriMet fares and fare zones

Jason Mchuff

I Love the Bus

Ambitious Ideas in Urban Transport

Vermont Poised to Become 1st State to Enact Single-Payer Healthcare

The Battle for Wisconsin: Court Strikes Down Gov. Scott Walker’s Anti-Union Bill

A Wisconsin judge has struck down Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting law because Republican legislators failed to provide sufficient public notice before passing the measure in March. 

Wasting transit dollars

Faced with questions about how much its legal advisers have billed New Orleans taxpayers, the Regional Transit Authority has offered a spirited defense of its in-house general counsel and an outside law firm hired in 2008 that, in some cases, charged $800 an hour for its services.