(I am not the bus driver referred to in this article)
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I just learned from the minutes of a recent SMILE meeting published in THE BEE that Tri-Met does NOT plan to resume the bus route which previously served the Tacoma Street centric part of Sellwood and Westmoreland when the new Sellwood Bridge is completed.
This decision is shortsighted and damaging to our neighborhood. A major part of the debate over the bridge design had to do with ensuring wide enough lanes for bus access —not to mention the issue of a possible streetcar! I strongly supported the new bridge planning because I have greatly missed the trans-Sellwood-Bridge route, which was discontinued when the old bridge was declared unsafe for buses, firetrucks, and semi's.
The discontinued route, I believe the old number 12, was THE most direct route, with the least amount of walking and NO transfers, for south Sellwood/Moreland residents wanting to reach the following destinations: The OHSU wellness center and clinics, John’s Landing businesses, PSU classes and special events, the Portland Saturday Market in the South Park Blocks, and downtown shopping and cultural attractions.
The existing Route 70 requires transfers (and far more walking for some, due to its alternating 13th and 17th street routes), and its frequency is far less than that of Route 19, which is an 8-block-walk from the Tacoma Street area.
Tri-Met’s decision to drop this route needs to be challenged in the strongest possible terms. It is a slap in the face to many residents who devoted hours at bridge design input meetings to ensure that mass transit would have a CENTRAL role in the rebuilt bridge. Tri-Met needs to understand that the loss of this route is especially damaging to PSU students carrying a backpack full of books, seniors (as well as employees) who wish to get to the OHSU wellness center/clinics quickly, and shoppers visiting Portland’s largest farmers' market or downtown stores, who often come home laden with packages.
Nancy Beamer, via e-mail
In an earlier post, I described being assaulted-by-saliva by a boarding passenger who got angry that I told him the amount of the correct fare.
Today, they arrested him. How, you ask? The nitwit boarded my bus - at the same stop where the assault occurred, and at the same time of day no less.
This time he had a transfer with him, and headed to the back of the bus - either not recognizing me, or not caring. I called it in, and arranged to have transit police meet me at a stop ahead. There, after about 3 minutes wait (I told passengers that I was running early and needed to hold for time), police arrived, confirmed with me that this was the guy, removed him from the bus and made an arrest. They called in his ID as they detained him and I overheard what sounded like a lengthy record. I heard the phrase "felony assault" more than once.
While most passengers - many of whom were present on the day that I was assaulted - were supportive, two chose to express different emotion at having their bus ride delayed. The first, a man asked why I was harassing a homeless person and delaying the bus. I told him that this man had assaulted me last week and I had to report it to get the guy off the street. The man then angrily said to me "so make an arrest and move on - why hold up the bus?" Apparently this guy thinks that bus drivers are magic cops.
The second - a scowly woman (artists rendition included at the beginning of this post) who regularly rides but never returns my "good morning's", waited as long as she could tolerate apparently. Stomping to the front door, she turned and said "You know what? YOU are responsible for what happened. You DESERVED it. I saw the whole thing and you are responsible because of the way you handled it!" She then stomped off.
At that point, I got on the PA, again apologized for the delay, and invited people to apply to become a bus driver and "live the dream".
I also wished that Adron Hall was there, because despite the delay - I still arrived at my terminal on-time.