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. 

Porta Potties at BTC

Revelations From a Humdrum Transit-Fare Statistic (% riders pay for thier ride on mass transit)

Not only that, but the burden is also lighter for subway and bus riders in other American cities. Statistics kept by the Federal Transit Administration put it in the range of 20 to 45 percent in Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington. For New Yorkers, the percentage has risen and fallen. It soared as high as 88 percent back in 1997. 

Transit's priority should be neediest riders

Applicable to all transit districts regardless of size:

For me the choice between serving people in need and getting people out of cars is easy. The people who need public transportation should be Job One in Kitsap County — especially in bad economic times.

Vancouver BC mimic's Portland?

Vancouver plots pedestrian-first policy for 2040

CATO Institute (I know, right wingers but some of their stuff makes sense)

Randal O'Toole: Transportation: From the Top Down or Bottom Up?

Lowering performance standards

Even so, "on time" may not be what it sounds like. Trains are considered on time if they are two minutes later than scheduled during peak service -- or up to 50 percent of the wait time during off-peak times. That means if riders are expecting a 15-minute wait on a weekend, Metro considers the train on time if it arrives in 22 minutes.
Buses considered on-time can be two minutes early or seven minutes late.

Las Vegas "MAX" line is the best in the US

Dangerous by Design 2011

Mama, ducklings stop traffic on I-5


Bike has accident on streetcar tracks

When Trimet Advertises for new drivers I bet they never show a pic like this.

Trimet part of the one world government movement?

This piece sounds ‘alarmist’ – ‘it’s meant to be’


Four of the author's of this blog will be meeting tonight for a ride on TRIMET'S FAMOUS ROUTE 84!
Needless to say a full report is forthcoming!


SEPTA: Attacks on drivers on the rise |

Transit ridership reports from around North America

Time to reboot the Sellwood Bridge?

Given all of that--if the existing project constraints were mostly removed, and the region had $200 million to build a southern crossing wherever it liked--where would you put it, how would you fund it, who would run it, and what would it look like? To make this interesting, feel free to imagine other connecting infrastructure projects in the future, if you like.
And if you think that the $200 million ought to be spent elsewhere entirely, or pocketed--with no more vehicular crossing of the Willamette between Oregon City and downtown after the existing bridge reaches the end of its useful life, feel free to say that as well.

Portland Transport

No more "the bus is turning!" Horray!

Let us all rejoice.
After nearly three months of testing an audible pedestrian warning system on 10 buses, TriMet today stopped the test because the announcement didn't activate at the appropriate time—either too soon or too late in the turn—but did activate at other times, such as when the bus was making a lane change.

The external announcement "Pedestrians, bus is turning" was in both English and Spanish and was triggered by a full rotation of the steering wheel, which caused the announcement to be too late into the turn. TriMet also tested having the announcement trigger at a half rotation of the steering wheel to test if it provided earlier warning. That activated the announcement too early, as well as during lane changes.

Review of an audible warning device was suggested as part of the comprehensive safety review initiated following last April's fatal bus crash. TriMet began the test on March 1, and after receiving feedback from operators, riders and TriMet safety and training staff, it was determined 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 not intended to change TriMet's legal and professional obligation to operate safely, be alert and scan the intersection before turning.

As the technology advances in this area, TriMet would be interested in testing an audible system in the future.

Press release (but I just posted the entire text above)