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Friday, October 28, 2011

The Spotter shack at Powell garage tonight



This capped a totally ugly day on my last #20 for a while.

More violent crime on MAX

http://bojack.org/2011/10/more_violent_crime_on_max.html

For protesters, a platinum opportunity

http://bojack.org/2011/10/for_protesters_a_platinum_oppo.html

1087 transit professionals graduate-some with honors!

Congratulations to all 1,087 bus transportation employees who completed the 2011 recertification campaign! On Thursday, October 27, the 131st and final class completed the recertification which focused on some vital safety concepts - how, when and where to scan. Operators were instructed to:


· Scan before they get to a turn


· During their turn


· After completion of their turn


· One other key point trainers focused on - instructing operators to go into turns slower, especially the tight left and right hand turns. This allows plenty of time to do these three scans properly.


Midway through the campaign data showed operators who had completed the class received 10 percent fewer safety-related customer complaints than those not-yet recertified. In all, 1,022 bus operators and 65 managers/supervisors completed the training.

photo:(removed due to I could get fired I guess)

Better not let this happen to you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7s8-BvI_iU

And the winners are.............

Spooky bus to haunt the Halloween streets of Clarksville

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/article/20111028/NEWS01/110280323/Spooky-bus-haunt-Halloween-streets-Clarksville?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE

CRASH!

Union busting First Transit gets award

First Transit - Current Company News, Issues and Transit Service Information | First Transit

Here comes $8,000,000 but I guess this doesn't stop any cuts

TriMet: Public Meetings & Hearings - Special Transportation Advisory Committee (STFAC)

BUDGET CUTS COMING TO THE 'GREEN' CITY-ALL STORIES

TRIMET ANNOUNCES BUDGET PROBLEMS!!

BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS-tweets by Joseph Rose


BULLSHIT IS A VALUE AT TRIMET

IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY EYESIGHT?

Macfarlane's report to board

BUDGET PROBLEM IMMEDIATE FIXES-revised

Trimet financial officer speaks to board

Dan Christensen shows up in Beaverton

Rantings of a Trimet bus driver - YouTube

TriMets Budget Woes

Will transit's gloomy future hasten the biking boom?

Three ways TriMet could close a budget gap without bus cuts

What does MACFARLANE do about the so called "crisis"

TriMet, facing another budget gap, looking for places to cut -- with some exceptions

A Perspective from Portland, Oregon: TriMet, facing another budget gap, remains disinge...

HOW WE (don't) ROLL

Getting Priorities Straight

Northwest News: TriMet to cut millions from budget but spendy public art stays;

Confessions of an Actual Man

Like a wolverine digging at a rabbit's hole, this column seeks truth, wherever it lies. (Of course, if truth lies, how can you trust it? These are deep waters.) To this end, I have been reading feminists about what slugs men are, and bandits, and slaves of vanity, and cause loose fillings and sunspots and roach infestations. In the past I dismissed these tiresome viragos as mere creatures of bile and ill-breeding. This time, I thought, maybe I should listen to them. After all, ugly short-haired unmarried women are people too. Pretty close anyway.

FRED REED 

Consider TriMet for Clark County

http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/oct/28/letter-consider-trimet-clark-county/

Northwest News: TriMet to cut millions from budget but spendy public art stays;

Well, not quite everything, reports staff writer Joseph Rose. Turns out the agency's budget for public art won't get the axe. And, Rose reports, the agency's tough times didn't keep administrators from hiring "four executive and manager positions, totaling $495,000 in annual salaries."

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2011/10/northwest_news_trimet_to_cut_m.html

Getting Priorities Straight

http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=5783

HOW WE (don't) ROLL

http://howweroll.trimet.org/2011/10/27/budget-shortfall-expected-due-to-stagnant-economy-federal-funding-and-labor-contract/

Rantings of a Trimet bus driver

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Perspective from Portland, Oregon: TriMet, facing another budget gap, remains disinge...

A Perspective from Portland, Oregon: TriMet, facing another budget gap, remains disinge...: TriMet seems surprised that they have a $12 - $17 mil budget shortfall. And that number is the one that TriMet hopes will act a cushion to t...

TriMet, facing another budget gap, looking for places to cut -- with some exceptions

McFarlane also told the board that he has imposed a hiring freeze requiring his approval of all new employment. In the past year, that has included four executive and manager positions, totaling $495,000 in annual salaries. "He considers all of those positions mission-critical,"(god please help us)  said spokeswoman Mary Fetsch. "Each of them has been reprogrammed and expanded from other positions, often with lower salary costs."

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/10/trimet_facing_another_budget_g.html

No money around to fix up the buses I guess

TRMET HANDS OUT $4 MILLION TO PORTLAND SPIRIT

And now MACFARLANE complains about 17 million!

Portland area TriMet LIFT drivers threaten strike as labor talks with First Transit collapse

http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2011/10/portland_area_trimet_lift_driv.html

What does MACFARLANE do about the so called "crisis"


He starts yet another "committee"!
An administrator in a bureaucratic world is a man who can feel big by merging his non-entity in an abstraction. A real person in touch with real things inspires terror in him.
Marshall McLuhan

Michael Crino, Network Communications Systems Engineer II at TriMet, Oregon Transportation Agency.

Yubico Provides a Radically New Approach to Secure Remote Access - MarketWatch

Three ways TriMet could close a budget gap without bus cuts

Shut down WES commuter rail: $6.2 million. This idea comes from TriMet board member Steve Clark, who used it as an example this morning that “everything should be on the table.”
WES offers Cadillac transit service – free WiFi, cushy seats, a conductor on every train – at Ferrari prices: $6.2 million last year. That’s a lot for a train that serves about 600 815 people a day. 
Read the rest of this article here!

WILL BORING RESIDENTS BE TREATED FAIRLY?

Boring businesses, residents challenge TriMet

LEAD 411

http://peop.lead411.com/Beth_deHamel_8389869.html

Labor unions join Occupy Portland for downtown march

http://www.katu.com/news/local/132656328.html

Will transit's gloomy future hasten the biking boom?

BIKE PORTLAND

TriMets Budget Woes

We all know TriMet thinks outside the bus, but never outside the box.
Cut the salaries of all Managers, Directors and Executives by 15%. Most of these employees make over $100,000 per year (Thats anyone with the above words in their titles, or who act in such a capacity). While they say they have had a wage freeze, and cut positions, theres more that can be done here. There are over 100 employees making over $100k per year that fall under the above category. That is a savings of at least $1.5 million! Those who actually provide the service to the riders, have taken a pay cut, in the way of the forced upon Medical Premium sharing costs. The riders have put up with less service, less options. The nation is tightening its belt, and TriMet Admin/Execs has done this in almost every way, except to themselves. These people are selfish to keep making these above average salaries on the backs of its riders. If you can not afford the paycut, then you shouldn't be living outside your means in a economic climate like this, and it certainly shouldn't become the problem of your riders and customers. Take a paycut to preserve service, to preserve jobs, and to do the right thing in this economy.
Read the rest of this excellent editorial HERE!

Video log October 26-PART 3

Special guest star: DR FLASHER!

Video log October 26

PART 1
PART 2

Transit advocates

Cameron Johnson
Dan Christensen shows up in Beaverton

Dan Christensen shows up in Beaverton

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CCr4U2wVQ8

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TRIMET BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

PART 1
PART 2

Trimet financial officer speaks to board

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2A4ycD6AXs

Tri-Met toll: 15 hurt in 2 days (so far)

http://bojack.org/2011/10/trimet_toll_15_hurt_in_2_days.html

BUDGET PROBLEM IMMEDIATE FIXES-revised




VIA ERIK H:
1. End Free Rail Zone TODAY.

2. End the City of Portland Streetcar subsidy. City runs their own system, city can pay for their own system. If there is a legal challenge, then cut the overlapping service - don't cut service in Oregon City to pay for Portland's trolley.

3. All park-and-ride facilities become pay facilities. TriMet's job is not to run parking lots.

4. Immediate cut in non-revenue motor pool fleet. If you can't get there on TriMet, you don't need to go.

5. ZERO the travel budget. We can't afford to run buses; we certainly can't afford for junkets to RailVolution and Australia.

6. Eliminate WES. Plain and simple. If you can't eliminate WES, than eliminate the free Wi-Fi, charge to park, shut down the lighted platforms (including those Transit Tracker displays and TVMs) when WES is not in service, and charge distance based fares resulting in a Beaverton to Wilsonville ride costing around $6.00 if not more - one way, no transfer privilege. Also, if WES cannot be discontinued, convert to two train operation every 40 minutes so as to eliminate one train and its associated fuel and labor cost.

7. Convert MAX to distance based fares.

8. Eliminate all landscaping. TriMet's job is running buses and trains on time, not making sure trees and grass look pretty.

9. Complete halt to all capital projects. That means stopping Milwaukie MAX construction altogether.

10. Review status of bus fleet, continue new bus purchases to reduce maintenance expense. Older buses cost more to run and maintain than new buses, so using federal funds to replace older buses will result in operating savings (including lower overtime expense, fewer mechanics needed).

11. Use articulated buses on heavy usage routes to reduce labor and fuel expense. Running 3 artics per hour (20 minute headways) provides the same quantity of service as 4 40' buses, but has 25% lower fuel and labor expense.
NEIL MACFARLANE SAYS:

Earlier this morning, I briefed the Board on the outlook for our upcoming budget. Yes, this is ‘earlier’ than we usually start – here’s why… We are in a time that I am calling the “new normal” – a time of when fiscal uncertainty has created the Perfect Storm leaving us to face a $12 to $17 million budget ‘gap’ in fiscal year 13 – the year that starts July 1, 2012. Why? Three main reasons: 1. Stagnant Economy – with employment in the region growing ever so slowly, our payroll tax (over 50% of our budget) grows slowly too. While we didn’t have ‘wild’ expectations – we were hoping to see that grow from 4 to 5% next year. Reality has forced us to reduce our projected revenues by $3 million for next year. 2. Federal formula funds – there is a great deal of uncertainty over federal formula funds which comprise about $42 million in revenue to us. Who knows what will happen, but ‘automatic’ reductions could go into effect and our estimate is about a $4 million impact on our budget. 3. The ATU contract – the recent ERB decision removed from TriMet’s final offer certain provisions – so some cost reductions we were hoping to see will have to wait for a future negotiation. This could mean between $5 and $10 million in our FY13 budget. All this said, TriMet continues to be a service our community needs and wants. We face increasing requests for more and better service. The hard reality is that we cannot afford to expand, and I'm awfully afraid our service levels will diminish. As a ride, I know how important it is to preserve service but it is hard to see how some cuts can be avoided. These are not easy choices. That is why everything needs to be on the table – fares, service, and current fare discounts. We will need to examine our activities and investments carefully, and make sure we are confident about the value of every dollar we spend. To give us added time to address these issues and make those tough choices, I have created a Budget Task Force that will begin to meet in November. Given our best budget assumptions, these key business and community members will be tasked with providing me suggestions on how to appropriately balance our budget. Starting early will give us more time for input from taxpayers, riders, and other stakeholders. The budget itself will need to come together through a series of actions during the first half of 2012. This certainly isn’t the news I was hoping to share, but it is important that I share with you what is ahead. I will need your ideas, help and continued commitment to delivering exceptional service, no matter the decisions. Neil
Document

Macfarlane's report to board

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXQtM8LNGqc

OCCUPY PORTLAND MARCH TODAY

http://www.jwjpdx.org/jwjnews/2011/occupy-portland-labor-march

Candidate for VP Bruce Peek speaks at board meeting

Due to technical difficulties there is no video of Bruce speaking at the board meeting but according to reliable sources Bruce spoke on the subject Cascade Policy Institute and their anti transit propaganda. He also brought up the funding of the policy group as being from anonymous sources.
Bruce also talked about the "customer service committee" which is mandated by the union contract but does not exist at the present time.
The SIP's issue was discussed and the basic unfairness of that with drivers getting complaints because they actually are attempting to enforce the fare policy.

IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY EYESIGHT?

This is from TRIMET'S dashboard,  the most recently available.
 It clearly shows (unless my eyes are failing) that ACTUAL revenues are MORE THAN budgeted revenues!
 So what changed in one months time? Or are they BULLSHITTING US?

BULLSHIT IS A VALUE AT TRIMET

This is unreal, last month everything is hunky dory, new executives hired, new station agents hired, new road supervisors hired, a whole bunch of middle managers hired, Milwaukie MAX moving full speed ahead, new computer applications introduced, and this month THE SKY IS FALLING!

HOW MUCH BULLSHIT DO WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH?

BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS-tweets by Joseph Rose

warns of $12 million to $17 million budget gap, asks public for help dealing with red ink

board member Steve Clarke brings up phantom of WES cut as "example" of everythign on the table

McFarlane: Suggests maybe another fare increase in early 2012 instead of Sept.

My guess: proposed #trimet fare transfer idea is now stuck in the mud.

McFarlane: LIFT fare increases will be put back on table as result

f TriMet cut its full $12m shortfall from service, it'd be a worse cut than 2010's devastating round

McFarlane: "all hands on deck mentality." everything looked at for cuts, with "riders' benefits coming first."

McFarlane: Budget problems "presume" there will be at least a 5 cent fare increase next year, maybe more.

deHamel: Easy cutting decisions long gone.

In past 3 years, #trimet cut 13% of bus service, 10% MAX service. More coming?

deHamel: Expecting $4 million less in federal funding in FY 2013. Usually gets $40-45 million a year

finance director Beth deHamel: Recent union board ruling eliminated potential savings in union contract of $5-10 million.

McFarlane: after decades at #trimet "not sure I’ve ever seen so many forces of uncertainty coming together

Neil McFarlane: #trimet thoroughly reviewing bus, MAX injury incidents in Washington County this week.

Tomorrow, all #trimet drivers will have gone through recertification program sparked by Sandi Day striking 5 pedestrians in 2010

board still waiting for quorum, eight min after meeting was supposed to start. Not good role model for buses running on time

TRIMET ANNOUNCES BUDGET PROBLEMS!!

Well Neil Macfarlane, why don't you do what you always do when you have an insurmountable problem:

HIRE ANOTHER EXECUTIVE WITH A SIX FIGURE PAYCHECK!


What about the billion and a half dollar  MYSTERY TRAIN? I guess that gets fully funded  because it's RAIL CAPITAL PROJECTS and without that money coming in YOU MIGHT GET THE BOOT RIGHT OUTTA HERE!

A BLAST FROM THE PAST

http://www.portlandtribune.com/opinion/print_story.php?story_id=118521936262758700

Nothing has really changed in the 4+ years.

MICHAEL MOORE MAKES PORTLAND APPEARANCE OCTOBER 31

http://www.revolutiontruth.org/halloween-fundraiser-2011

He will also be at Powell's for a book signing at 500PM

Video log October 25

PART 1
PART 2

Hillarious

Mr Macfarlane has just gotten through adding at least 3 high priced executives to our budget, (safety director, labor director, cultural director) and now they have the nerve to talk about budget problems.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Après moi, le déluge

MAX FAQS

Guy steals city bus and goes for a ride

Bus thief caught after wild ride in Fla. Panhandle - Florida Wires - MiamiHerald.com

SOME GUY SHOOTING VIDEO AT BTC

He is trying to catch bus drivers not stopping at the little stop area in the middle of the transit center, crazy shit!

4 riders hurt when TriMet bus stops short to avoid collision with car

5767...involved with some medical problem...ambulance, fire trucks, police, supervispors out here in forest grove...looks crazy!

Candidate for VP Bruce Peek

Transportation's future a rocky road

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/66732.html

Video log October 24-part 2

GOVERNMENT GOON SQUAD MOVES IN ON OCCUPY OAKLAND

Dozens Arrested as Police Close Occupy Oakland Encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza - KRON 4 News

CAR 235! HOW ARE YOU?

MAX FAQs

One of my all time favorite TRIMET characters-MERLO MARS

I wonder who sent this in?

Remember, being a bus driver at TRIMET means you can be targeted, anonymously, by anybody anywhere, even by people that don't ride your bus.
(This person uses my full name but I don't get to know their name. You might remember where this sort of practice was commonly used to condemn people, STALIN'S RUSSIA)

TRIMET (mis)management already has the answer to this nonsense SIP.
This is actually my first SIP, these SIP's stay in your file forever  weather they have foundation or not.

They go into a "green file" and after you get some number of these TRIMET (mis)management sends you to a 'retraining' class. (Like Stalin's Russia)

HERE IS THE COMPLAINT:



AND HERE FOR THE WORLD TO SEE IS MY RESPONSE:

ORS 165.540(7)
(Look it up yourself)

Video log October 24-part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hB5jWqn4o0

Steve Fung attempts to clean his bus (since Trimet doesn't)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOEG_NfiLx4

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bus Ads you won't see in Portland...

LIGHT RAIL FAIL

 Hillsboro police say semitrailer driver to be cited after colliding with MAX train | OregonLive.com

KPTV

Eight people injured in crash between MAX train and semi in Hillsboro | OregonLive.com

 Slideshow Landing Page - KPTV - FOX 12

TRIMET FEMLA flow chart and info

Located here!

More info here! 

Transit districts excel at wasting tax payers money

RTA approves no-bid public affairs contract, but it's unclear what consultant will deliver - chicagotribune.com

Addicted to overtime

It’s always Groundhog Day with Muni overtime

WANNA BE A BUS DRIVER? Better know what you are getting into

"It's dangerous," said Bx9 driver Maria Hogan, who was slugged by an irate Bronx passenger on Sept. 10. "People think they can just get away with abusing you verbally or physically."

THE SPROCKET

DR JEFF

How a Few Bad Apples Ruin Everything


What harm can a handful of nasty or incompetent employees do? A lot more than you may think.
The Human Resourse Dept, Station Managers and Union Executives need to heed the message in this article.

Hollywood TC Elevator Inspection

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dimitrie Orlov lecture on collapse

Listen to the lecture here!

"White" city

http://www.newgeography.com/content/001110-the-white-city

Jack Bogdanski commentary

Hall of Cluelessness (Jack Bog's Blog)
Transit mall bricks: The mystery continues (Jack Bog's Blog)

Would you say this is getting out of control?

Gaddafi

Where's Muammar?
Gaddafi's Murder and International Law
Muammar Gaddafi's Last Moments - He is dragged to a truck and killed.

US Government Supports Protesters Abroad and Jails Them at Home

http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/13083

Crazy asian on the max dancing

(Not my movie managers)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp4PwQpXF-k

Hybrid transit buses

"Mini" Hybrid

"Real" Hybrid

Nation's transit systems in peril

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2016574393_peirce23.html

Bus Dog!

Corgi Dressed as M23 Bus Wins Halloween Dog Parade - WNYC Culture

Lift bus driver intentionally rams Hells Angel

I-580 reopens after bus driver arrested for intentionally ramming, killing Hells Angel biker - San Jose Mercury News

BUS DRIVER STABBED

Bus driver stabbed by passenger in Newark | NJ.com

4 car MAX train!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNIsfGD2nI0&feature=colike

NPR STIFLES FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION&SPEECH

NPR Gets Radio Host Fired for Occupying | War Is A Crime .org

PDX Transport Blog (Jim Karlock)

http://www.pdxtransport.com/

What are they hiding?

The fact that David Evans & Associates has filed a lawsuit to block the residents of Vancouver from gaining access under the Freedom of Information Act to the records pertaining to the $30 million in Columbia River Crossing funds that the firm has been paid has left me feeling really uneasy. An Oct. 11 story reported “CRC consultant sues to stop release of records.” What untoward thing do they have to hide?

My mind wonders about these records since our Mayor Tim Leavitt works for PBS Engineering as an engineer and his firm is associated with TriMet projects including their contract for light-rail cars, and David Evans & Associates has been contracted for light-rail projects for TriMet as well. This issue begs for a complete investigation before another step is made.

Barbara Cunningham

Vancouver

The worst Trimet riders

http://www.portlandpulp.com/transportation/131366508.html

Art on TRIMET


I'm surprised they didn't just leave it till Monday, Like the vomit in the elevator at the Hollywood Transit Center

Underemployed And Hating Life

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/underemployed-and-hating-life

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Herb! BLAST FROM THE PAST

Tweets!

melogna: I like how all #TriMet buses have the American flag in their window, lest someone question their loyalties.
MissErika92: FUCK TRIMET
cme2009: @trimet I was just wondering why on the online trip planner, the default walking distance is now 1 mile? It used to be 1/4 or 1/2 mile
  JosedePDX: @trimet The bus Driver did see me! He waved to me as he left!! ·
alannarisse: @trimet Do you have an after hours # I can call. Just had a run in with a bus driver with serious road rage issues. ·
alanpdx: Tis the season for bad perfume on Trimet. #Augh ·
Sequelcast: I hope @Trimet invests in something to soften the loud engines in the buses. Louder than an airplane!
anzadesu: This bus smells like piss... Like... Really bad. It's making me feel sick. #Trimet #bus77
anzadesu: Wow bus you are WAY early. Like 5 min early. No bueno. #Trimet
sporkbot: I am so fucking angry. The trimet officer gave me a "Curtosey Ticket" and kept the one I bought as "Evidence" EVIDENCE OF WHAT ITS NOT DATED
alicynx: @trimet, is the 12 line where you put your worst drivers? This is getting ridiculous!
mikerigsby: Good lord. Annoying chick on my #Trimet 99 is nagging at everyone to "Smile!" Bitch, I've been up for 16 hrs, too tired for tweakers. :p
  mikerigsby: Time to play #Trimet roulette and see if my bus actually shows up today.
Lextastic09: Mission to PSU. ahhhh I freakin HATE trimet!

I didn't shoot this video

Alcoholic Werewolf on the MAX

Shooting at Trimet bus stop

Gang team investigates Saturday afternoon bus stop shooting

LIVE FROM THE FRONTLINE-GREECE

The Greeks are fighting the battle before it gets to America,this war is heading here soon!

MAX KEISER

OCCUPY WORLD!

Stealing Your Pension: The Daily Show Looks At The 1% Reverse Robin Hood

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-october-17-2011/ellen-schultz

One of the ways that Wall Street has caused this massive shift of wealth strictly to the top 1 percent is in the way corporations have decimated pension funds. Investigative journalist Ellen Schultz wrote the book Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers to illustrate how these corporations have pulled a reverse Robin Hood and robbed from the working poor to give yet even more to the rich. From the publisher's description:
It's no secret that hundreds of companies have been slashing pensions and health coverage earned by millions of retirees. Employers blame an aging workforce, stock market losses, and spiraling costs- what they call "a perfect storm" of external forces that has forced them to take drastic measures.
But this so-called retirement crisis is no accident. Ellen E. Schultz, award-winning investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, reveals how large companies and the retirement industry-benefits consultants, insurance companies, and banks-have all played a huge and hidden role in the death spiral of American pensions and benefits.A little over a decade ago, most companies had more than enough set aside to pay the benefits earned by two generations of workers, no matter how long they lived. But by exploiting loopholes, ambiguous regulations, and new accounting rules, companies essentially turned their pension plans into piggy banks, tax shelters, and profit centers.
Drawing on original analysis of company data, government filings, internal corporate documents, and confidential memos, Schultz uncovers decades of widespread deception during which employers have exaggerated their retiree burdens while lobbying for government handouts, secretly cutting pensions, tricking employees, and misleading shareholders. She reveals how companies:
Siphon billions of dollars from their pension plans to finance downsizings and sell the assets in merger deals
Overstate the burden of rank-and-file retiree obligations to justify benefits cuts while simultaneously using the savings to inflate executive pay and pensions
Hide their growing executive pension liabilities, which at some companies now exceed the liabilities for the regular pension plans
Purchase billions of dollars of life insurance on workers and use the policies as informal executive pension funds. When the insured workers and retirees die, the company collects tax-free death benefits
Preemptively sue retirees after cutting retiree health benefits and use other legal strategies to erode their legal protections.
Though the focus is on large companies-which drive the legislative agenda-the same games are being played at smaller companies, non-profits, public pensions plans and retirement systems overseas. Nor is this a partisan issue: employees of all political persuasions and income levels-from managers to miners, pro- football players to pilots-have been slammed.

Safety is a value?

Except when it comes to health/safety, or if it's on a weekend... Earlier today I needed to transfer from a bus to a train at Hollywood TC. I took the elevator down to the train platform, and it was hard to miss the GIANT POOL OF VOMIT on the wall/floor of the elevator. It's Saturday so I can't call TriMet's customer service, so when my train came in I knocked on the cab door and told the operator.

He says, "Yeah we know, it was called in yesterday--"

"YESTERDAY?!" - I generally make an effort to not interrupt people, but seriously?

"--Yes, yesterday" he continued, "but with the cutbacks in cleaning apparently there's no one who can clean that until Monday morning."

So if you're going through the Hollywood TC & need to take the elevator tomorrow, enjoy riding it with 2-day old vomit. Sure, that sounds safe.

WEEKLY READERSHIP REPORT

HOW THE EUROPEANS DO THE "OCCUPY" MOVEMENT

If only we could get our fellow Americans to understand the importance of fighting the banks!

Greeks fight against the bankster control


Trimet in violation of federal law "13c"?

But it also appears to be in conflict with a federal labor law, sometimes referred to as 13C, which requires that public bodies receiving federal grants preserve the collective bargaining rights of public unions, according to Gerald Poisson, chairman of the SMART board of directors.
The contracts of the four unions representing SMART employees expired Dec. 31. Because the new state law forbids SMART to pay for step increases and medical coverage provided for under the old contract, the Amalgamated Transit Union petitioned the Department of Labor to withhold $20 million to $26 million in federal grants to SMART -- which the feds have tentatively agreed to do.

Editorial: Fix Michigan labor law or risk devastating cuts to SMART bus service | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

Another car plows into bus stop

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2b3_1223946028

Car plows into bus stop-warning, gruesome

Transit police rough up guy in wheelchair

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSYofminfg4

My old pal Marcus Griffith still around

Vancouver couple had history of abuse allegations - Koinlocal6.com

Mayor Sam Adamas, city say streetcar attracted $4 billion in private investment

The Truth-O-Meter Says:

OPAL press room

http://www.opalpdx.org/press-room/

Portland Transports (Bob Richardson) production of the street car music bands

A Little Streetcar Music

Classic scene from "The Big Bus"-Bus drivers in Bus drivers bar

Bus drivers start clicking their ticket punches all together in disapproval of one of their own!

BIBIANA!

Bibiana McHugh

Boring survey released

TriMet asks for input, releases survey results in Boring withdrawal petition | OregonLive.com

Mary Priester-director of trimet art

Transit funds are not about providing transit anymore:

Hillarious

Peter Rogoff, head of the Federal Transit Administration, presented a top honor to Metro and TriMet last week, pointing to the region as a leader in efficiency and inclusiveness. The light rail project received the 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award, which recognizes excellence in providing accessible, "truly useful" information to the public and decision-makers.

Comedy here!

Video log-October 21

PART 1
PART 2

Reddit

I wish Trimet had night owl service, especially for the lack of taxis. : Portland
Do you have a completely selfish fantasy transit line wish / map? Here's mine. : Portland

Video log-October 20-PART 1(a)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKvfetjscQg

Friday, October 21, 2011

The 1100s



What were the 1100s?

According to this online historical Tri-Met bus roster the 1100s were a group of GMC and Flxible New Look (a.k.a. "Fishbowl" buses) that were purchased second hand from a variety of sources including Denver and a Hawaiian transit agency.  Tri-Met purchased the buses between 1975 and 1980 so they actually pre-date the 700s (artics) which were purchased in 1981.  However the artics had more than their fair share of problems when introduced (including the infamous falling-off-the-wheelchair-lift incident resulting in the disabling of the center-door mounted wheelchair lifts, and the cracked frames).

Many of the buses were originally numbered in lower series, such as in the 200s, 400s, 500s, and 900s.  In 1981, these buses were renumbered into the 1100 series to make way for the GMC RTS fleet that would occupy the 900 series.  The RTSes and Crown-Ikarus flxibles would be the first buses delivered in the red, orange and brown stripe scheme and not the orange scheme Tri-Met used since its inception, and would exist well into the 1980s on older vehicles.

Tri-Met also had a trio of GMC buses in the 1200-1202 series.  From 1988 through 1989 Tri-Met would backfill the now empty 500 and 600 series with the first order of Flxible Metros.  In 1990, Gillig made its first appearance in Portland with a fleet of Phantoms showing up in the 1400 series - a model and series that exists to this day as TriMet's oldest fleet vehicle.  For some reason the 1500 series was skipped over, and the 30 foot Phantoms took the 1600 series.  Tri-Met returned to Flxible for more Metros in the 1700 and 1800 series, plus an order of 10 30' buses in the 1900 series in the mid-1990s.

By the late 1990s when Westside MAX was opened, Tri-Met (soon to become just TriMet) would place in service its 2000 series New Flyer D40LFs (TriMet's first Flyers) and its 2100 series Gillig Phantoms...and then retire the last of the 300 and 400 series Flxible New Looks dating back as far as 1972, the 700 series Crown-Ikarus artics, and the 900 series RTSes.  Some of the 900 series vehicles were sold to SMART and Cherriots, and I am still kicking myself for not getting a picture of a former TriMet 900 series vehicle still in TriMet colors at the Barbur Transit Center running SMART's 2X route.  (The bus was later repainted, but the Tri-Met fleet number above the driver's window was not removed giving a hint to its heritage.  I have a picture of the bus in that paint somewhere, and I believe that bus was only recently retired when SMART purchased some used Phantoms, believed from C-Tran.)  Cherriots has also recently retired its once large RTS fleet and replaced it with a mixed fleet of Orion and Gillig low-floor buses.

The 300s, 400s, 500s, and 700s quickly disappeared - rarely one can be found purchased by a private party who intended to convert it into a RV; I've never seen a successful conversion of an ex-TriMet bus.  One bus, vehicle 434, was purchased by a "bus fan" and is the only known preserved former Tri-Met bus.

Back to the 1100s...most of them were of the following models:

GMC TDH-5303
GMC TDH-5301
Flxible F2D6V-401
Flxible F2D6V-401-1

The GMC naming convention is pretty easy:
T:  Transit (as opposed to S: for suburban/commuter)
D: Diesel (G: gas was also available)
H: Hydraulic Transmission (as opposed to M: for manual transmission)

53:  53 passenger seating configuration (a 40 foot bus)
01:  Series, these buses were manufactured between 1959-1962


Here's a picture of such a bus from Wikipedia.

Here's a picture of a Tri-Met TDH-4519, a 1963-1967 era 35 foot bus (vehicle 575, originally a Rose City Transit vehicle.)

Flxible's model numbers were obviously a little different.  For a model F2D6V-401:

F2:  102 inch wide body (all GMCs were 96 inches wide)
D:  Diesel (Propane was an option)
6V:  Detroit Diesel 6V71 engine with a T-Drive transmission
-40:  40 foot length
1:  Transit (Suburban buses had a '7')

The buses that had the additional "-1" had air conditioning.

Here's a video of a restored Seattle Transit System F2D6V which you can ride as part of Metro's Historical Vehicle fleet (and proudly owned by King County Metro!)

Carrying this around with me

Just in case I need to use it at a moments notice!

Drivers that understand what safety means-WITHOUT THE STUPID RECERTIFICATION CLASS


March to Vancouver for Jobs

STEVE FUNG'S Oregon State Marching Band at Pioneer Square

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNTvTK07je4

Who knows what's going on around here with our LUMBERING BUREAUCRACY

A week ago I sent out a note about some organizational realignments that I have put in place. Those changes are intended to better align the agency to focus on the very challenging work we have ahead of us. I know that change is hard and I want to thank you for your patience and support over the past few months. Now that the organizational changes have been made, some people will be physically moving to be closer to their new work groups. Throughout this process we attempted to communicate and involve you in conversations about these changes. However, there may have been some cases where we might not have been able to communicate as quickly as we wanted. I hope you understand that this was not intentional. Although the bulk of the organizational changes have been made, continuous improvement means we will be tweaking as needed. We have rough seas ahead of us with our many budget uncertainties. I will definitely keep you abreast of what all of this means as we begin to navigate these troubled waters. Communication, although not an exact science, is key to keeping us all afloat. I would ask that you focus on the destination and stay positive on the journey. We’re all in this together and I need everyone rowing in the same direction! Best to you all! Neil

WELCOME TO THE BUREAUCRACY RANDY (keep on hiring new execs Neil, we are rolling in $$$)

I am pleased to welcome Randy Stedman to the TriMet family. Randy has been selected as TriMet’s new Executive Director of Labor Relations and Human Resources. Randy has over 30 years of human resources and labor relations experience and has spent the last nine years at Workplace Practices Group where he was the Founding Principal.
With nearly 85% of our workforce represented and with my desire to strengthen our relationship with the Amalgamated Transit Union, it’s more important than ever to have someone with Randy’s skills at the agency. His experience in building healthy relationships with labor unions and his strong background in human resources will make him a great addition to our current skilled HR team. His expertise in maintaining a highly-qualified and energized workforce will be invaluable to our agency as we work through these challenges together.
Randy’s primary responsibilities will be overseeing our labor relations and managing the Human Resources and Workforce Development departments. All will be located on the second floor here at Center Street. Randy’s first day at TriMet is November 14, 2011.
I know that you will join me in welcoming Randy to his new role here at TriMet.
Neil (Mcfarlane)

Workplace Practices Group - Randy Stedman - W-P-G Founding Principal
Workplace Practices Group - About Us
Facebook Page

Video log-October 20-part 2

MONTHLY MEETING OF TRIMET STICK FIGURES ANNOUNCED

TriMet: Board of Directors Meetings

Is TriMet Getting Some Hybrid Lift Vehicles?

Portland Transport Here!

CRYING BABIES OFF THE BUS!

Mass Murder of Wild Animals in Ohio. Horrific.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-5_bQI4n-s

How dare you say no to federal funds?

LaHood chides Fla. Gov. Rick Scott again for rejecting rail money - The Hill's Transportation Report

He's leaving home bye bye

BikePortland.org » Blog Archive » TriMet's bike access planner Colin Maher to leave at end of month

Trimet customer service "sucks"

Last week, my commute home was interrupted. I was frustrated when my train was behind schedule, and then taken out of service.
Not in Service Yellow Line trainMy reaction was similar to the reaction of those around me. “We are all late because your trains are running behind schedule, and your response is to kick us off the train and tell us to wait for the next one? Seriously, TriMet?”
The next day, it happened again. This time we were told there were too many trains. However, our train was nearly shoulder to shoulder. Saying there were too many trains, to those of us on the train, didn’t ring true. And it underlined that TriMet didn’t care about us, a train full of riders.
READ THE ARTICLE HERE! 

calling a general meeting of TriMet riders

http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/671428/81d499c243/1527506891/99005cd38f/

Videos

Rembering the 1100 series buses
Steve scopes out the restaurant guide
Why would they turn off public access to drinking water?
Video log-October 20-

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Keiser Report

Keiser Report: Live and Let Fail (E199)

Americans want to DRIVE to work

Despite considerable investments in transit systems, there was only a marginal increase in usage (less than half of one percentage point). Even this was considered a triumph, because it ended an actual decline in transit use. Still, fewer than one in 20 workers uses public transportation to get to work. Cycling, for all the noise and debate about bike lanes, inched from 0.4% of workers to 0.5%. Another 40 years or so and it might make it to one in a hundred!
Between 2000 and 2010, Metros (subways and elevated) accounted for 48% of the increase in transit commuting, while buses and a trolley buses accounted for 43%. Light rail (trolleys and streetcars) accounted for less than 2% of the additional transit commuting, despite the fact that light rail has been the dominant form of rail transit expansion.
Get that? People take subways. They don’t take streetcars. No matter how effective streetcars may be in Copenhagen. And they’d rather stay home and work than take either.


More people than ever drive solo to work despite a decade of green lectures | Full Comment | National Post

Good article about traffic congestion

Why congestion pricing will always be unpopular | Reuters

How Congress shapes your commute

Even our daily sojourns to the office are affected by the twists and turns in the U.S. tax code. If you drive to work, your employer can cover up to $230 per month in parking costs tax-free. And in recent years, if you take mass transit, your employer has also been able to reimburse you, tax-free, for up to $230. This latter program was part of the 2009 stimulus bill, and one Businessweek survey found that, when companies do offer it, many workers really do shift to public transportation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/how-congress-shapes-your-commute/2011/10/19/gIQA7GHOxL_blog.html 

WTF?

I am reviewing the latest RSA (request for safety)which was updated 10/13/11.

According to the report, there has been no request for safety assessment since May 2011?

That's rather odd, unless you have been working here for awhile.
Many of us have found out that unless your request is about some sort of mechanical issue, (sign is broken, light is broken etc)then nothing will be changed.

So we gave up, just like we did with the yellow cards.
We get tired of putting our effort, on our time, into a process that goes nowhere

Some management crony, who most likely knows nothing about the route or about driving a bus, is paid to review these and then comes up with an elaborate explanation as to why they won't do anything about the structural issue.

For example: fans for buses without air conditioning, or road reliefs that require you to jump in the seat and then make the necessary adjustments to mirrors, seats, etc as you drive down the road.

Another fake "process" that changes nothing created by our top managers who are addicted to bureaucratic answers to real world problems.

Motorcylist gets creamed by car-slowed down version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51YOA6QUZkw

Video log-October 19-part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7e1Tg3uNPQ

TRIMET LIFT SERVICE GETTING READY TO STRIKE!

Almost all the operators have gone through the RE-CERTIFICATION CLASS

So has it done anything, well, lets take a look at this next chart provided by TRIMET:


Let's take a closer look:


THE ACCIDENT RATE IS IDENTICAL TO THE ACCIDENT RATE AT THIS TIME BEFORE THE CLASS EVEN EXISTED!
IN OTHER WORDS THERE IS NO CHANGE!

More interesting data

The chart below is called "efficiency" or "cost per ride". (not including the cost of installation of course)


But the interesting thing about this chart is this:

Remember the red line is the light rail, costs per ride on light rail are increasing while cost per ride on bus is DECREASING, and buses cost ZERO in terms of additional capital investment!

Video log-October 19-part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REvxwsGM8Ww

STOP THE PRESSES! STOP THE PRESSES!

Do my eyes deceive me?

We better look a little closer at this chart, remember the BLUE LINE is bus ridership:


YUP! Bus ridership is UP, light rail ridership is DOWN, funny how they didn't see that on the monthly report?

Steve Fung's movie of the week

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFlCkMVYhK0

BUS FASTER THAN LIGHT RAIL FROM VANCOUVER TO PORTLAND

A trip from downtown Vancouver to downtown Portland would take more than twice as long on a light rail train as it would on existing bus service, a recent analysis of Columbia River Crossing plans found.

Analysis puts light rail, bus times side by side | The Columbian

Gaddafi Killed; Mauled by Tiger in Ohio

ZANESVILLE (The Borowitz Report) – A grim chapter in the history of Libya came to a close today when fugitive dictator Muammar Gaddafi was mauled to death by an escaped tiger in Zanesville, Ohio.

At the Central Intelligence Agency, a spokesman stopped short of speculating how the Libyan strongman somehow made his way to the remote Ohio town, saying only, “We didn’t plan on Gaddafi being taken out this way, but a win’s a win.”

The tiger, a longtime Zanesville resident, is being flown to the White House where she will receive the Presidential Medal of Honor.

In a brief statement, President Barack Obama said, “Under my watch, we’ve killed both Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi. That really should be enough to reelect me, especially if I’m running against a pizza man.”

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) offered this comment on Gaddafi’s death: “Muammar Gaddafi will no longer live to terrorize Asia.” Read More Here

Why are they protesting?