Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday VLOG

Part 1
Part 2

Jack Bogdanski commentary

There are some great comments:

Tri-Met: "We're broke! What should we do?" (Jack Bog's Blog)

$17 million in the hole? Let's look at the PORK OF TRIMET

And we are only $17 million in the hole? It's a miracle actually! 
Click on the links below to see the breakdown

Thanks to ERIK HALSTEAD for providing this information!

Other stories regarding this issue:

Scenes from DT PDX on Friday

While I waited for my road relief bus,I had a chance to take a few photos.

Short line the Red Line?

TriMet has launched an online budget tool to get input on how to address the anticipated $12-17 million shortfall. Users are presented with different options that are under consideration and can see how different combinations of them can be arranged to reach the $17 million goal.
Among the options are several affecting Red Line service: not changing it at all, running it just between Gateway and PDX, and running it between 11th Ave and PDX.  Oddly enough, that last one is how the Red Line used to be run for the first two years before it was extended to Beaverton TC in 2003, which helped accommodate growing ridership on the Blue Line.

TriMet bus rider injured in bicycle-caused 'panic stop' still in OHSU intensive care unit

Officer Crawls Under Bus to Comfort Woman Pinned Under Wheel: ‘I’ll Stay Until We Get You Out’

“I had to go past her leg and I could see that her right knee and thigh were completely opened up, just peeled back. I could see right into her leg,” Peck said, adding that her shoulders were pinned so that she could breathe but couldn’t move.

Story Here!

Aren’t Those New Streetcars Kind of Expensive?

Michael Neibauer reports that the District Department of Transportation has awarded the contract for two new streetcars to a Portland company, which offered a price of $8.7 million for the pair. That's $3.7 million for each 144-passenger vehicle, plus another $1.3 million for design, delivery, and insurance.
By contrast, Metro's new buses cost $570,000 each and can fit about 80 people total. The schmancy new 7000-series rail cars cost about $2 million each (including shipping, parts, etc.), have 64 seats, and roomier aisles for more people standing. We knew the streetcar wasn't going to be cheap, but damn.


bus driver assaulted twice on same journey

Bullying transit workers

TWU protest MTA's 'unfair contract' proposal - am New York

The 10 dumbest transportation problems in East Portland

Portland Afoot

Wednesday VLOG-part 1


The Office of Government Affairs is responsible for managing on-going intergovernmental relations, long-range funding, policy development and implementation with local, regional, state and federal legislative and administrative officials.

TRIMET policy on releasing operator names

TriMet is required by Oregon Public Records law to release the names of employees. TriMet releases the name and years of service of employees involved in accidents or incidents. Following a serious accident or incident, we do not release the information for up to 12 hours in order to support our employees during a difficult time. This limit allows time for the individual to get assistance from our Employee Assistance Program, as well as allow for gathering accurate and thorough information at the scene of the incident. Under special circumstances, TriMet will honor a request by law enforcement personnel to withhold the employee's name.
The news media has access to police reports and can get an employee's name from that source. They have called employees at their homes following a serious incident. While the communications department will not release an employee's phone number, we may call to ask if the employee is interested in talking to the media.

$17 million in the red? CUT THE "IT" DEPT

The IT Department is made up of 6 groups.  Each group has distinct responsibilites in delivering IT support and functions to TriMet.
    • Enterprise Systems Development
    • GIS & Location Based Services
    • Network Communications
    • Oracle Technology
    • Operations Systems
    • Technical Services

$17 million in the red? CUT OUT MARKETING!

Welcome to Marketing! The Marketing Department supports the agency's expectation to communicate, represent and achieve safety-driven service excellence with an integrated approach to creating the best possible experience for our customers. Marketing's focus will be on key initiatives that seek to enhance ridership experience and build community support in alignment with TriMet's brand position and shared values. Contributions to the overall success of agency priorities will come in the form of quantitative and qualitative outcomes. Marketing Priorities: * Safety Education Encourage safe behavior and increase awareness of what we do to help keep people safe. * Brand Management/Public Relations Promote and protect the key principles of The TriMet Way, aligning our vision with public perception by promoting positive examples of transit benefits, and managing and strengthening our relationships with customers and the community by being proactive and interactive with information and engagement. * Ridership Promote new and existing amenities, tools and service to our riders and prospects, to enhance the customer experience. * Customer Information Deliver timely, accurate and relevant information to riders via static and dynamic content channels, providing customer what they want (and need), when they want it. * Revenue Generation Manage pass programs, partnerships and advertising/promotional opportunities to maximize revenue and/or leverage resources for the agency.



The third and most important factor is the failure of TriMet and the union to come to terms on a new contract. TriMet projects a $5 to $10 million shortfall due to the rising costs of health care and wage benefits, and notes that these costs will continue to rise over time if the union does not accept some kind of benefit reduction.
Portland Transport: TriMet Launches "Cut The Budget" On-line Tool

"Engineer  Scotty" from P-tansport did point out to me that he noticed that anti union hype in the MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA so called "tool"

TriMet has a new web tool on how to deal with the upcoming funding crisis. Of particular interest may be this FAQ, which contains TriMet's answers to common questions like "why not cut WES" or "why not delay Milwaukie MAX"?
That said, fairness requires that I point out that the page DOES go to great lengths to wag fingers at the transit union.

TriMet: Why is there a budget shortfall?

TriMet: Jobs - $93,360.00 - $140,038.00 Annually

Joe Ruffin

Vlog for Thursday

 Part 1
Part 2

Thursday, December 15, 2011

TriMet phasing out 'non-foil' old-style fare tickets


In their new posting about the budget problems, we see a very obvious attempt to sway public opinion.
Is it actually legal for a non profit governmental agency to preach a point of view to the public?
More abuse of authority from our "managers". 
It's obvious to me that this company has been actively engaging in a all out public relations war on its employees, blowing up the bad employees into a public spectacle, and propagandizing  using its multi million dollar tax payer funded marketing department.
It's despicable.

Because of a 2007 change in the law, we cannot unilaterally implement our final offer to the union. Instead we must engage in all-or-nothing interest arbitration, a forum in which it is extremely difficult to make significant changes no matter how out-of-line union wages and benefits are.  

  TriMet: Why is there a budget shortfall?

Does Trimet ignore relevant information with the intent of embarrassing its employees?

Operator Joe Ramonda goes to China



We get our first look at RANDY STEADMAN

The new TriMet Labor Relations guy. 
(Maybe I was imagining things but it sure appeared that he was staring at me several times during that board meeting)

What about the other "Hunts"?

Get elected to be a union officer and MAKE THE DOUGH

How did Sam make as much as Jon? This  is the 2011 report.

The TriMet budget problems

 This is pretty interesting actually. I filled out the questionnaire at the end and made one comment:
All employees making $100k or more a year need to take a 10% pay cut!
Also there is a shameless use of anti union propagandizing in this "tool"

More better?

July 2011 Delivering MORE and BETTER Service TriMet’s Five Year Action Plan We will build and operate the Total Transit System by delivering MORE SERVICE and BETTER SERVICE to our customers. MORE and BETTER SERVICE is achieved by focusing on customer needs, ensuring financial stability and building partnerships for transit growth. The result is service that is safe, dependable, responsive, easy and inviting. What do we do in the next five years?

Meanwhile, in Scotland


Jack Bogdanski commentary

Boring secession from Tri-Met passes (Jack Bog's Blog)

Rising star on the TRIMET board

The more I watch and listen to Steve Clark, the more I am impressed with his point of view. At first I thought he was just running interference for the paradigm, but I am beginning to change my mind. I am not the only person to notice his independent agenda.

What's wrong with Tiffany Sweitzer?

For the last four meetings she has left the meetings as soon as the public testimony begins. We are sure she is a very busy woman, but never hanging around to hear the public comments shows a complete lack of empathy for the transit riding population. If she feels she is too busy to actually attend the meetings to the end then maybe she should resign or be replaced.

Mars with shit eating grin---he's got his 30 years

Wednesday vlog-2

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My written testimony to the TRIMET board

Example of unsafe TRIMET bus

Example of unsafe TriMet bus


Testimony to the TriMet Board of Directors-12/14/11
Al M

Members of the TriMet Board of Directors, I appear before you today because
I am concerned about what I am hearing from our general manager and what I
see on the job as an employee.

For months now Mr. McFarlane has been talking about how much his safety
Initiative is improving the operating conditions at TriMet; about changing
our culture and making safety a value, and not a word.


She couldn't stay for the testimony but her presence was greatly appreciated!

Michael Levine says TRIMET should have listened to its own CAT committee

The office of the general manager

267.135 General manager; qualifications; term; removal. (1) The board
shall appoint a general manager on the basis of the qualifications of the
general manager with special reference to the actual experience in or
knowledge of accepted practices in respect to the duties of the office of
the general manager. A general manager shall hold office for an indefinite
term and may be removed by the board only by an affirmative vote of a
majority of the members.

Jason says yes, Cameron says no

Jason Mchuff says yes to Boring withdrawal
 Cameron Johnson says no to Boring withdrawal

ATU 587 President Calls for Monthly Sick Out

Puget Sound Operators

Activist operators (and one retiree) address the TRIMET board

Alan Eisenberg gives quite a show at the TRIMET board meeting
 My testimony to the Trimet board of directors
 Steve Fung addresses the Trimet Board
 Jeff Asch adresses the Trimet Board

Trimet board surprises everyone and agrees to Boring's independence

TriMet board votes to approve Boring withdrawal |


Board highlights

-Trimet directors grants Boring independence! 
-Director Swietzer leaves right after Boring vote and before public testimony.
- Macfarlane indignant about complaints about scheduling. Says bitterly " I'll be happy to provide report on how we do schedules" Neil not happy right now! 
 -Alan Eisenberg stole the show today! WOW!

What's with the fareboxes and why won't they just get new ones

Dear Al, Tri-Met has just recently refurbished the ominous fareboxes, much to the demise of the drivers....they are malfunctioning at a galatic rate !!! This has added no end of frustration to the drivers' already list of problematic elements to juggle,(not to mention the miscalculations that are occurring with the auditing dept) . I am speaking from center street experience, and do not know if Powell and Merlo were involved in last weekends' installation of refurbished machines. There seems to be a more than 50% failure in the machines in question...Who is the contractor, and why the Hell didn't Tri-Met just opt for the full replacement of all Fareboxes ?

What the Board really wanted to tell Al and I

Norway in state of panic

Butter shortages hit Norway

Car sharing takes off in the U.S.

Personal car-sharing spreads from California to Oregon and, very soon, to a neighborhood near you. The concept of hiring out your own vehicle has proven wildly popular here and around the globe. 

 Peer-to-peer carsharing service coming to Portland

The perils of privatization

Ted Hesson: Surprise! Nassau Bus Deal Was Rotten

Light rail scrapped in Detroit

Detroit light-rail plan is dead; buses will be used instead | Detroit Free Press |


My fellow officers; I write to you do to the fact that I can't sleep tonight. At our Union's Monday morning meeting today we had several Nela members present, one of which was a woman about 30 years old, timid and shy. She sat through the meeting not saying anything; just waiting until she could get a word in edgewise.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Latest stories

TriMet to continue fare crackdown | kgwcom Portland
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Video - Local News
A Clean and Safe Battle
Urban League Contract Under Review
MaxRedline: Tri - Met Hires Fare Inspectors For Light Rail

Great moments from Trimet Board meetings

 9:00 am tomorrow at the Portland Building!

What the hell is this?

Looking through the RSA's I spotted this one, of course I can't see the original request (so much for transparency) so I wonder what the hell its all about.

Request for safety assessments

They don't show us the original request anymore, which is a shame because I liked reading the original complaints.

Steve Fung adventures to Pioneer Place

South Salem High concert at Pioneer Place


Oregon City School District considers contracting out bus services


School bus company defends driver accused of saying Santa is fake — Maine News — Bangor Daily News

Belgium attack: grenades thrown at bus-stop in Liège

I run into my old pal CHUCK

Analysis of Transit Signal Priority Using Archived TriMet Bus ...

segments comparing operations data derived from the TriMet Bus Dispatch ... The TriMet Bus Dispatch System is inimitable among North American transit ...

Monday, December 12, 2011

VLOG-Monday-part 2

Steve meets Max

VLOG-Monday-part 1

Latest ridership figures out

Bus ridership is up significantly,the biggest increase of all the modes of transport at TriMet.
However, no where in the body of the press release statement does this get mentioned.
As usual they trumpet their beloved rail services, bragging away about the puny WES ridership.
I'm tired of going through the figures every month to show just what baloney they really are but you can see them yourself:

Chris Day supports proposal that would set ATU presidents at last salary

Chris Day states: I want you to be clear on my statement of if it is for the membership I am in full support of maintaining the same pay of the position you have with your employer. If the members approve that as a bylaw I am in full support 

What is the right amount?

Bruce Hansen supports pay reduction for union president!

Bruce Hansen has come out in support of a proposal that would reduce the ATU 757 presidents salary by 20%.

Hotel California at the Parkrose Transit Center

I spent part of my break on Sunday inspecting the bike path along the 205 freeway. That is an endorsement for the TGIF chicken wings.

Should be one of the more entertaining board meetings Wednesday

There are several  items that should produce some interesting reactions:

1-Boring declaration of will the empire react?

2-If I'm not mistaken, this is when they will decided the issue of fare increases for TRIMET lift. This was put over from last summer.

3-Last but not least will be the testimony of several bus operators, including myself....

Dr Jeff always a good read

All I learned I learned on TriMet | TriMet Diaries

Will the empire allow Boring independence on Wednesday?

They changing our EMAIL accounts for us

They produced a VIDEO about this. (Trinet users only)
 I don't use their email much anyway.

Weird stuff that they do

In a previous post we looked at the "usability hunt" that some of the staff here participated in....

This is the POST ABOUT IT!

Trimet always has instructions and/or advice for us

Before another event:

* If you drive to work, have your vehicle thoroughly checked, especially the battery, antifreeze, wipers, windshield wiper fluid, ignition system, thermostat, lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes and defroster.

Interesting picture

This was given to me, allegedly its the "service planning" staff....

Vintage Trolley

Yesterday was one of the few times a year that the Vintage Trolley was running. In other words, if you want to ride it, do it next Sunday because after that it won't run until one day in May, one day in July and then one day in September before the Christmas season begins again. I did a PSU-PSU trip.

Sunday, December 11, 2011



Fareless Sq., Trimess

Get your TRIMET "gear" to have it right?

TriMet Gear Store

Trimet earrings for Xmas? I dunno...

Cutesy little images that supposedly "image" commendations

Not sure who or how these were made from commendations, but I wonder why? How much effort put into this silliness?

Sexual Harassment on the Bus

Puget Sound Transit Operators Blog

All I have to do is step on TriMet property...

To find something screwed up.

Like this wonderful TVM at Sunset TC this morning.  Only cash accepting machine is out of order.

On the plus side, the MAX Operator saw me taking pictures of her train and in amusement stuck her tongue out at me.  Unfortunately the glare of her windshield didn't let me get that Kodak moment.


According to the 1010 AUDIT report, ATU international has been paying for the trip to Romania. We know that is not going to happen anymore. So who is paying for the trip then? And where did the 'transit exchange' money go last time around?



I have been listening to some dispatch calls and it is unbelievable how many buses are breaking down right now.

How can the management get away with this? Somebody needs to be asking questions.

Better pay attention to what happens at FIRST TRANSIT

Don't think it can't happen here at TRIMET

Why people hate riding the TRIMET Max service


Another Baby Bus incident appears-Canada - Mom, baby told to get off Fredericton transit bus | By HEATHER MCLAUGHLIN - Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada

Violence between transit workers

MTA worker stabbed by another transit employee during  spat in Bronx subway station: cops - NY Daily News

Sam Adams quoted on Rueters-harshest critic of "occupy movement"

Sam Schwarz

Weekly readership report

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Must see Trimet video

Max Prototype (Winter 2009) - YouTube

Freddie is back!

Portland Firefighters Train to Respond Efficiently to MAX Light-Rail Incidents

Some photos

Totalitarian to speak

Location Announced for February Forum with TriMet GM Neil McFarlane

Rhyan Van Horn (TriMet) has finalized the location for the 2/9/12 joint luncheon between ELGL and OMFOA Development Professionals. The luncheon will begin at 11:45 a.m. in room 1E of the State’s main office building in Portland. The room is on the first floor, accessible through the cafeteria. The address is 800 NE Oregon St, Portland, OR 97232.  Parking is metered. TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane will be the guest speaker.

Bridge lift delay on the saturday #12

Here we go again.....ANOTHER FEAR ALERT

This time Washington Square! No buses allowed in till they realize they have no actual bomb, which they always seem to find out.
But its a great excuse to roll out the police state!

David Kay

Hotseat: Public Transit Consultant Jarrett Walker

The Portland Streetcar has done a lot of good for the Pearl District, but it was introduced as a development tool, and as it was presented, it was always very clear that the emotional attraction of the vehicle itself was an important part of why we should build it. Why should we build a streetcar instead of just running a really good bus service? We’re moving into a much leaner time. We may start having different conversations about how important it is to have emotionally appealing vehicles, as opposed to creating a system that maximizes people’s personal freedom.

 Willamette Week

The only MAX ticket machine at Sunset TC that takes cash

Punkrawker rides the West Coast Express

Violence against bus drivers

Ha! Cato’s O’Toole to Detroit: Don’t Repeat Portland and Denver’s “Mistakes”

Rouge boards of directors

Leaders of the Utah Transit Authority continue to struggle with the idea that their taxpayer-supported agency exists to serve the public interest, not to provide development bonanzas for their friends, business associates and, worst of all, fellow board members.

Missing the bus | The Salt Lake Tribune


For Immediate Release: December 5, 2011
Contact: Amy Ruiz, Mayor’s Office, 503-823-4799
Mary Fetsch, TriMet, 503-962-6403
Matt Shelby, PPS, 503-916-3027


Equitable, sustainable...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday VLOG-part 2

Vlog-Friday-Who picked this fight?

Is Portland's relationship with its sexy streetcar system about to take a costly turn?

Four-year-old Gresham boy found safe after taking MAX trip to find mother

Dr Jeff pans TRIMET's type 4 MAX trains

Dear Type IV | TriMet Diaries

TRIMET targeting my associates?

An operator that I know pretty well is convinced that his association with me and any appearance he has on my web site leads to direct retaliation from the company.
He comes to this conclusion due to his two recent appearances and then the next day SIP's appear in his company mail.
Cause and effect?
After the first incident I considered the guy paranoid, but after the second incident, I am beginning to wonder.
Of course like most operators he is scared of losing his employment, they surely have us all thinking like slaves, you loose this job and its under the Burnside Bridge with ya!
Do people really want to live like that?

Dispatches from Twitter



Port Authority to post employees' pay, other compensation online | The Asbury Park Press |


Click Here!

Jon Hunt defends Romania trip