Screwing our retirees is HOW WE ROLL

Screwing our retirees is HOW WE ROLL

Friday, January 27, 2012

Just some examples

 {Editors note: Jason Mchuff and Erik Halstead have had a long running feud, Jason insists his point of view is the correct one and Erik insists his point of view is the correct one. I'm of the opinion that both points of  view have validity}

Just a few examples of what could be an extensive collection showing how comments made by Erik Halstead (a.k.a. SP Red Electric, wigwagfan, erikaren, others) do not tell the full, true story.

Claim: Someone hopping a stop or two downtown should pay exactly the same as someone short-hopping in Tigard, Oregon City, or Forest Grove on a bus.

Reality: Someone taking a bus for even a stop or two in downtown Portland does have to pay the same price as in those cities.

In addition, Downtown Portland has done much, much more to encourage transit ridership than any of those cities. They do not have the density, pedestrian environment or other qualities found in downtown Portland. And someone who decides to go to those cities should have to pay for their parking and not get it 100% subsidized, just like in downtown Portland.

Also, TriMet has had a policy in place regarding free-service areas and, ignoring budget issues, would probably be willing to offer free service to other deserving cities.

Claim: Portland Streetcar should be forced to go along with TriMet's fare plan OR lose the funding from TriMet

Reality: As the Portland Streetcar is a city of Portland operation and not run by TriMet, it has it's own fare plan. While it is true that TriMet does fund a portion of it, the city also contributes and should be able to do what it wants with it's money. In addition, Portland Streetcar allows all TriMet fare holders to ride at no extra cost and provides service that TriMet might otherwise have to fund.

Claim: This should also demand the elimination of the "$100 Streetcar + Tram Annual Pass"

Reality: Streetcar advocate Chris Smith has argued for pushing the price upwards. In addition, it should be noted that, forgetting about the tram, it provides limited benefit seeing that much of the streetcar route is free. Moreover, the price of the pass is slated to increase once the expansion to the east side opens.

Claim: I as a bus rider have to pay close to $1,000 a year for my annual pass.

Reality: Annual All-Zone passes are now over $1000, even including discount and not including mailing. Moreover, it appears he pays a total of $0 for his pass, not close to $1000.

And in any case, that pass provides a lot more value than the streetcar-only one since it can be used to get all the way to either Forest Grove, Sherwood, Wilsonville, Oregon City, Estacada, Gresham, Washougal, Yacolt, La Center or Sauvie Island.

Claim: WES is a "premium service" and should charge a premium fare.

Reality: WES does require a premium fare. The entire route is within one fare zone, yet an all-zone fare is required to ride.

In addition, WES is not a true, typical commuter rail service. It does not serve a central business district where there is a dense employment hub and where parking is expensive. It is only built as commuter rail due to Federal regulations.

Claim: WES should cost at least $5 per boarding with no transfer.

Reality: Given that most trips involving WES require a further transfer to another mode, given that the other mode may not have high-frequency service, given that the other mode may require a fare, given that the overall time involved may be lengthier than driving, given that most of those trips would be to places with free (100% subsidized) parking and given that the parallel highway is not that congested, charging high fares could cause ridership to drop. Given that the costs would stay roughly the same, a move would be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Claim: TriMet isn't charging to park at park-and-ride lots

Reality: TriMet does offer paid parking at it's busiest park and ride lots. In addition, proposals to charge on a wider basis have been opposed in the past but, given the budget situation, are now on the table.

Claim: Riders who don't use the park-and-ride lots shouldn't be paying for them.

Reality: We have a society that does not necessarily directly charge individual users the cost of providing them a service.

Claim: Park and rides should not be considered part of the transit system cost

Reality: Since they are used by transit users and since they are what get some people to ride, they are part of the transit system.

Claim: A bus is a computer

Reality: A bus is not a computer and while some of the computer components inside them (the dispatch system) are out of date, they are currently being upgraded. In addition, the upgrade delays have resulted in saved service. It's possible Erik would be complaining about money being wasted if there were attempts to keep up-to-date with technology.

Claim: Operators do not get access to phones or computers while administrative employees can make free long-distance calls

Reality: Break rooms and all garages do have phones, garages have computer access for operators, and not every administrative job comes with a computer. In addition, I am not sure employees are allowed to make long-distance calls.

Claim: Tigard's reverse-911 system would work for Portland.

Reality: It is not known whether it can scale to the size Portland needs, and it is not known if Tigard's system can call cell phones, send e-mails or send text messages (all Portland requirements).

Claim: Work to make the Hawthorne Bridge "light rail ready" was thrown away when the powers-that-be decided to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on a new bridge.

Reality: Light rail or streetcars may eventually cross the bridge and a streetcar on Hawthorne has been actively proposed. In addition, it was discovered that there were multiple issues with using the bridge for light rail, including capacity reduction, location and service interruptions due to frequent bridge lifts.

Claim: The streetcar should cross the Hawthorne Bridge instead of the Sellwood Bridge

Reality: The two bridges are far enough apart that they are not alternatives. It is like arguing that I-5 should not have been built since there already were highways 99W and 99E.


Anonymous said...

My question is: How much longer until Trimet is dissolved and nobody gets nothing?

Josh C. said...

Jason, you are awesome.

Al M said...

Long running feud between Jason and Erik and it gets personal,


Al M said...

And Jason puts forth the argument that TRIMET DOESN'T LIE OR DISTORT? and that somehow that transit equity (as the pin heads call it) actually exists in the TRIMET service area?


A said...

I'm with Al. I don't like it either. It's childish how you post stuff like this directly shooting down Erik. At least Erik doesn't make it so obvious. This blog is not the place for your little feud. We don't need to see it.

Al M said...

And Josh C is a former Trimet executive btw....

Steve Fung said...

This spat reminds me of the old point/counter-point segments on 6o Minutes with J.K.Kilpatrick and S.Alexander.

Jason McHuff said...

To those who don't like me feuding with Erik and pointing out how he's whiny and wrong, how much of what he says doesn't hold up, you (and him) should be happy that, due to personal issues, I haven't been going after him except for occasional times such as this.


Where did I say that? I fully agree that transportation (transit included) is messed up in this country. But I argue that it means many issues aren't necessarily TriMet's fault.

Jason, you are awesome.

Thanks! BTW, I saw you mention Mounds View School District on your Twitter feed. My mother went to Mounds View High and I still have family over there. If I had it together, I would go out for the grand reopening of Union Depot. Except if you're a person of Minneapolis who won't even have their city in the station name or want free parking at the station, it's pathetic how Amtrak goes right by downtown St. Paul and then stops in some industrial area a hike away from the nearest transit. But you're lucky it still exists, is still reusable and still along the Amtrak route.

Max said...

The problem with Erik is:

1) He's a broken record whining about the same things over and over and over again -- and most people don't want to hear it.

2) Even when he gets what he wants (ex: fancy bus stops in Milwaukie), he still whines (ex: that not every bus stop is fancy like Milwaukie).

3) Lots of things he says are factually incorrect, and he knows it. Even when you correct him with documented fact, he continues to spew the same baseless false information. (ex: Erik said TriMet has no contingency fleet).

Al I guess you can keep allowing this crap, but what will eventually happen is what happened with Portland Transport -- people like me just get sick of hearing it and leave.

A said...

I'm already sick of hearing it. That childish stuff does not belong here.
Sure, post your opinions here, but dont do it in a way that is just attacking someone who you are having a personal little feud with. We dont want or need to see any of it.

Al M said...

There are MANY people that appreciate Erik Halstead, myself included.

If you don't like his stuff then don't read it!

Al M said...



Al M said...

And Max if you wanna leave the blog I can't stop you.

I'd hate the see that happen but I have no intention of telling Erik what to post.