“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
A conservative (which I am far from being) would do the math and misleadingly say that 1,111 jobs from a $1.5 billion project means each job cost over a million dollars to create. This would be misleading because it doesn't factor in the cost of the raw materials nor does it consider the value of the finished project or product. Since Trimet, however, is a transit agency, the real questions should be more about the fact that these are largely temporary construction jobs as opposed to permanent transit jobs. The one dimensional, one trick pony aspect of more and more light rail sacrifices creativity and resources that could better be used to build a robust transit agency. A modern total transit system, conveniently serving all neighborhoods of the region, would build ridership and revenues through frequent and reliable service. Implementing bus rapid transit as well as electric trolley buses are just a couple low cost (relative to rail) ways Trimet could go about improving it's service and sustainability while creating good, permanent transit jobs. The federal matching funds for doing this are there, management needs only to go after them.
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