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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

OPAL

Right now, if you can’t afford a monthly or annual bus pass, you are using cash or single tickets, and you try to get as much use out of that single ticket as possible. This means $2.10 for a two-zone round-trip to the nearest grocery store. Under TriMet’s recent proposal, this simple errand will cost you $5.00.
TriMet is justifying these fare increases and service cuts with poor data, faulty analysis and a lack of transparency and accountability that leaves transit riders confused and in the dark.
First, TriMet is blaming its bus drivers for wanting the best health care. TriMet claims that the current contract will cost the agency $5 million to $10 million more than projected. We all should stand with the union in these negotiations, and they have every incentive to ensure service and ridership are maintained, as this protects their jobs. What’s important here is that this cost was foreseeable, and TriMet should not be driving a wedge between drivers and its riders due to its poor management.
Second, TriMet is blaming partisanship in Washington DC, projecting $4 million less in federal grant revenue in the next fiscal year. Regardless of what Congress eventually does with the federal transportation bill, the vast majority of federal dollars that come to TriMet are for capital construction projects, so should have little to no bearing on its service.
Third, TriMet is using too conservative of a forecast in projecting $3.2 million less in payroll tax revenue.

 OPAL: TriMet fare plan unfair to poorer bus riders | For those who can’t afford free speech

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"What's important here is that the cost was foreseeable ...". Furthermore, the financial meltdown was 3 1/2 years ago, yet has management altered at all it's "moving forward (re: building new rail) while cutting back (reducing existing service)" strategy?

Nedwell said...

I'd like to think that someone is reading this OPAL piece and getting some eye opening (and activating)information. But, I probably know better.

I say this as part of the choir being preached to: articles like this that are read only by the powerless telling us what we already knew do little more than frustrate.

The Trimet Board/McFarlane are all about a) creating real estate development opportunities through light rail, and b) breaking the union. If the bus side of Trimet becomes completely disfunctional, well, all the better because it can be sloughed off and contracted out - like the Lift. The blame narrative is laying this all at the feet of everybody's favorite whipping boy, the union.

Most of the commuting public are apethetic. Reduced, expensive Trimet service is just one more piece of bad news in the never-ending list of recessionary problems. They also assume that someone in power has the public's best interests at heart with their decisions. Sorry about that!

Al M said...

The power brokers control the game.

You can't play the game if it's fixed from the start.