What are significant are some of the things TriMet is not doing:
It's not walking away from WES:
Subsidies to WES are about the same as those to the 16 worst
performing bus routes - and they carry twice as many riders. Yes,
we'd have to pay back the feds and have all kinds of contractual and
shutdown obligations, but we still should save millions over the
remaining 17 years of the period that TriMet guaranteed WES operations.
It doesn't insist on getting a fair deal for streetcar subsidies:
TriMet gives millions each year for streetcar operations. Portland
Streetcar, Inc. turns around and undercuts TriMet fares with $1
unrestricted single-ride tickets, all-day honoring of two-hour TriMet
tickets & transfers, and a $100 annual pass. This has got to stop.
It is not raising "honored citizen" fares:
Oregon and the federal government both require TriMet to keep fares
for those 65 and over at no more than 50% of standard fares except
during commute hours. At $1, TriMet is well below the maximum, doesn't
restrict commute hour usage, and offers a $26 monthly pass compared to
the proposed $100 monthly regular pass.
"H" fares also apply to disabled passengers and those on Medicare.
It is only a subset of the latter, Medicare recipients who qualify for
Supplemental Security Income, whose "H" fare eligibility is means
tested. If TriMet wants to institute a reduced fare program for the
poor: fine. In the meantime, there's no excuse for not expecting "H"
fare riders to do our share, especially since it would eliminate any
need to cut any services at all. It's a matter of respect.