A favorite pastime among the mobile “creative class” in Seattle is complaining that our transportation systems are inferior to those in Vancouver, B.C., and Portland.
But recent news from the neighbors reveals them as anything but nirvana.
* Transit use in metro Portland dropped 1.1 percent in September to
November 2012 compared to a year earlier, even as national transit use
grew 2.6 percent. The Rose City has struggled with labor strife and
service cuts, as detailed here by Oregonian columnist Joseph
Rose. One result was MAX light-rail use dropped in Portland (which
ended its downtown free-rail zone) while bus use grew. Meanwhile in
Seattle, King County Metro gained 1.7 percent and carried 400,440
average weekday passengers in October compared to a year earlier,
despite eliminating the downtown free-bus zone Sept. 29. Sound Transit
gained 19 percent year-over-year, serving 100,935 weekday riders for bus
and rail combined.
A cure for transportation envy: light-rail use down in Portland, toll troubles in Vancouver | The Today File | Seattle Times