I have always admired Erik because he is never wrong about the situations with TriMet. He knows exactly what TriMet is doing and isn't afraid to tell it like it is
Original post by the TriMet choo-choo squad HERE!
Erik Halstead: There's a reason TriMet says this will start in 2020. TriMet wants to drag this out so that the "stakeholders" change their mind and decide to go with a billion dollar MAX line.
For the money we spent on WES - $165 million - we could have built FIVE BRT lines in our region, had them up and running in two years (that's only because the bus manufacturers have a two year backlog of buses to be built), and saving money as BRT is cheaper to run than ordinary bus service.
If you don't believe me, Community Transit built SWIFT at the same time as WES. Both systems are 15 mile long suburb to suburb transit systems. SWIFT is Community Transit's most popular service, costs about $1/boarding ride subsidy, and dramatically increased ridership. WES cost 7 times more to build, $17/boarding ride, and is statistically a failure for TriMet, having failed to meet its first year ridership goal to this day.
Seattle is expanding its BRT network and increasing service. Eugene is expanding BRT. All, for mere pennies compared to the cost of light rail. And worse (for the anti-bus folks), BRT SAVES transit agencies money. Light Rail has never saved money, because so much of the expense of light rail is considered "capital expense" it just moves from one budget to another.
Imagine if we didn't build the Green Line, our city would have an awesome network of BRT lines running all the time, connecting every neighborhood and community with excellent service, reliable, clean buses, and without the financial distress.
And if it weren't for the rabid anti-bus attitude at TriMet...we would have had it, ten years ago.