I've been watching the latest Trimet "news" (propaganda) about the Orange line coming in under budget. Originally reported at BIKE PORTLAND using such headlines as "far under budget":
According to a December 2014 construction report, downward revisions of $64 million from “guideway and track elements,” $42 million from “systems,” $33 million from finance charges and $70 million in unallocated contingency had left the agency with exactly $199,955,869 in “uncommitted” dollars from its $1.5 billion budget.
A week later Trimet sent out its own "press release'
The overall $1.49 billion project is under budget in the range of $10 million to $40 million,
There's a big difference between $200 million and $40 million. As a matter of fact $40 million dollars is only 2.6% of the total boondoggle budget. Not much when you put it into the proper context
Not sure why the Bike Portland figure would be so different than the Trimet figure.
Its further interesting that the savings, according to Mcfarlane: from historic low interest rates.
In other words the 'savings' come from nothing construction related. The contractors used every penny awarded to them.
Over at the TRIBUNE additional analysis
According to McFarlane, much of the savings are due to historical low interest rates, which allows TriMet to borrow construction funds for less than previous estimates.
Why is Trimet borrowing construction funds at all when they have $1.5 billion in tax dollars to spend?
This whole 'news event' smacks of yet another falsely created Trimet event. Specifically created by the marketing department to instill 'good feelings' about the Trimet executive management.
Trimet plays the public like a Stradivarius Violin