Due to the sock puppets recent raise in the payroll tax Trimet executives will be getting an additional $4.3m next year and more every year after that (up to $43m) to play with as they see fit. As you know its the payroll tax that Trimet executives have the total flexibility to use as they want. Now they have stated that this money will go to dedicated new and expanded service.
It's costs approximately $100k/yr for a full time operator so that translates into 43 new positions or 43 more 8 hour routes.
But will Trimet actually use the money to expand direct services? Mcfarlane has been expanding his empire more than he has expanded services. As a matter of fact Mcfarlane was expanding his empire at the exact same time he was shrinking direct services.
If there were any real 'reporters' in the Portland area they would be watching closely what happens to this new tax money. My guess is a large chunk will be cut off to expand the executive class of Trimet employees. Trimet has one of the most bloated bureaucracies in the transit industry which is the real reason why Trimet is still not a "World Class" transit agency. Each person sitting in an office means one less vehicle on the road. There are hundreds of people sitting in offices, many of those get charged off to "operations".
Portland and Trimet should be world class, but Trimet is more interested in being first with things like transit tracker,cell phone payments, fancy e-pay systems and executive raises than providing buses and trains to real people.