I finally went to check out Trimet's latest light rail line, The Orange Line.
It didn't disappoint. It was exactly what I expected.
It was a light rail line to nowhere. 7 miles of basically nothing.
The orange ends in the middle of nowhere, just like the Trimet WES does.
I know the thinking here is that this new light rail line supposedly will spur development but who knows how long that will take to happen and who exactly benefits from these 'developments'.
Light rail supposedly takes traffic off the roads but the evidence that it actually does that is lacking.
Just looking at how Portland traffic keeps getting worse and worse every year even as Trimet has built out its system pretty much debunks that theory just on its face. Furthermore since this Orange Line actually doesn't go anywhere why in the world did Trimet build such puny park and rides?
This light rail line is only useful for people that can actually get to it by car.
It's a major fail on the part of Trimet that they didn't plan sufficiently for people to park to get to it.
Now I see why Trimet tried so hard to make this whole thing a "special event".
Because there is nothing special about it other than the pretty little bridge.
And I always keep coming back to thinking about that $1.5 BILLION dollars and how that could have really turned the CURRENT Trimet system into a truly world class system. Instead we have a light rail line to nowhere. "Our" government in action, as usual. Spending money on things that don't actually help the citizenry. What a shame that we are locked into a system that seems hell bent on only providing the cash for special interests and never for citizens interests.
I took some videos of my trip along the Trimet Orange Line below the break if your interested.