Monday, December 24, 2012


Happy Holidays!
Posted by Neil McFarlane at Dec 24, 2012 08:45

Toy train to Milwaukie costing $1.5 billion dollars for Neil
I want to wish everyone at TriMet a very happy holiday season, and the very best for 2013!

This season seems to call from me some recollections of the last year. I am very proud of the progress TriMet made over the last year -- here are a few highlights:

- We solved a $12 million gap in our annual budget (which never existed)

- We completed recertification training for operators and supervisors, and started the process for the year ahead (there has been ZERO improvement in bus crashes)

- We received the federal government’s commitment for the Portland to Milwaukie project – the full funding grant agreement (and issued $300 million in public bonds without voter approval)

- We introduced 51 new buses to the fleet (250 to go)

- We simplified our fare system, and launched the effort to move to electronic fare, and started a low income fare mitigation program (he means they raised the fare)

- We increased fare inspection and fare compliance (trimet gestapo with attack dogs)

- We successfully updated and improved our Oracle financial system (?)

- We launched our multi-modal trip planner (i thought that was done years ago)

- We advanced the PMLR project to 30% completed – and brought the first Willamette River Bridge in 40 years into plain view (ya big deal)

- We saw through the first ‘binding interest arbitration’ between the ATU and TriMet (a complete mess and more lawsuits pending)

That’s just the start of all the accomplishments. I am very proud to be working with all of you – your dedication to moving our customers and our mission is impressive. (you are full of shit!)

The next year will be full of its own challenges – more on that NEXT year -- but I did want to take this chance to thank you all for your great work this past year. Even more than that – I want to wish you and yours a very Happy holiday season – and a very happy 2013.
(hopefully this year will see the end of you!)


Winter Prep
Posted by Neil McFarlane at Dec 19, 2012 10:16 AM | Permalink

We have mostly dodged snow and ice over the last couple of days – but we know our streak won’t last forever (though we can hope!). I did just want to thank our colleagues in Operations for the preparations for winter storms that they have done.(what storms, did I sleep through something?) While we hope many of our riders stay home during snow and ice events, we also know that many cannot, and our service acts as a lifeline to the region. That’s why TriMet never closes, and we strive to keep our service moving the best we can. It’s often a struggle in Portland’s fickle winter wonderland(barf bag please) – but in advance I want to thank all who contribute their best in keeping buses and trains moving. I know we all have our own challenges getting around in inclement weather, so I want to encourage you to prepare as best as you can to make it into work -- whether it is to chain tires, operate vehicles, be on the street helping customers or provide the support needed at each of our facilities.

Good news for all of us is that over the last couple of years, we have improved some of the ‘soft’ spots on our MAX system – switch heaters, wire covers, and the like. We also now have 55 new buses that come with automatic chains – giving us a great deal more flexibility to respond. Given Portland’s difficult to predict snow events, that flexibility will prove invaluable in the years ahead.

So stay warm, stay safe, because the region’s mobility depends on us!



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