Thursday, December 28, 2017

Trimet December board meeting part 4

JC Venetta/Harry Sapporta/Doug Kelsey

Its official, Trimet just screwed over its long term superior bus operators

Nobody really knew for sure if the executive management would sink so low to actually implement this. 
The people running Trimet  are nothing but aristocrats and they act like aristocrats.
They could care less about their "subjects" (yes Trimet is just like an independent country)

Just more examples of how horrible things are at Trimet, they never stop thinking of ways to screw their unionized workforce.

Part of this lands on ATU757, but only a small part. Shirley, John, and Mary are no match for the army of high priced executives that comes with being the aristocracy of a government tax farm.

I put this latest abomination 75% on Trimet   25% on the union. 
Trimet is only doing this to stir up union members against the current ATU757  executive officers. 
Apparently there is still plenty of animosity between Mcfarlane and Shirley et al.
I'm quite certain that the only reason there is a contract right now is that Mcfarlane (the current emperor) is going to take his substantial winnings and ride off into the sunset like all the other general managers (presidents) and wanted some good press on his way out.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Trimet horror stories

Working in the public transportation industrial complex in a major city is no easy task. It takes  a person of above average physical health and incredible mental strength to survive a career as a bus driver. 

The American neoliberal technocracy  has conspired with mainstream media to present to the public a perception that transit workers are undeserving of decent pay and benefits. "Anybody can drive a bus" is the way bus driving is depicted in American culture. The reality is actually the opposite. 
It's one of the hardest jobs in the country and  ranks as THE MOST DEPRESSING JOB in the United States of America.

 In other words, This job will kill you. LITERALLY.

One thing we will never see in any mainstream publication is that Transit Management itself plays a major role in destroying the people working in the industry.

 Here are a couple recent horror stories of people who worked in the  public transportation industrial  complex (Trimet) who's lives were  ruined as a result, literally.

When Trimet recruits people into this industrial complex they neglect to tell applicants of these horror stories. There are 1000's of stories like the 2 below. When you accept a job in public transportation you should know the horror stories.

I have my own version of a Trimet horror story but compared to stories like the two below mine is pretty mild
I did experience the brutality of the Transit management, and its bad believe me.
My Trimet career ended with me sneaking out the back door directly to HR and I never interacted with any Trimet station management again.
 But I got what I was supposed to get. 
A pension and some health care.
Who knows if it will last

Sunday, December 24, 2017

MAX disruption audio

Have a nice Holiday and if you get bored you can listen to these incidents

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Trimet public relations scam

Trimet has a very long history of pulling public relations scams on "we the people".  You may remember the last scam, which was a doozy, the KIRK REEVES BRIDGE. People were really pissed bout that, Trimet didn't care, they got the attention they sought.

And today they came up with a brand new scam

Friday, December 15, 2017

Did Trimet executives just screw long time superior union drivers?

Trimet bus drivers with good work records have been able to "hold back" two weeks of their vacation time to use as floating holidays. That's been going on forever but now apparently ,due to some technicality, "the company" is not allowing it any-longer. If its true and Trimet is now prohibiting their senior operators from holding back their two weeks and this fact was not disclosed BEFORE the vote on the new contract shame on them and shame on ATU757 for letting it happen. You can't trust any of these people. All of them are unaccountable for their actions, the employees are pawns in this stupid little game.

Trimet board of puppets December meeting

Lets see what happened and who got the Trimet corporate welfare today

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Chris Day

Last night dispatch sent a BDS message reminding us about pulling forward to 1st position while on layover and the open door policy. Dispatch states that it is getting cold out and customers need a warm place while waiting for the bus. If TriMet is so concerned about our customers waiting out in the cold for a bus then why not improve all the stops and shelters throughout the system instead of causing interruptions in our break time? Operators need uninterrupted breaks yet TriMet does many things to make that as difficult as possible.

Oregon State law provides uninterrupted breaks for all employees who are not exempt from the law. Because we have a working wage agreement we are exempt from this law. TriMet has managed to make it so that they only have to schedule 80% of the operators with scheduled breaks and they only have to meet breaks 50% of the time of those 80% scheduled. If they don’t meet it then they have a few sign ups to get it corrected. The reason we are exempt from the Oregon lay is because Oregon assumes that a working wage agreement would accede Oregon’s minimum requirements. We need to find a way to make sure 100% of our Brothers and Sisters receive at least the minimum break requirements and stop accepting this abuse from TriMet.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Greg Larson

Some of my favorite transit geeks

These are a few of the people that make transit blogging fun for me.
Trimet employees don't understand why I do any of this, you know why that is?
They are not transit geeks!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Why does Trimet say they are getting $35-40 million from the state while the state says its $71 million

The answer is simple and its standard operating tactic at Trimet. 
They are low-balling and holding money back from the public. 
They've done this before

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Deken N’ Blue-part 2

Rest in peace Michael Oliver

Jarrett Walker at the Trimet board meeting part 4


Should "we the people" support tax increase referendums?

Citizens are always being asked to hand over their hard earned money to government for various purposes, always advertised to the public as having some public good. 
But we citizens see very little coming back to us if anything at all from all the these tax measures.

There is a very simple litmus test that should be used by every citizen who is voting on tax increase referendums

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

From the drivers side

Transit consumes its workers. From the time we wake up until we can rest again, our bodies are tuned to the hum of 40,000 pounds on six wheels. It's not always a job you can leave behind, especially after a particularly rough day. It follows us home and haunts our dreams. There are times I awaken in a fit of terror, seeing what could have been had I not prevented it. Before you recover from one dream, the alarm sounds the start of yet another day's adventure. "Rinse and repeat," I call it, because as soon as you've washed the previous shift off your skin, another is about to begin.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Henry Beasley

Just to keep up on the issues of assault, there are 2 previous incidents that did not get added.

11/3 Assault (spitting)
11/4 Assault (spitting and physical contact)
This is #82 and #83.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

ATU757 changes the voting rules

If you attended  the March 2016 union meeting you already knew this. 
Union meetings usually get between 50-100 people. 
There are  approximately 2500 union employees at Trimet so meetings have attendance by 4% of union members.
 That means 96% of Trimet union members were unaware of this change..

What has happened is that the bylaws were changed (by the 4%) to split the Trimet members into 3 distinct sectors. 
 When a contract is presented to the members each sector must vote yes or the contract is not approved. 
The VAST majority of the members are drivers but there is no longer majority rule at our union. 

We have our very own version of the American Electoral  College. 
As we all know the electoral college was created to subvert the popular vote in our presidential elections.

Why has this happened? 
It appears the maintenance division was threatening to split from ATU757 so the leadership gave them veto power instead.

 As a retiree I don't get to vote on these contracts, even though the contracts affect me (and other retirees) directly. 
Now, my retirement as a Trimet bus driver can be controlled by a sub group of Trimet employees.

Its getting harder and harder to find reasons to continue paying dues to a union that doesn't allow me representation and subjects the majority to minority rule
  • Transportation, Maintenance, and Salaried divisions vote separately using ballots of different colors; Transportation’s ballots will be PINK, Maintenance’s ballots will be GREEN, and Salaried’s ballots will be BLUE.
  • To approve the contract proposal, a majority of members casting ballots in each of those groups must vote to ratify.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Trimet final offer

i know it's not perfect and outsourcing is bad, but i vote yes to this offer.
 It's more or less reasonable in my opinion

Shirley accepted the final offer, it goes to the voting members now

LA transit suffering the same sickness as Portland Trimet

That's the neoliberal takeover of public transportation exemplified by an almost religious attachment to high priced light rail projects while the people that actually need transit get left behind.

Jeff Roberts data pack-unedited

We have already examined this incident in great detail HERE, HERE and HERE.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

More on Jeff Roberts

This is the paper trail of Trimet people that were involved in the "investigation" of this complaint its incredible.
A Huge list of people were involved with this whole thing!

 Even Neil Mcfarlane was on the list. 
Now why would Neil Mcfarlane be reviewing any operator related complaints?
 The only thing I can think of is formulating the Trimet public relations angle.
 And that supports my contention that Trimet used this incident to its advantage, and threw Jeff under the bus with malice.

We've all seen the DATA PACK and we've seen the KGW STORY  and it becomes obvious that this story had no business on the "news".
 It was Trimet public relations.
Thanks Dora Morgan for obtaining this information

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Another knife attack on MAX

Not a word in the mainstream media, of course. 
I guess riders have to die to get coverage in the media.
All we get from mainstream media is stories about bus drivers that have no access to a restroom taking a piss in a parking lot and bus drivers having disputes with passengers in their face. What a joke  Click Here!

It did show up on the news, trivialized

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Trimet budget is a shell game

My colleague and comrade Jared Franz has an evergreen saying: “TriMet’s budget is just an elaborate shell game.”
What he means is that the company has the money it needs to operate a really great transit service that meets the community’s needs: fare-free, 24-hour service, more bus lines, and more. 

When you press TriMet’s senior leadership to spend money in ways that they don’t support, the excuse is generally that “we have constrained resources dedicated to specific funds for specific purposes; we can’t spend capital construction funds on operations, and vice versa.”
 Or, translating boss-ese to English: we can’t legally spend money the way the community wants; why are you mad at us when our hands our tied?

But when it comes to things like a $12 million transit jail, a $35 million investment in new fare cards nobody asked for, a new vanity MAX line to a well-off west side suburb, or whatever other shiny novelty management’s got its eye on, the money always seems to be there. 
Or, at least, they know where to find it.

We need to let go of the myth that TriMet’s funding is heavily constrained, because it gives the company’s senior leadership an immediate out to say, “well, we can’t spend money on this major community priority, we don’t have the right kind of funding.” That’s nonsense; TriMet’s senior management isn’t a bumbling bureaucracy. 
It’s acting deliberately, ideologically, against the public interest: TriMet bosses intentionally use “funding constraints” as an excuse to avoid justified criticism of their priorities as a company. 

We need to reject the idea that these supposed limits are real and material; they do nothing more than obfuscate the fact that TriMet is a property development agency that operates buses as a side hustle.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Trimet sock puppets meeting this wednesday

So lets see who's on the corporate Trimet welfare list this month.

Trimet Deacon in Blue examines the case of Jeff Roberts

Roberts has been with us 18 years, and all who know him describe him as a deeply caring, affectionate man. You can't operate in transit that long by being an asshole. He was suspended for four weeks while management considered his case. Mr. Roberts meanwhile, decided he enjoyed not being verbally assaulted while away from the job. After a long and safe career driving his fellow residents, he decided enough was enough.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


So Mcfarlane has decided to cash out his winnings. He apparently is hitting 65 so his timing is obviously to maximize his own private wealth. Full social security and his Trimet windfall. After 26 years at Trimet I estimate his pay around $5,000,000 not including whatever perks he received.

Joe Rose was the last person to estimate his pension which was $13,000/mo back then probably about $15,000/month now. And then there is the phony "vacation bank" (this is the way public officials get around pay raise caps, they have their sock puppets award them more vacation that they cash out later) which will probably net him $200,000 cash payment.

Under Mcfarlanes rule relations with the union and the union employees went horribly wrong. Previously there had been fairly decent relations with ATU757, at least the parties knew how to cooperate with each other. When Mcfarlane took over he made the decision to do everything in his power to "break" the union using all sorts of dirty tricks to accomplish that goal.

Lets take a look at some of his "accomplishments"

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Portland Bus Lane Project

I've been reading and digesting all the mail that comes from this latest activist group. 
It reminds me of the OPAL initiative to get a 2 1/2 hour transfer. 
For those of you who don't track the world of transit as closely as I do let me refresh your memory. 

When Trimet did away with the paper transfers they reduced the  amount of time transfers would be valid. 
Trimet operates with  neoliberal philosophy.
 Neoliberalism  seeks  to extract wealth from the citizens. 
Trimet has been slowly and methodically  extracting as much wealth from its riders and its employees as they can get away with.
Cascade Policy Group has documented that Trimet service levels to the public are not aligned to extraction of wealth from the public.
Where does all that extra wealth go?
It's not really clear.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Trimet loses again at the Supreme Court

Trimet officials steal from employees and retirees, squeeze the riding public for every Nickel while treating them like criminals, and low ball ordinary citizens that get In their way.

Mcfarlane and his crew represent the worst aspects of governmental tyranny.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The horror that is American public transportation

When I started all this blogging about the job and when the job ended I started researching not just Trimet but public transportation in general in United States and around the world what became apparent to me is the sheer brutality of the public transportation industrial complex in this country. 

When you rise above all the false propaganda that districts like Trimet spew out about their wonderfulness all you can really see is abuse. Abuse Of riders and of the people doing the work. 

From buses and trains that don't show up or show up more than 15 minutes late leaving riders stranded in whatever the weather happens to be at that moment or packing riders into buses and trains like dead sardines get packed in their cans the public transportation experience in the United States is more like A torture chamber

And the drivers, subjected to horrible working conditions like split shifts, schedules that just don't work, angry riders who have nowhere to vent their anger but the drivers, working so early in the mornings or so late at nights family life is just a fantasy, no weekends or holidays off for years in some instances, equipment that can cause injury or drive you insane, management that harasses you for being early, for being late, for wearing the wrong hat,for wearing the wrong shoes, for wearing the wrong shirt, that leaves you stranded on the road with no way back to your car if  you become ill in the middle of your shift,  constantly under suspicion for drug use,  It's a life of hard sacrifices  for the people that choose mass transit operation as a career.

The horrors of American public transportation are real, if only I had the talent to write a decent novel on this scam. 

The only people that don't suffer at the hands of the public transportation industrial complex are the technocratic aristocracy who get fat paychecks and huge retirements and spend their days 'working' 9-5 in nice air conditioned offices  doing who knows what  away from the tragedy they foist on everyone else. 

And then there is the Crony capitalism part that is skillfully hidden from the public. You know, the people that made a cool $35 million installing the HOP card, or the $1.4 billion installing that light rail line to Milwaukee. 

Yes there are winners in the public transportation field, just not anybody who actually rides regularly or finds themselves stuck operating the vehicles. They are the victims of the complex. 

Yes, being a bus driver will age you, or cripple you, and I know more than a few that didnt make it out alive.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Weird TriMet service alerts June, July, August

NOTE: Many of these alerts were written by dispatchers who are not expected to be language experts, may not have time to proofread, and make mistakes like all humans.  They may have many other tasks in progress at the moment, such as dealing with buses that are already stuck due to the blockage or situations elsewhere.  While those errors probably should be forgiven, they can cause confusion or problems for those who try to follow them.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Trimet keeps failing it's mission

but I'm sure Mcfarlane will get another raise. that's the way it goes in da land of da free, no accountability for the people at the top while nit picking the people doing the work to death.

Mcfarlane has been a total failure since the day he arrived. Citizens abandoning the system is positive  objective proof

Monday, September 18, 2017

Henry Beasley

Brothers and Sisters,

Recently, we’ve had a number of attacks on transit workers and the district has done nothing but put Band-Aids on gaping wounds and in some cases done nothing at all.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Final offers in the contract wars are made

 It appears to me that the only changes that Trimet wants is to contract out a bunch of jobs that were union employees previously.

This material is written so that the public and the employees cant decipher it easily.

I don't want to spend hours trying to figure it out I think as a retiree I am safe for my pension and health care benefit. For now anyway

The Portland Bus Lane Project

Recently I was added to the mailing list of the Bus Lane Project and I have been reading the material they have been publishing. It's a very impressive group of people genuinely trying to make some needed changes to the Trimet system in terms of speed and reliability. 

Control communications from last Thursdays MAX crash

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

No fun working at Trimet as long as Neil Mcfarlane continues his union busting policies

Why won't freaking Mcfarlane leave already? 
The greedy self righteous sonofabitch just won't leave.
I'm sure he's banked well over a million tax payer dollars into his personal account
He'll  get  a check for around another $200,000 the day he retires.
 Then he will get a lifetime tax payer funded pension of around $15,000 a month.

Neil has also been a miserable failure in keeping the transit system rolling.
 Transit ridership in Portland keeps going down under his watch

Time for a change.
 Get somebody in there that has some heart towards the people doing the work and the people riding the system.

End crony capitalism.

End Neal Mcfarlane 

Henry Beasley

Brothers and Sisters,

Going over my verifiable logging of the various assaults in the district and putting them together for everyone. The numbers may be off by a few here or there, but here is the list of logged events.